Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gatto, Williams hit with casino, racetrack ban, by Michael Warner - Herald Sun - 27th June 2008

* Gangsters, thugs, dealers banned from casino
* They've also been blacklisted from racetracks
* Gatto and Williams among those banned

A ROGUES' gallery of gangsters, thugs, drug dealers and loan sharks is among a secret group of Victorians banned from Crown casino and 67 racetracks.

The Herald Sun can reveal 33 "undesirables" have been slapped with lifetime bans by police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon.

But in a challenge to her powers, at least two have vowed to fight the bans in the Supreme Court.

Those banned include underworld identity Mick Gatto, alleged Carlton Crew associate Steve Kaya and gangland figure Michael "Eyes" Pastras.

Jailed gangland figure Carl Williams is also blacklisted along with his father George.

Others include convicted money launderer Fadi Sarkis, high-roller Rob Karam and Leanne Allmark, a pathological gambler who stole $1 million to feed a casino pokies addiction.

Photographs have been circulated to police, casino surveillance officers and racing stewards.

Those banned cannot set foot within Melbourne's Southbank casino complex, including restaurants, or any Victorian racetrack.

But the Herald Sun cannot reveal the identity of all 33 individuals because of court proceedings.

The group includes notorious bikies, members of powerful Asian crime gangs and loan sharks caught preying on desperate punters.

Eight of the 33 are women.

The oldest on the list is a grandfather in his 80s.

Section 74 of the Casino Control Act (1991) allows Ms Nixon to "prohibit a person from entering or remaining in a casino".

Most of the bans extend to Victoria's 67 thoroughbred, harness and greyhound tracks, including Flemington, Caulfield and Moonee Valley.

Crown has been a favourite haunt of some of Melbourne's most notorious underworld figures.

Slain Carlton Crew figure Mario Condello was one of the first to be banned. He once pulled a 30cm knife on a fellow gambler in the Mahogany Room toilets, demanding he hand over cash. (Credit: