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Australian Prohibition by Alfred McCoy - page 2

The 1970s: SP

The remarkable change in the character of organized crime from the crude tactics of the 1950s to the syndicated operations of the 1970s is aptly illustrated in the reported rise of George David Freeman as Sydney’s largest SP bookmaker. SP bookmaking has come under increasing organized crime control during the… Keep Reading

Moffitt and the Milieu

After almost a decade in the headlines, Abraham Saffron’s name disappeared from the newspapers until his 1973 appearance before the Moffitt Royal Commission into Organized Crime. Commission investigators pursued two lines of inquiry into Saffron’s alleged activities, one obvious and the other rather curious — his associations with Sydney’s controversial… Keep Reading

The Moffitt Royal Commission

Initially appointed for only two months, the Moffitt Royal Commission into Organized Crime broadened its terms of reference and eventually sat for seven months in 1973-4. After questioning almost all of the relevant witnesses and compiling nearly two thousand pages of tightly printed transcript, Mr Justice Moffitt produced no indictable… Keep Reading

The Road to Moffitt

After the Sydney syndicates consolidated their hold over organized crime in New South Wales during the battles of 1967-8, the revolver gave way to the briefcase as the symbolic weapon of the underworld and leading Sydney personalities began to cultivate contacts among the American Mafia. From the late 1960s, regular… Keep Reading

Looting Registered Clubs

Almost simultaneously with the political controversy over illegal casinos, the press and opposition parliamentarians raised allegations that American and Australian organized crime figures had penetrated Sydney’s licensed clubs. The subject of the only Royal Commission authorized during Premier Robert Askin’s decade in office, these charges provoked the first major inquiry… Keep Reading

The Casinos

Perhaps the most obvious evidence of the new standard of political morality was the sudden opening of a network of lavish, Las Vegas-style gambling casinos across Sydney in the 1960s. Unlike the spartan environment of the two-up and baccarat schools, the new casinos invested heavily in expensive assets that could… Keep Reading

The 1970s: Overview

Involving only relatively minor criminal figures, the 1974 violence represented a bit of underworld housekeeping aimed at the elimination of one particularly unruly figure who refused to subordinate himself to syndicate discipline; the young John Stuart Regan. A standover collector known for his near-pathological violence, Regan, twenty-nine, was an independent… Keep Reading

The 1960s: the killings

Although reported at the time in the sensational style of the city’s tabloids, Sydney’s gang wars of 1967-8 have since been almost completely ignored by various Royal Commissions and Parliamentary committees established during the 1970s to analyze organized crime in New South Wales. Characteristic of the police and government view… Keep Reading

The 1960s: Overview

The survival of the SP bookmaking business despite the establishment of the TAB was but one element in the rapid expansion of organized crime activity in New South Wales during the decade following the election of a State Liberal-Country Party coalition government in 1965. Symptomatic of a major change in… Keep Reading

The 1960s: the SP

In response to the mounting policial controversy, the N.S.W. Labor government established a Royal Commission under Judge Kinsella in 1962. Abandoning its longtime opposition to any radical change in the betting laws, the AJC had earlier advocated legalization of off-track betting to tax the illegal SP business whose turnover it… Keep Reading

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