|MUCH OF THE MACAU POPULATION HAS|
MISSED OUT ON THE CASINO BONANZA
A year later, with this the most important project for Cairns speeding ever closer to approval, NOT ONE of our elected civic leaders have bothered to take the time and energy to GO to Macau, or Singapore, and see for themselves the impacts that be expected in Cairns from this project. All they're left with is the rosy pictures painted by the developer, and some insane notion that Macau = Las Vegas.
Hu Xingdou, an economics professor in Beijing, told the LA Times, "Gambling is a big part of Chinese human nature. Tied to it are beliefs in superstition, numerology, and a desire to get rich quick. Chinese are the biggest gamblers in the world", Hu said. "Thousands of years under an imperial system that tries to keep people down leads to a mentality of trying to become super-rich overnight, preferably without hard work". This pent-up desire to gamble has been released along with the economic reforms since 1990.
It's no wonder the current Chinese Communist Imperial System won't allow gambling in their country.
A recent report from the federal agency AUSTRAC has outlined the growing use of Australia as a location to launder hot money. Casinos have always been locations where corrupt operators + organised crime = money laundering. However the problems at "Chinese" casinos are not just organised crime syndicates, but individual criminals, government officials, and others pushing Mainland Chinese government assets thru the machinery. And while AUSTRAC freely admits they are only seeing the tip of the iceberg, the Abbott government is CUTTING the AUSTRAC budget.
Crown Casino in Melbourne has been used by these gangs to launder millions. In one major case, the culprits were caught and prosecuted in a Las Vegas case, where their confiscated records showed $23M went thru Crown with not a raised eyebrow, or any Australian prosecutions.
And when the Mainland government conducts one of their periodic (but useless) anti-corruption campaigns, gaming revenue at the Macau casinos dip in response. Only to resume the usual level of corrupt money as the Mainland government turns to killing mosquitos or some other worthless task.
Corruption in China is a pandemic. Routine "crackdowns" by the central government are part of a regular show for the public that do little to stop it. In June of 2011, it was documented that between 16,000 and 18,000 officials and management of Chinese government-owned firms have fled with stolen funds - estimated at up to $120 BILLION. The stories are too numerous to repeat here, but a good source of this reporting CAN BE FOUND HERE.
Macau's phenomenal success is based on a formula that facilitates, and indeed ENCOURAGES money laundering. Our political leaders have little understanding of how Macau works - and yet they're running headlong into dropping one of these corruption machines in Yorkey's Knob.
Australian regulators can't stop us from being gouged by fees at ATM's. Anyone think our regulators have the ability to identify Mainland Chinese money laundering? Good luck with that.
THE "PAWN SHOP"
Several years ago, the Mainland Chinese government introduced tourism currency controls. Outbound tourists are only allowed to take ¥20,000 (AU$3600) per person overseas. To counteract this limitation, Macau casino interests set up "The Pawn Shop". Not real pawn shops as
we know them, these shops were set up to assist Mainland Chinese into skirting the currency controls. You go in, purchase a fake Rolex for $15,000 and put it on your Union Pay charge card. Receipt and dodgy Rolex in hand, you go to the next window where they'll buy your fake Rolex back, no questions asked, for $12,000, in any kind of cash you want.
Bob Manning has been heard comparing the Aquis project with the Daikyo investment in Cairns in the late 1980's. Then state treasurer and Cairns MP Keith De Lacy in fact fought against Daikyo investment in Queensland until ordered to stand down by Premier Wayne Goss. Daikyo investment in Cairns never exceeded $800M, 10% of the Tony Fung proposals. And there was never any thought that Daikyo's golf courses would be hotbeds of criminal activity or money laundering.
And though few in Cairns would be aware, Daikyo emerged from its financial reorganization as a solid company that again is investing in Australia - with Brisbane and the Gold Coast on their radar - apparently ignoring the Cairns market this time around.
AQUIS WILL KILL THE LOCAL ECONOMY
In a comprehensive, well-respected study by Dr. E.L. Grinols and Professor Dr. David Mustard entitled "Casinos, Crime, and Community Costs" (2000), it was shown that crime increased in almost every locality where a casino was built. In their 2006 update to this work, they discuss the five negative effects of casinos that increase crime.
- Casinos drain the local economy of resources
- Increased crime payoff
- Increased number of pathological gamblers
- Casinos attract criminal activity
- Casinos induce a change in the local population towards one apt to commit more crimes
Grinols and Mustard conclude that the social costs of casinos are far greater than the benefits. Indeed, crime statistics show that crimes of all kinds have almost tripled in Macau in the two decades.
We urge you to source a copy of this work - much of it freely available from the authors and Baylor University.
Think we can get Bob Manning, Gavin "Chinese are Freaks and Weirdos" King, or Michael "who stole the backhoe?" Trout to read anything that would allow them to intellectually analyse what they're about to do to Cairns?
It's criminal that these dickheads won't even get on a plane to take a look at what Macau has wrought.