Binbin Du played at Crown Melbourne for at least eight hours every day, shortly after his marriage broke up, losing $ 300,000 in two months.
Over a two-month period starting in November 2019, he sometimes logged more than 15 hours straight at the Southbank casino game room.
But only once did a Crown staff member review it.
“It was an embarrassing experience,” Du said in the inquiry into whether Crown can retain a license for its Melbourne operations, in previously redacted evidence.
“I couldn’t see that he was a serious addict.”
The law graduate, who grew up in China’s Jilin province before moving to Brisbane as a teenager in 2002, preferred to play baccarat.
He told Commissioner Ray Finkelstein QC, a former federal court judge, that this was the game of choice for most Chinese players.
A Chinese, Du said, spent $ 2 million in about 30 minutes playing baccarat in Crown’s Mahogany Room, reserved for high rollers, after the casino allowed him to bet $ 150,000 per hand, an increase of $ 50,000.
“I have so many acquaintances and friends (who) ruined their lives, were affected or even ruined by the game at mahogany,” Du said.
After losing his job in 2017, he started betting on sports to kill time and earn some money.
But the losses mounted and their marriage broke up the following year. He then started using Crown Bet to bet online from Brisbane, which meant he earned points that he could use at Crown Melbourne.
You, gambling with the money you had from selling your three properties, then started playing at the Southbank casino from November 2019.
He started at the blackjack table, betting $ 50 per hand, before a Crown employee lured him to the Mahogany Room with a promotional program that rewarded players with cash back, as well as food and beverage credits.
Losing thousands a day, he asked Crown for a few nights of free lodging. They told him that he was not betting enough for such a profit.
It took him six weeks, he told the investigation, for a member of Crown’s responsible gaming team to stop him and talk to him about the budget.
But by now you said he was “a serious addict” and that he no longer cared about the budget.
He later complained to a Mahogany Room host about his spiraling losses, only to be told, “The game is like water – you can drink it or not drink it.”
“There were no staff, dealers, or floor managers who approached the players … they just let the players lose more and more,” he told the investigation.
“There is a culture of arrogance and corporate indifference.”
You told the investigation that you think nothing has changed.
“It’s business as usual,” he said.
Another man, who cannot be identified, said in the investigation that his sister took her own life after becoming addicted to gambling in Crown Melbourne and falling prey to payday lenders.
He blamed the incentives offered by the casino, as well as the fact that no one verified his sister, who gambled up to four nights a week.
He slept in his car, he said, after selling his house to fuel the addiction, as well as stealing from his own family, including his sister’s engagement ring.
“It was not about people going to a place with friends and having drinks and having fun,” the man told the investigation.
“This is someone… almost night after night… looking very dejected on her own. I just feel like it’s toxic, it’s dangerous.
“Incentives can destroy a life.”
The royal commission was established by the Andrews Labor government after an investigation by New South Wales determined that Crown was unfit to operate its newly built casino in Sydney’s Barangaroo.
Public hearings continue on Thursday.