Crown Resorts has been deemed unfit to operate a casino in Western Australia and has been given two years to get its affairs in order under the watchful eye of an independent monitor.
This finding and recommendation can be found in the final report recently issued by the royal commission appointed to investigate allegations of wrongdoing at the Perth casino.
Former Supreme Court justices, Neville Owen and Lindy Jenkins, and former WA auditor-general Colin Murphy are the three commissioners who were tasked with conducting the inquest who found that Crown Resorts and its subsidiaries enabled money laundering activities at the casino.
They detailed that Crown had not implemented systems to identify suspicious transactions and how junkets with criminal ties had been allowed to freely operate at the property.
The report also revealed that Crown had failed to employ gambling-related harm minimisation measures and that it had not displayed transparency in its communications when dealing with the state regulator.
Apart from the findings, 59 recommendations were put forward with the revelation that there were “numerous deficiencies” in the WA’s gaming and wagering commission and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ oversight of the casino.
Remediation will follow for Crown and its subsidiaries and this process will be managed by an independent monitor over two years.
WA’s racing and gaming minister, Tony Buti, shared that the government is happy with the key recommendations and would amend the state’s casino laws accordingly.
In an interview with reporters, Buti said,
“It is clear that over decades, standards have eroded, integrity has been lost and the transparency of Western Australia’s casino operator has diminished. 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,” he added.
Buti went on to defend the decision to allow Crown to keep its licence, explaining that the government is prioritising the employment of the close to 5000 staff at Crown Perth.
Crown’s CEO, Steve McCann, stated that said the company would cooperate with the state government to put the recommendations into practice and added that the company has already embarked on a profound transformation process.
“This includes investment in people, systems, processes, culture and a sharp focus on responsible gaming and the prevention of financial crime. 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,” he said in a statement.