Fast tracks and bulk deals: How Crown got visas for its high rollers

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For 13 years, the Australian government allowed Crown to lodge bulk applications for Chinese nationals then act as the middle man for those who hit a roadblock.

last year on Crown's efforts to attract ultra-wealthy Chinese gamblers to its casinos in Melbourne and Perth, sometimes with the assistance of firms backed by powerful Asian crime gangs.The documents reveal that, when a visa application was refused, the dedicated consular official "informs the Crown representative directly", which "allows Crown the opportunity to assist in explaining to applicants the reasons for refusal," the document says.

Regular meetings were also held between department officers and Crown representatives to discuss specific issues of concerns as well as "broader issues around the arrangements". "These arrangements always make it clear that applicants are subject to the full range of applicable checks," the department said. "All individual visa applications are assessed against legislative requirements. There is no reduced vetting in certain locations or for certain applicants."

But Crown internal emails suggest Crown's vetting processes were poor and information it gave to immigration officials may have enabled those of poor character to enter Australia. The emails also reveal staff lobbied Australian officials to expedite the provision of hundreds of visas for junket operator, SunCity, which is accused of organised crime links.

 

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