Crown Sydney boss Peter Crinis steps down

By William Brown Updated
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Peter Crinis is the latest high ranking Crown Resorts executive to set down amid ongoing regulatory pressures faced by the company.

The Greek Herald reports that Crinis was just six months into the role as chief of Crown Sydney and wraps up more than 20 years with the company in December.

Staff at the Barangaroo site were informed of Peter Crinis’ intention to depart in mid-July, after it was revealed he was making contingency plans.

He’s the latest in a series of casualties who’ve headed for the exit in recent months, but Crinis walked and wasn’t forced out.

He has also so far escaped being dragged into any of Crown’s several inquiries, with just one mention in the Bergin Report into Crown Sydney, regarding an overseas trip he took with then chairman John Alexander.

Joining Crown Melbourne in 1997, Crinis was the chief operating officer of Crown’s flagship venue for the past 10 years.

In January, he moved to SYdney as chief executive officer of the official non-gaming launch of Crown’s Barangaroo site.

In June 2021, Crinis launched a consulting entity, Anchor Consulting Co.

The departure of Peter Crinis follows other Crown employees in high-profile roles stepping down in recent months.

Staff changes aplenty at Crown dating back to release of Bergin Report

In February 2021, Crown Resorts chief executive Ken Barton and non-executive director Andrew Demetriou resigned amid pressure from gambling regulators in New South Wales and Victoria.

A third director, Harold Mitchell, followed soon after the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation asked him to explain why he was suitable to remain on the board.

“I have always been a team player and supported the greater good,” Demetriou said.

“I will therefore step down from the Crown Resorts board to give Crown the best possible chance of becoming suitable to the NSW regulator,” he said at the time.

Those departures followed the resignation of two more directors linked to major shareholder James Packer and came after Crown’s chair, Helen Coonan, said that further “board renewal” would be part of the company’s plan to make itself suitable to hold a casino licence in Sydney.

In the NSW report, Crown was found to have facilitated money laundering at its existing casinos in Melbourne and Perth, with junket operators bringing in high-roller gamblers from overseas that had links to organised crime.

NSW Commissioner Patricia Bergin slammed Barton and Demetriou in her report, saying the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority would be justified in lacking confidence in them in the future.

However, she set a pathway of reform of that company that could make it suitable to hold the casino licence.

The Victorian regulator said its chief executive met with Coonan and Crown Melbourne chief executive Xavier Walsh in mid-February for a briefing about how the company planned to respond to Bergin’s report.

Myers told Coonan and Walsh that the commission was considering the report and would “determine any appropriate action to take”.

She also told the Crown representatives she would write to Barton and Demetriou and “demand they explain why they remain suitable to be an associate of Crown Melbourne”.

“Under the Victorian Casino Control Act, associates of the casino operator must be of good repute, having regard to character, honesty and integrity,” VCGLR said.

“Demanding an explanation is the mandatory first step of our regulatory action.”

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