Crown Resorts, the biggest operator of land-based casinos in Australia, is facing tough times in Victoria as the counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Crown Melbourne has asked the Commissioner to find the company unsuitable to retain its casino license in the state.
Adrian Finanzio, the counsel assisting the commission that is investigating the operator, provided the Royal Commission his final submissions after two months of hearings. The counsel revealed that the evidence shows Crown Resorts should at best have its casino license suspended but it could also be cancelled altogether due to systemic problems when it comes to money laundering controls, responsible gambling, tax payments and compliance.
The submission also found Helen Coonan, the Executive Chair of Crown Resorts, and Xavier Walsh, the Chief Executive Officer of Crown Melbourne, not suitable to be associates of Crown Melbourne.
The Victorian Royal Commission was formed in February 2021, following the conclusion of a similar inquiry in New South Wales and the release of the now famous “Bergin Report”, which led to the suspension of Crown’s license to operate Crown Sydney. The company is also under investigation in Western Australia.
The “Bergin Report” revealed that the company had been infiltrated by criminal entities to launder money and that it engaged in significant tax avoidance, while failing to implement adequate problem gambling controls.