According to an inquiry assisting the Royal Commission into Crown Melbourne, Crown Resorts has been declared “unsuitable to keep its casino licence” due to violations of Victoria’s Casino Control Act.
Adrian Finanzio SC, Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission, raised concerns about anti-money laundering controls, responsible gaming, tax payments, and compliance.
Furthermore, Finanzio requested that Helen Coonan, Crown Resorts’ executive chair, and Xavier Walsh, Crown Melbourne’s CEO, be declared “unsuitable to be Crown Melbourne employees.”
What was said
Finanzio stated: “The misconduct that has given rise to the loss of confidence and trust is at the most serious end of the spectrum, including systemic and repeated failings as an AML/CTF reporting entity, a provider of responsible gaming, a casino that guards against organised crime influences at the casino, a taxpayer, an employer who failed to prioritise employee safety and a regulated entity who was more concerned with the risk of getting caught than compliance.
“These are all matters which weigh heavily in favour of a finding that public interest be better served by not having this licensee. There was at all times in our submission a systemic failure in Crown’s approach, placing it in continuous breach of its code.
“These RSG (responsible service of gambling) failings have had a significant impact on the community. The evidence revealed that gambling at the casino has resulted in financial hardship, criminal activity, forced prostitution and in some cases even suicide. They together underscore, along with the legislative requirement to do this properly, the importance of the issue.
“In addition, the evidence established a number of serious breaches of Section 68 (concerning the issuance of credit). The breaches are serious because they are obvious violations of the provisions. Crown has failed woefully to adequately address the key risk of money laundering at the casino.
“At present, Crown is not at a level of readiness to combat money laundering at a level that is to be expected of the operator of a casino as sophisticated as Crown. It is, according to its own evidence, at only an early stage of maturity. These are all factors which weigh heavily against suitability.”