Recently, Crown Resorts has been found unfit to run their Perth establishment. This follows the findings of money laundering which took place at the Western Australia casino. The royal commission headed the investigation, and the findings are astounding. Unlike online New Zealand Casinos, land based casinos can pose an easy front for the criminal market, just as was the case of the Macau junket mogul arrest recently.
The investigation was headed up by former supreme justices Neville Owen and Lindy Jenkins, as well as former Western Australia auditor-general Colin Murphy. The group established that Crown Resorts – as well as its subsidiaries – had been turning a blind eye to money laundering taking place in their establishment.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that the Crown had failed to implement the necessary systems to detect chary behaviour. This developed into the establishment of untoward junkets being allowed to operate at the casino.
Furthermore, the Crown was purposefully ambiguous when disclosing information with the state regulator. All in all, there were a total of 59 recommendations found in the report. There were also numerous deficiencies in oversight pointed out by the report.
Perhaps most disturbing of all was the fact that similar reports were issued on two other Crown establishments. The Crown NSW and the Crown Victoria were said to hold similar findings when investigated.
Tony Buti, racing and gaming minister of WA, weighed in,
"It is clear that over decades, standards have eroded, integrity has been lost and the transparency of Western Australia’s casino operator has diminished,"
But what does this mean for the Crown Resorts group?
As a result of the report, the Crown has been ruled unsuitable to run a land-based casino within the WA area. So surely, this means closure, right? Not exactly.
Buti felt compelled to protect the 5000 odd employees of the Crown group WA. However, this does not suggest that he is condoning what the casino has done.
"It is a privilege to hold a gambling licence in Western Australia and the royal commission has shown that Crown has, at times, abused that privilege,” said Buti. “Crown needs to do better but the state’s regulator also needs to do better."
The Crown and all its subsidiaries will need to undergo immediate remediation. This will be overseen by an independent supervisor. The establishment has been granted a two-year period over which they need to correct all indiscretions found by the report.
The Crown group CEO, Steve McCann, welcomed the report. He expressed willingness to work closely with the government to ensure all of the 59 recommendations are met over the next two years.
In a statement released to the press, McCann share
"Crown remains committed to continuous improvement across all facets of the business and is prioritising the delivery of safe and responsible gaming across all of our resorts, including Crown Perth."
Only time will tell whether the Crown stays true to their word.