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Accused Crime Boss Bets Up Big

8 September 2004

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by the Australian: "Alleged crime figure Mario Condello is on a secret list of Crown casino's biggest gamblers - punting at least $7.5 million a year.

"Mr Condello is one of 229 Mahogany Room gamblers on an exclusive membership list obtained in a Herald Sun INSIGHT investigation.

"The accused underworld figure is in jail charged with ordering the attempted execution of alleged gangland rival Carl Williams.

"It emerged last night that Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon has banned the Brighton millionaire from entering the casino.

"The identities of the elite casino's 'Premium Club' members are a closely guarded secret. The group turns over billions of dollars every year playing blackjack, baccarat and roulette. 'These are seriously rich people . . . they live it up and we make sure we look after them,' a casino insider said.

"Casino spokesman Gary O'Neill last night said... "...' on all occasions where the police direct us to exclude people from the casino, we will do that.'

"...Casino staff described Mr Condello as friendly and popular member of Crown's high-roller family. "He always stopped to say G'day . . . he's a nice bloke," one worker said..."

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