The Greens political party have been caught out trousering $200,000 donations from a gambling industry millionaire while publicly condemning political donations from the gambling industry.
Documents obtained [pdf] by the VEXNEWS Investigate Unit confirm that a Mr Greg Beirne and his wife donated [pdf] $200,000 to the Tasmanian Greens. The Tassie Greens party is not the mungbean eating hillbilly outfit you might think either, it raised and spent over a million dollars last financial year. That buys a lot of two-headed jumpers.
Our investigations also reveal that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission lists that same Greg Beirne as a former director and substantial shareholder of Australian Gaming and Wagering (International) Pty Ltd, Totalisators Communication & Technology Pty Ltd., Touchbet International Pty Ltd and Touchbet Pty Ltd. These companies made many millions of dollars from gambling.
His brother is well-known former bookmaker Dom Beirne, a very well-known figure in the horse-racing and gambling industries. Greg Beirne, who prefers to be described these days as an “investor” was a huge player in Sydney horse racing before taking it easy to count all the cash he made from the racket and donate to the extreme left-wing political operations like the Tasmanian Greens political party. Beirne continues to make millions from gambling, setting the odds for Luxbet, an online gambling provider, owned by gaming giant and casino owner Tabcorp.
Brother Dom was for a time the biggest bookie in Sydney while in his 20’s and then suddenly retired to sell betting systems and information. A number of VEXNEWS sources have speculated about why he would have retired so young from an occupation that was at the time considered extremely lucrative. We couldn’t possibly comment. And after all, he’s not the donor, it’s his brother Greg who cashed in from gambling for decades and now gives money to an avowedly anti-gambling party.
Despite taking the Beirne family’s loot, the Greens political party pretend to take a strong anti-gambling stance. They say that gambling is “socially damaging” blaming it for “serious social harm, including relationship breakdown, divorce, business failure, homelessness, crime and suicide.” The Greens party’s NSW branch says it is “concerned about the influence of donations on the political process.” It continues:
Political donations from major gambling stakeholders further calls into question the government’s ability to act in the public interest to regulate the gambling industry.
Enough to make you wonder why they took a $200,000 from a gambling industry mogul who made millions from the caper.
From the Greens NSW gambling policy document:
UPDATE MARCH 13: The Sydney Morning Herald picked up this story.