Green MP Metiria Turei’s Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act (Application to Casinos) Amendment Bill promises a lot but in reality will achieve nothing, ACT Leader John Banks said today.
“The intention of the bill is to encourage casinos to implement the best practices and systems to detect and prevent problem gamblers and money launderers, and return those proceeds to the people from whom they were stolen, but many of the bill’s aims are already achieved by existing legislation rendering it unnecessary,” Mr Banks said.
“The Gambling Act already places a requirement on casinos to adopt policies to identify problem gamblers and requires them to minimise the harm from problem gambling. If they don’t comply they can be fined and risk losing their licence.
“The Financial Transactions Reporting Act 1996 requires casinos to keep transaction records and to verify the identity of people conducting occasional activity when the amount is $10,000 or more. Casinos must report suspicious transactions to the police.
“The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, which comes into force in 2013, will put in place a more robust regime to monitor, detect, and report suspicious activity to prevent money laundering.
“Therefore, there is no need for Ms Turei’s bill.
“In addition, Ms Turei claims she wants to help victims of problem gambling by returning stolen money to them but the civil forfeiture regime she wants to apply to casinos returns money to the Crown, not the victims.
“Good intentions are one thing but it’s outcomes that really matter. This bill would create unnecessary layers of regulation for no additional benefit. This is why we won’t support it,” Mr Banks said.