Royal Commission: Crown Perth high-roller room was open during Covid-19 transitional lockdown period after ‘approval’

Angie RaphaelNCA NewsWire
Anyone involved in loan sharking is usually banned from Crown Perth, the royal commission heard.
Camera IconAnyone involved in loan sharking is usually banned from Crown Perth, the royal commission heard. Credit: News Limited

Crown Perth’s head of security and surveillance has been grilled about loan sharks operating on the casino floor and why a person of interest was not banned until several years after they were first identified.

Brian Lee, general manager of security and surveillance, told the royal commission yesterday loan-sharking was unacceptable and that offenders were banned for a minimum of two years before they could seek permission to return.

“The ones that we identified that were loan-sharking — because there was evidence to suggest that — they were excluded,” he said.

But under questioning, Mr Lee said a person referred to as Patron S, who was alleged to have been involved in loan-sharking, was only barred “earlier last year”.

Crown Perth general manager of security and surveillance Brian Lee testified on Wednesday.
Camera IconCrown Perth general manager of security and surveillance Brian Lee testified on Wednesday. Credit: Supplied

It was also put to him that in June 2013, Crown Perth and the WA Police Force’s major crime squad had communication about Patron S.

Mr Lee said he could not recall if it was him or his boss at the time who was involved in that conversation.

The royal commission was told there were three other notifications that year, followed by three in 2014 and 10 in 2015 regarding Patron S and loan-sharking behaviour.

Asked why Patron S was not banned at the time, Mr Lee replied: “The matters were looked into and I know historically... that patron’s name had come up... (then) it sort of stopped.”

He went on to add: “But each time that patron’s behaviour was reviewed by surveillance and contact was made with law enforcement.”

Crown casino in Burswood, Perth  Generic
Camera IconAnyone involved in loan sharking is usually banned from Crown Perth, the royal commission heard. Credit: News Limited

The risk rating for Patron S was listed as “significant” but Mr Lee said he was not concerned that they were not banned at the time.

“The significant rating was just that we need to pay particular attention to see whether these complaints are something,” he said.

Mr Lee said generally speaking, it could also be that a patron might make a false report after falling out with a person.

“With anyone there’s a level of due diligence... I feel we did pay particular attention to that patron,” he said.

The royal commission was told Patron S had notifications in the system through to March 2019.

Originally published as Royal Commission: Crown Perth high-roller room was open during Covid-19 transitional lockdown period after ‘approval’

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