Casino ban to cross borders

The State Government will consider reciprocal bans on shady gamblers after revelations that the brother of notorious drug lord Tony Mokbel is among Queensland’s biggest casino punters.

Horty Mokbel, brother of the captured crime czar and an alleged drug trafficker, has been barred from Melbourne’s Crown Casino because of money-laundering fears.

But he has been revealed as a high-roller at the Gold Coast’s Jupiters Casino in a secret list of Queensland’s biggest gamblers obtained by The Courier-Mail.

Horty Mokbel, now in jail over the alleged trafficking of AUD 40 million in amphetamines, is a member of Jupiters‘ exclusive Club Conrad.

Jupiters is owned by gaming giant Tabcorp, which also operates Crown Casino from where Horty Mokbel was banned by Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon in 2004.

But Tabcorp says the ban does not extend to interstate casinos, including Jupiters and Conrad Treasury in Brisbane.

Last night, a Queensland Office of Gaming Regulation spokesman said the power to exclude people from casinos rests with operators or the police commissioner.

He said consideration has been given to cross-border bans in the past but they did not proceed due to differing policing requirements and legislation between the states.

„However, the Government has indicated it would be prepared to have a further look at the matter in consultation with the police and the Queensland Office of Gaming Regulation,“ the spokesman said.

He said casinos were bound by financial transaction reporting legislation, he said.