Crown Resorts Under Fire as Investigations Continue
After the recent Sydney ruling, Crown Resorts is now being reviewed in Perth and Victoria.
Crown Resorts seems to be continually in hot water due to years of unseemly allegations, including money laundering and other criminal activity. A recent investigation in New South Wales resulted in the company losing its Sydney casino license, after opening a new gaming property. Now, the company is under investigation regarding its Perth Casino and Crown Melbourne. Gaming regulators are not ready to give Crown the benefit of the doubt after many wrongdoings came to light in the Bergin inquiry.
The Gaming and Wagering Commission (GWC) has asked for a public inquiry into the Crown Perth Casino. The goal is to determine if the company is suitable to be licensed in the jurisdiction. Officials want to be sure that the operator is offering services in a correct manner, following all protocols and regulations.
In the Bergin inquiry of New South Wales, it was revealed that infractions such as money laundering took place within facilities of Crown Resorts. The Melbourne and Perth casinos were part of these infractions as the actions took place in these venues.
Patrician Bergin, the inquiry chair for NSW, said that Crown was conducting money laundering as well as exposing staff members to detention risk in a foreign region, along with pursuing relationships with individuals connected to organized crime groups like the Triad.
For the Crown Perth, it was found that junket operators were linked to crime organizations and were connected to the casino as well. Bank accounts used by the Crown for deposits involving VIP members at the Perth casino were found to be used by gangs to launder funds.
The inquiry actually found that one account was connected to a shell corporation that was used to move hundreds of millions through Perth. The result of the investigation has also led to individuals resigning from positions of power. Just a few days ago, Michael Connolly, the chief casino officer for the GWC resigned. It has been alleged that he is too ‘friendly’ with management at the Crown Perth.
Victoria officials are also ready to investigate Crown Resorts and its suitability for operating the Crown Melbourne casino. This casino is the company’s largest holding in the industry and has operated in this location since 1997.
A royal commission will be established to determine the best way to access information involving the suitability of the company to hold a casino license, based on the powers of the commission to complete witnesses and documentation, according to Daniel Andrews, the Victorian Premier.
Crown Resorts has responded to the inquiry, stating that residents should rest assured that the company recognizes its responsibility and will fully cooperate with the Royal Commission.
Changes have already been made within the corporate structure of Crown Resorts to try and appease regulators. While the Sydney license is currently lost to the company, they are hopeful that with the corporate changes and additional restricting will allow them to regain licensing for the venue.
Over the past few weeks, several officials of Crown Resorts have resigned from the company. The most notable resignation was Ken Barton, the CEO Of the company. Barton left and was replaced by Helen Coonan, for the time being. The board of the company is now looking for a permanent CEO, with Coonan only holding the role temporarily.
According to Coonan, she feels the leadership changes within the company and the new business model will help the company to be able to retain its casino gaming license in Sydney in the future. Thus far, the Commission has recommended changes that are within the control of the company and are already part of the reform process.