The Western Australia royal commission looking into Crown Resorts Limited has reportedly found the casino operator unfit to hold a local gambling license due to the possibility that it may have been complicit in instances of money laundering.
According to a report from the Australian Associated Press news service published by The Guardian newspaper, this investigative exercise was launched in April following the completion of an analogous New South Wales examination concerning the company’s new Crown Sydney development. The earlier probe ultimately ruled that the Australian firm should not be allowed to bring a casino to the $1.5 billion Sydney property owing to the prospect that it could have facilitated money laundering via its past use of foreign junket firms.
Crown Resorts Limited is responsible for Western Australia’s 1,196-room Crown Perth development and was reportedly also criticized for not implementing effective anti-money laundering systems. This damning verdict was purportedly issued only a few months after an official Victoria probe found the operator similarly wanting with regards to its flagship Crown Melbourne facility.
The Western Australia royal commission reportedly featured former state supreme court justices Neville Owen and Lindy Jenkins as well as the jurisdiction’s past auditor general, Colin Murphy, and moreover determined that Crown Resorts Limited had not adequately implemented systems to detect suspicious financial transactions. The Melbourne-headquartered firm was purportedly furthermore chastised for allowing foreign junkets potentially possessing criminal links to operate within its Crown Perth facility.
The three-member royal commission reportedly went on to disclose that Crown Resorts Limited had additionally failed to minimize gambling-related harms and had not been open and accountable in its communications with the state’s Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia regulator. The body purportedly likewise cited this watchdog and the state’s Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Department for ‘numerous deficiencies’ in the way in which they had exercised their oversight duties.
However, rather than completely revoking Crown Resorts Limited’s casino license for the Crown Perth venue, the royal commission reportedly recommended that the operator and its subsidiaries undergo remediation under the supervision of an independent monitor, which a process that could last for up to two years.
The Racing and Gaming Minister for Western Australia, Tony Buti, accepted the royal commission’s finding and noted that he intended to initiate a wide-ranging overhaul of the state’s casino laws. The Labor Party politician purportedly proclaimed that the exercise showed how ‘standards have eroded’ over the past few decades to diminish Crown Resorts Limited’s ‘transparency’ and ‘integrity.’
Reportedly read a statement from 60-year-old Buti…
“It is a privilege to hold a gambling licence in Western Australia and the royal commission has shown that Crown Resorts Limited has, at times, abused that privilege. Crown Resorts Limited needs to do better but the state’s regulator also needs to do better.”