Damning findings against Crown


By David Schout

Crown Resorts has been found unsuitable to hold the licence of its new Sydney casino in a bombshell revelation that could have ramifications for its flagship Southbank casino.

An independent NSW inquiry into the licence, headed by former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin, found that widespread changes were required for it to be a suitable operator in the future.

The 800-page final report considered evidence of systemic issues at Crown’s Melbourne casino, which included allegations of money laundering and links to organised crime.

The damning revelations put further pressure on the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation’s (VCGLR) upcoming review of Crown Melbourne.

Late last year the state government announced it had brought forward the review from 2023 to 2021 as a result of findings interstate.

“This review is needed given the evidence we’ve seen come out of the NSW inquiry,” Gaming Minister Melissa Horne said in December.

“We’re making sure Crown Melbourne conducts its business in a transparent and appropriate manner.”

The now significant pressure on the regulatory body and state government comes after it took an interstate inquiry to find damning evidence of actions that took place at the Melbourne casino.

Activist shareholder Stephen Mayne, an outspoken critic of the gambling industry, told Southbank News in November that the VCGLR had a “history of being particularly tame”.

Commissioner Bergin’s recommendations were due to be considered by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority later this month•

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