Wayne Carey's casino controversy has continued to bite the former North Melbourne star, with the 51-year-old not returning to the Triple M commentary box next season.
Carey took a temporary leave of absence from his various media commitments when it was revealed he had been asked to leave Crown Perth after a bag of white powder fell from his pocket onto a gaming table.
The AFL legend has since engaged the services of Josh Bornstein of Maurice Blackburn lawyers to investigate the possibility of a discrimination action against Crown.
Maintaining throughout that the bag in question contained anti-inflammatory medication that had been crushed into a powder, Carey said casino security had declined to confiscate the bag when he offered it to them.
Western Australia Police have launched an investigation, and have since been critical of Crown staff for not contacting them when the bag was initially discovered.
Meanwhile, Carey's contract with Triple M has come to an end, according to The Age, and will not be extended for 2023.
“On behalf of Triple M we would like to thank Wayne for his services to our football commentary team, and we wish him the best for the future,” Southern Cross Radio’s chief content officer Dave Cameron said via a statement.
Bornstein, acting on behalf of Carey, said they were looking at whether or not casino staff had taken Carey's long-term pain from a shoulder injury into account before ejecting him.
The actions of casino staff will be central to a potential disability discrimination claim.
“Wayne Carey has retained leading workplace lawyer Josh Bornstein from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers to investigate a possible disability discrimination claim against Perth’s Crown Casino after the AFL great was required to leave Crown’s premises last Thursday night,” the firm's statement read.
“Mr Carey was ejected after Casino authorities saw a bag containing a white substance and despite Mr Carey’s denial made an incorrect assumption that the bag contained an illegal drug.
“Mr Carey is prescribed anti-inflammatories and pain-killing medicine to help manage the significant pain caused by debilitating football injuries – including a shoulder that needs replacing and a neck injury that requires three discs to be replaced.
“Mr Carey is distressed that the casino actions have led to media attention leaving the public to also wrongly assume the bag contained an illegal drug. He has also indicated that he would welcome a police investigation.”
Wayne Carey banned from Perth casino for two years
Carey has been issued with a 'withdrawal of license' notice, preventing him from entering any Crown properties in WA or elsewhere in Australia, meaning he will be unable to attend events such as the AFL's Brownlow Medal night, held at Crown in Melbourne.
The ban will remain in place for two years, while Carey has also stood himself down from his duties as a commentator for Channel 7.
Admitting the incident was a 'bad look', Carey insisted he had done nothing wrong.
“It was not an illegal substance. It was offered to security. Security didn’t take it,” Carey said.
“They just said it’s not a great look. I understood that, and we left without incident.”
While the WA Police have launched an investigation, Commissioner Col Blanch earlier admitted earlier that it would be 'difficult' to determine if the substance was illegal since it was not confiscated by Crown.
“We’ll make an assessment from [the CCTV] but, obviously, we’re on the back foot from the beginning because we didn’t have the initial complaint at the time it occurred, which would have been my preference,” he told Perth radio station 6PR.
“I can’t speak directly to the decisions made at the time that occurred, but if there was any suspicion by any person that there were drugs possessed or drugs obtained or was in the possession of authorities down at Crown, I would have expected a phone call to police to manage that matter.
“We can still speak to witnesses, we can collect CCTV footage, we can perhaps interview Wayne Carey himself if the investigation leads in that direction.
“But again ... it will be very difficult without the substance itself to prove whether it was an illicit substance or otherwise.”
Via a spokesperson, Crown maintained casino staff had 'acted in accordance with our standard procedures' and said they would cooperate fully with WA Police, including handing over any necessary CCTV footage.
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