Crown Perth found unsuitable to hold casino licence

By Ethan Anderson Updated
Crown Perth found unsuitable to hold casino licence

Crown Resorts has been found unsuitable to run a casino in Western Australia.

The Guardian reports that despite the finding by the Perth Casino Royal Commission, the embattled casino operator will retain its licence and remain open, but it will be given two years to clean up its act under independent monitoring.

The finding is contained in the final report by a royal commission into the casino, released on March 24.

The three commissioners – former supreme court justices Neville Owen and Lindy Jenkins and former WA auditor general Colin Murphy – found Crown Resorts and its subsidiaries facilitating money laundering at the casino.

They found Crown had failed to implement systems to detect suspicious transactions and permitted junkets with criminal links to operate at the casino.

Crown also failed to minimise gambling-related harm, the commissioners said, and was not open and accountable in its communications with the state regulator.

The report, containing 59 recommendations, also found there had been “numerous deficiencies” in the oversight of the casino by WA’s gaming and wagering commission and Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

Independent monitor to oversee Crown Perth

Crown and its subsidiaries will undergo remediation supervised by an independent monitor, with the process expected to take about two years.

It follows similar findings in NSW and Victoria.

WA’s racing and gaming minister, Tony Buti, said the government had accepted the key recommendations and would overhaul the state’s casino laws.

“It is clear that over decades, standards have eroded, integrity has been lost and the transparency of Western Australia’s casino operator has diminished,” Buti told reporters.

“In many cases, Crown has demonstrated poor corporate citizenship.

“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.

“Crown needs to do better but the state’s regulator also needs to do better.”

But it defended the decision not to revoke Crown’s licence, saying the government would not jeopardise the employment of about 5,000 staff at the Burswood complex.

Crown chief executive, Steven McCann, said the company would work with the state government to implement the recommendations.

He said Crown had undergone significant transformation.

“This includes investment in people, systems, processes, culture and a sharp focus on responsible gaming and the prevention of financial crime,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

Patrons at Perth Casino could see changes soon

Gamblers at Perth’s Crown Casino could see changes to the way they gamble.

The Perth Casino Royal Commission made 59 recommendations aimed at both Crown, the regulator and the government.

These included capping the time and money patrons can spend on electronic gaming machines.

Another was to require members of the casino’s exclusive Pearl Room gambling club to prove the casino they can pay for the expected losses they will incur there.

The report also found the state’s gaming regulator, the Gaming and Wagering Commission, failed casino patrons and recommended it be better resourced and more independent of its parent department.

“The government accepts the need to overhaul the regulator legislation including increased powers and penalties and to improve the Gaming and Wagering Commission’s resources,” Buti said.

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