Police called after alleged racist incident at Crown Melbourne

By Mia Chapman Updated
Investor thinks Blackstone’s offer sells Crown short

An alleged anti-Semitic incident at Crown Casino in Melbourne is being investigated by Victoria Police.

The Australian reports that a rabbi made a report to authorities following an incident at the Melbourne casino.

Anti-Defamation Commission Chairman Dvir Abramovich said the rabbi had been left “shocked and traumatised” and said the attack was a timely reminder that anti-Semitism was rising in Victoria.

“This despicable incident, the latest in a spate of terrifying episodes over the last few years, will justifiably send a shockwave throughout our community as anti-semitism becomes the new normal in Victoria,” he said.

The Anti-Defamation Commission said the rabbi had gone into the Southbank casino on November 30 to book a venue for a communal event and was reading his emails when a man approached him and accused him of taking photos of his children.

The rabbi then offered to show his phone to the man, who promptly began hurling anti-semitic abuse at him and leaving the casino.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said police were investigating the incident and asked anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

“Investigators have been told a man was at a business in Southbank when he was confronted by another man and subjecte dot anti-Semitic abuse,” she said.

“Victoria Police understand incidents of anti-Semitism can leave communities feeling targeted, threatened and vulnerable.

A Crown spokeswoman said the casino was aware of the incident but unable to comment further due to the police investigation.

“Crown is aware of an alleged incident occurring at a venue located within the Crown Melbourne complex on Tuesday, 30 November,” she said.

“Security was called to the incident and the matter was referred to Victoria Police.

“Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of Crown’s values and we do not condone discrimination on any level.”

Former casino director fronts Crown royal commission to talk responsible gaming

A highly experienced former casino director told the Perth Casino royal commission that Crown needs to do more in its responsible service obligations.

Nigel Morrison, a highly experienced casino executive who was the boss of SkyCity Entertainment Group for eight years, said New Zealand and South Australian authorities were in particular very focused on ensuring the company’s casinos in those jurisdictions had “best practice harm minimisation measures.”

It took years of negotiating together, but SkyCity achieved “very good, best of breed practices,” he said.

“And recognising, I would say, that it’s not science, it does require a range of initiatives and not all can be evidence-based. 

“We entered into commitments to trial some things with the New Zealand regulator and agreed to other things with the South Australian regulator,” Mr Morrison said.

“In contrast…some years ago, Crown was, I would say, best practice in responsible service of gaming.

Crown keen to improve its responsible gaming

He said the company was focusing on bettering its responsible service of gaming and keen to progress.

Asked if Crown needed to lift its game to SkyCity’s level, Mr Morrison replied: “There are certain elements where that should be the case.”

“All states want casinos to operate at a high standard of responsible service of gaming…what I would like to see is Crown get to a position of best of breed…across all of it’s gaming properties.”

Gaming licences were privileges and casino operators had to deserve them, Mr Morrison added.

His frank comments come after damning findings from the Victorian royal commission were released publicly.

Commissioner Finkelstein said the manner in which Crown Melbourne dealt with the many vulnerable customers who had a gambling problem was “perhaps the most damning discovery” by the probe.

“The cost to the community of problem gambling is enormous,” the former Federal Court judge said.

“Crown Melbourne had for years held itself out as having a world’s best approach to problem gambling.

“Nothing can be further from the truth.

Back to top