Wayne Carey facing further setback after WA casino scandal

Wayne Carey is pictured working commentary during an AFL game.
Wayne Carey may not return to the Channel 7 commentary box, with the broadcaster reportedly deciding against renewing his contract. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Wayne Carey is at risk of losing his spot as a commentator for Channel 7 in the wake of his 'white powder' controversy at a Perth casino earlier this month.

The North Melbourne great has engaged lawyers to investigate the possibility of launching legal action against Crown for discrimination, after he was asked to leave by security upon the discovery of a bag which contained a white powder Carey maintains was crushed up anti-inflammatory medicine.

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Though the 51-year-old concedes it was a 'bad look', he was nevertheless stood down from commentary duties at both Triple M and Channel 7.

It was announced last week that Carey's contract with Triple M would not be extended beyond 2022, and further reports have since emerged that a similar fate awaits him at Channel 7.

Media outlet TV Blackbox reported Channel 7 had come to a decision against extending his contract beyond this year, having already elected to replace Carey with Daisy Pearce as lead special commentator on their Friday night broadcasts.

Channel 7 have publicly stated they are awaiting the outcome of a WA Police investigation into the incident before making a decision on Carey's future.

It is unknown how long that investigation will take, with WA Police commissioner Col Blanche having admitted it would be 'difficult' to determine if the substance was illegal since it was not confiscated by Crown.

Carey maintains he offered the bag to casino security after it fell from his pocket onto a gaming table, but staff refused to take it before he was subsequently asked to leave.

“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,” Blanche told Perth radio station 6PR in the days after the story broke.

“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.”

Wayne Carey engages lawyers after casino furore

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.

Earlier it was revealed by The Age that Carey's contract with Triple M has come to an end, 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.

Carey has engaged the services of Josh Bornstein of Maurice Blackburn lawyers to investigate the possibility of a discrimination action against Crown.

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 will not return to the Triple M commentary box next AFL season, after the station opted not to renew his contract. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Wayne Carey will not return to the Triple M commentary box next AFL season, after the station opted not to renew his contract. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“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.”

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