Loan sharks on Crown Perth casino floor preying on vulnerable gamblers, support services say
Stuart lost $10,000 gambling at Crown Casino in Perth. He was harassed and threatened by a loan shark. His story is documented in submissions to the Perth Casino Royal Commission. The commission is investigating the casino's failure to prevent loan sharks. There are also concerns about gambling limits on pokies and a self-exclusion register.
The Crown Perth royal commission is examining submissions by gamblers. Concerns have been raised that the casino has failed to halt loan sharking. There are calls for gambling limits on pokies and a self-exclusion register.
Loan sharks prey on vulnerable gamblers at Crown Perth casino. Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) has detailed several cases of them operating at or near the casino and they operate with impunity. Aarush was told he owed $100,000 to friends, who were loan sharks. He had to pay 50% on top of what he had borrowed. In another case, a gambler was asked to meet a loan shark in Perth’s Kings Park at night after failing to repay $10,00.
Loan shark operated at Crown Perth for 11 years before ban. Security and surveillance team raised 18 notifications about Patron S and loan sharking behavior between 2013-2015. Patron S was banned in 2020. In 2009, a customer complained that Patron was loan-sharking in the casino's high-roller Pearl Room.
CA submission recommends that casinos be included in a national self-exclusion register. Ms Levin wants to see an overhaul of the current casino regulation system. She wants a single national gambling regulator with new legislation that has consumer protection at its core.
Centrecare, WA's only dedicated counselling service for gamblers, has seen a 25 per cent increase in the number of people seeking help in past year. Centrecare has called for a public awareness campaign to reduce the stigma of gambling addiction and promote support services to a culturally diverse audience. There are currently 2,500 electronic gaming machines at Crown and problem gambers account for significant share of the revenue derived from them.
Centrecare's counselling service is funded by voluntary contributions from Crown and other industry players. The Alliance for Gambling Reform has raised concerns about that arrangement. There are calls for support services to be funded from gambling taxes and for the committee to run from outside the Gaming and Wagering Commission.
Stuart and Aarush are loan sharks on Crown Perth casino floor.