A former employee of ClubsNSW, one of Australia’s biggest gambling industry trade organisations, is being prosecuted by his former employer for revealing the facts about money laundering at some of the clubs in the company.
Earlier this year, Troy Stolz blew the whistle on a common practise by clubs to violate existing anti-money laundering rules, causing the group and its leaders a lot of grief. ClubsNSW is now looking to keep Stolz accountable for being a responsible person, using the claim that, in breach of a non-disclosure agreement, he handed internal information over to government officials.
According to ABC News Australia, ClubsNSW represents about 1200 clubs in the gaming scene. It accuses Stolz of handing over an internal ClubsNSW board paper to Andrew Wilkie, a parliamentary representative who later gave a speech to Parliament about the widespread amount of money laundering that was taking place within the gambling industry.
He reported that as much as 95 percent of the industry was guilty of failing to play by the rules, using Stolz’s paper. The document allegedly revealed that the majority of the 770 clubs under the jurisdiction of ClubsNSW shirked their duties in relation to current anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism legislation.
The paper was allegedly published in May of last year by an executive with the organisation. It found its way to not only the lawmaker but also to other media outlets after Stolz got ahold of it. This gave explanations as to how people walked into gambling facilities with huge sums of cash and were not dismayed as they lost as much as 30 percent quickly. According to Stolz, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) had previously been told about possible violations, but did not respond.
ClubsNSW wants Stolz to be kept responsible for leaking the internal document in what can only be viewed as a retaliatory action against the whistleblower, and an example of its alleged “bullying” attitude. This receives protection under Australia’s Corporations Act which also covers whistleblowers, coincidentally. Common sense dictates that a whistleblower should only be taken seriously by supplying in-house information, and the Corporations Act guarantees that a whistleblower is free of “criminal prosecution” (unless the disclosure is false) and “civil litigation (such as breach of an employment contract, confidentiality duty, or other contractual obligation) …”
It’s not clear how much money the company needs from Stolz but most likely it’s just spinning its wheels. The case appears to show how incompetent the management of the company is, as it is prepared to commit time and resources to a frivolous litigation rather than help stave off its members’ continued organisational declines.
Stolz affirms: “It’s disappointing that ClubsNSW feels the need to sue me for bringing the spotlight on what is a very serious issue of great public concern. I think the substantial amount of money that ClubsNSW would be paying its lawyers would be better used assisting those clubs who are in dire need, rather than to intimidate and bully a whistleblower.”