Crown Resorts Found Unsuitable for Sydney License
A recent inquiry into the Crown Resorts company has resulted in the loss of its Sydney gaming license.
Although a casino resort has already been created in Sydney, Australia by Crown Resorts, the company will no longer be able to offer gaming. Just a few days ago, an inquiry into the mega gaming company resulted in a ruling that Crown was unsuitable to hold a gaming license in Sydney. The company spent A$2.2bn ($1.7bn) to create the new gaming complex and already started offering hotel stays and shopping at the end of 2020.
Commissioner Patrician Bergin lead the investigation into Crown Resorts, announcing that the license would only be allowed if the company made major reforms. This includes getting rid of its entire executive team. Two directors already quite after findings revealed that money laundering was taking place within the company’s facilities links to organized crime were found.
On top of this result, the company is also facing confrontations from lawmakers in other areas. Some are calling for the Crown Resorts licensing in Perth and Melbourne to be suspended as well. The firm has stopped all trading within the Australian Securities Exchange.
The inquiry into the Crown Resorts was started in New South Wales two years ago after local media reported potential criminal activity at the Crown Melbourne. The reports along with sales of Crown shares to Melco, prompted officials to start the inquiry.
Crown is no stranger to allegations of illegal activity. For many years, the company has been accused of tampering with gaming machines, junket operators providing paid for trips gamblers of Asia as well as money laundering.
In the report, Bergin revealed that Crown casinos had been infiltrated by organized crime agents. During its operations, the company had breached several gambling laws. Bergin says that the Crown was exposing staff members to the risk of detention via foreign jurisdictions as well as facilitating money laundering at its properties.
The company was also found to be pursuing commercial relationships with people who are known to be connected to criminal groups. It is believed that money laundering in Melbourne involved hundreds of thousands of dollars moved through the venue via cooler and shopping bags, exchanged for plaques and chips.
Bergin stated further that the company was warped by the influence of James Packer, the former leader of Crown Resorts. This influence led to a conflict of interest and lax operating regulations.
Responding to the Allegations
Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority stated this week that the Crown needs a lot of change and they are willing to work with the company on reformation. The ILGA said they have a contractual obligation to consult with the company and talk about the issues.
Philip Crawford, the head of the ILGA, commented to reporters in Sydney that a headline read that Crown needed to blow itself up to save itself. According to Crawford, this is pretty close to the mark. The government of New South Wales is now waiting on the recommendations of the regulator before taking any action.
Gladys Berjiklian, the New South Wales Premier, said that anyone who operates a casino must stick to the rules and the law. Which of course, Crown Resorts has not done. They are now paying the consequences for their actions.
The report by Bergin also recommends that a new ad more powerful regulator be established that specifically targets casinos. This way, the regulator can focus heavily on casinos and operators will be unable to complete years of illegal activity without any action taken against them.
We expect more details to be provided in the future by the New South Wales government as well as the ILGA. Crown Resorts may also respond soon as to what they plan to do to move forward.