The Official Site of Robert Barclay, Author

Novelist Robert Barclay

newspaper image of crown casino scandal


The past week has held my attention with the Crown Casino scandal as more comes to light. Being in my neighbourhood, it’s been all over the news. The main issue is around promoting gambling at Melbourne’s Crown Casino in China, where the promotion of gambling is against the law. And of course, the trafficking of women for sex is involved in the mix too. I say ‘of course’ because sex trafficking often seems to come hand in hand with great wealth and power.

The six-month investigation was carried out jointly by 60 Minutes, The Age, and the Sydney Morning Herald. They discovered that one of the men paid to lure Chinese high rollers to Crown Casino was involved in the sex industry scandal and an alleged money launderer. During the time this person has been what’s known as a “Junket Representative to Crown Casino”, his business was involved in illegal sex work activity and several sex trafficking investigations and played host to Casino guests.

I’m sure Crown corporate representatives were perfectly aware of his colourful sex trafficking history but turned a blind eye to it, due perhaps to the value of the high roller clients he introduced to Crown. In fact, some of the many junkets Crown Casino has been working with are allegedly controlled by Asian crime syndicates, including one of the world’s biggest drug trafficking gangs, involved in laundering money through Crown’s bank accounts and importing drugs into Australia.

Now, we will, or perhaps will not ever, get to the bottom of this; it appears several high ranking present and past lawmakers, from both sides of politics, appear to be like deer in headlights, and will no doubt do all they can to have us believe “there’s nothing to see here, move on.” There are enormous tax revenues, political donations, and even friendly Board appointments that may be at risk by what could be unearthed by any serious investigation. Not to mention potential criminal behaviour by any number of characters that are, as far as their reputation represents, pillars of our society.

Despite my, and the community’s, disgust at the apparently rampant corruption by powerful people, my interest is in the sex trafficking activities that appear to be involved. As those who read my commentaries will know, I’m a passionate advocate for action to wipe this scourge from society and through my charity, to work in my own small way to save at least a few children from this grim fate, as well as raise awareness among others who will join me to bring a halt to this inhumanity.

What I find particularly interesting in this latest scandal is that sex trafficking and wealthy, powerful men again seem to go hand in hand. I have literally just written about Epstein and his illegal sexual involvement with underage girls, and here we are again. This time it involves drugs and casinos too.

It makes me wonder whether rich and well-connected people really do think they are invulnerable, and our laws just don’t apply to them. Do they really feel they are so all-powerful and self-important, that they lose sight of even basic moral decency?

Is something also going on at the chemical level? These people are often thrill-seekers by nature and have a strong need for that adrenaline rush. Not afraid to take risks, they work hard and smart, are not afraid to turn on the charm when required, are attracted to mega-deals for self-promotion, and end up with control over a lot of money. Already with a preference for risky behaviour and the various protections afforded them by wealth and friends, they enjoy activities that feed their egos. Does engaging in illegal sexual activity spike their adrenalin so they think nothing of making this possibility available for others who can pay for the “ultimate thrill”? I don’t know about you, but this reminds me a bit of “they love you for your wealth, you don’t need to do anything, you can grab their pussy…”

Now we are not only talking about wealthy, important business people and Presidents but pop stars, athletes, and entertainers — really anyone drunk on sycophancy, power, and wealth. Many seem to believe they have their own set of rules, and the law that applies to the rest of us isn’t for them. The problem with wealthy and famous people like this is that obstacles are simply removed for them by others. Their drink too warm, their tax too high, their clothes too tight, their house too small, their bed too lonely – no problem. Nothing is too much of a problem if you have enough money to pay for it, even protection from realistic views of the world. They are oblivious, or uncaring, of the fact that their rules only apply to everything and everyone in their orbit, immune from the consequences of their actions and to society’s laws because they are rich, powerful, or famous.

Society commentators have put forward ideas that, for example, visiting a brothel would be a proper compromise for these people’s sexual aberrations, but I think the reality isn’t about sex itself at all. These sociopaths — and let’s call them out for what they are — are looking for scenarios that will provide them with more power to fuel their ego and forcing sex onto a person or paying underage girls for sex is what does it. This is completely different from paying a willing adult for a legal sexual encounter.

These people break the law while turning their backs on any moral recriminations about feeling guilty for the harm they cause or showing any remorse for having harmed or mistreated others. The Crown debacle is bringing more people to the surface who meet this description.

The Crown Casino scandal is a repudiation of good faith as well as good governance that a business corporation like Crown that trumpets its vision that: “Together we create memorable experiences by acting respectfully, being passionate, working together, and doing the right thing” can stand accused of betraying this lofty-sounding vision so abysmally.

Robert Barclay