#AceNewsReport – Feb.10: In it, Commissioner Patricia Bergin — a former chief judge in the NSW Supreme Court — said the company needed to make sweeping cultural changes if it wanted to be considered a suitable operator in the future:
‘Crown Resorts not suitable to operate Sydney casino, inquiry finds and a final report from the Crown probe, commissioned by NSW’s Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA), was tabled in State Parliament Tuesday afternoon’
updated 8h ago
In a statement, Crown said it was considering the findings in the report and will work with ILGA and the State Government “in relation to the findings and recommendations”.
It effectively means the casino component of Crown’s new $2.2 billion skyscraper on Sydney Harbour will almost certainly be blocked from opening without changes by Crown, however, Commissioner Bergin’s recommendations must still be officially adopted by the ILGA: A hotel, and several restaurants in the tower have already opened:
The report comes after a year-long inquiry ordered by the gaming regulator into systemic issues at Crown’s existing casinos in Melbourne and Perth, to examine whether the company was fit to hold the gambling licence for the new facility: The hearings were told about incidents of money laundering and links to international criminal syndicates through Crown’s relationship with private junket operators who sourced the company’s VIP clients from overseas.
The inquiry also investigated whether Crown broke any of its regulatory arrangements when former executive chairman James Packer sold a portion of his shares to Hong Kong based gaming giant Melco Resorts: It also probed Mr Packer’s involvement in the company after stepping down from the top job: It was told his company Consolidated Press Holdings was given regular business updates about Crown’s affairs and that Mr Packer acted as a “de facto director” even after leaving company:
Allegations of criminality within the casino’s operations were first raised publicly by an ABC Four Corners investigation in 2014 and again by Fairfax investigations five years later:
The report decried Crown’s “corporate arrogance”.
“One of the difficulties for Crown was its unjustified belief in itself and its unwillingness to entertain the prospect that there was any force in any of the Media Allegations,” the report read.
The “core problems” which made Crown unsuitable, the report said, were the operator’s “poor corporate governance” and “deficient risk-management structures”.
The Commissioner noted the operator recognised a need for cultural change and that it has identified matters requiring “urgent attention and rectification”.How Crown was brought to its kneesDamning evidence was presented at a public inquiry into Crown’s operations. Is this a new era of accountability for the gaming sector?Read more
The report made 19 recommendations, including several changes to the Casino Control Act aimed specifically at addressing money laundering activities which were uncovered during the inquiry.
One of the key recommendations was the establishment of the Independent Casino Commission (ICC) to operate as an independent oversight body, with powers of a standing Royal Commission, to regulate the gaming sector.
The ICC would ultimately be responsible for licensing decisions and disciplinary actions taken against licensees.
Other key suggestions to put forward in the report included forbidding NSW casino operators from dealing with junket operators, persons who bring high-rollers or VIPs from abroad.
Politicians considering report’s findings
NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the State Government welcomed the report, but would be considering the recommendations “very carefully” before providing a formal response.
Independent NSW MP Justin Field said the Bergin report demonstrated that Crown’s Barangaroo licence “should be torn up”.
“What’s absolutely clear is there is no way this casino can be allowed to be opened in February,” Mr Field said.
The findings have major implications for Crown’s flagship casino in Melbourne — the company holds the only licence in Victoria.
For years the Victorian Commission for Gambling & Liquor Regulation was criticised for not pursuing complaints against Crown in Melbourne.
The Victorian Government said it would be considering the findings of the Bergin inquiry over the coming days.
It has already bought forward the five-yearly review of the casino’s licence, and is appointing an independent commissioner to oversee the probe.
#AceNewsDesk report ……..Published: Feb.10: 2021:
Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com