In Western Australia and the royal commission investigating whether casino operator Crown Resorts Limited is suitability to hold a gambling license for its Crown Perth venue has reportedly begun hearing introductory evidence.

According to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the official examination being chaired by former Western Australia Supreme Court Judge Neville Owen was initiated after an analogous 2020 probe in New South Wales determined that the casino firm was not fit to hold a gambling license for its new Crown Sydney development. The broadcaster detailed that this finding was arrived at after the operator was adjudged to have been potentially complicit in a slew of money laundering offenses tied to its use of foreign junket firms.

Considerable consequences:

The three-member Western Australia commission will reportedly be obliged to release its interim findings before the end of June in advance of publishing its definitive conclusions on November 14. The inquiry purportedly costing approximately $4 million to complete is to make an official recommendation on whether Crown Resorts Limited should be entitled to keep its casino license from the state’s Gaming and Wagering Commission regulator for its 1,196-room Crown Perth development.

Broader brief:

However, the probe, which moreover features past Western Australia Supreme Court Judge Lindy Jenkins and the state’s former Auditor General, Colin Murphy, reportedly opened proceedings earlier today by explaining that it also intends to look into the wider regulatory framework concerning casinos. As such and Owen purportedly disclosed that his inquiry will seek to work collaboratively, where possible, with those behind the earlier New South Wales examination and the teams currently conducting a pair of analogous reviews in Victoria.

Forceful focus:

The Australian news and entertainment domain at used its own report on the matter to clarify that the Western Australia action intends to look into whether the Gaming and Wagering Commission is being properly supported by the relevant government departments. Owen purportedly earlier pronounced that his examination additionally intends to shine a light onto ‘grave matters of both private and public interest’ such as whether Crown Resorts Limited is socially responsible or what ‘remedial measures’ could be instituted should it be found unsuitable for a license.

Owen reportedly stated…

We have serious matters to consider and we do so with an open mind. We will of course reach our own decisions on the matters before us on the evidence that is presented to us. However, we believe the public would expect us to give due regard to conclusions reached by other properly constituted inquiries into the same or similar issues.”