Crown Resorts’ Fitness to Run Perth Casino Will Be Investigated
(Bloomberg) -- An independent inquiry will assess Crown Resorts Ltd.’s suitability to run its Perth casino, after a separate regulatory investigation found the company allowed money laundering to take place at its Australian sites for at least five years.
The Royal Commission will also examine the state’s regulatory framework including any actual or perceived conflicts of interest, Paul Papalia, minister for racing and gaming in the Western Australia state government, said Friday. Three Commissioners will conduct the inquiry, which will report its interim findings in June and a final report in November, Papalia said.
Crown, whose biggest shareholder is billionaire James Packer, now faces Royal Commissions across its Australian gaming business after last month’s announcement of a probe into the company’s flagship Melbourne casino.
Neville Owen, a former Supreme Court Judge, will lead the investigation.
|For more on Crown’s crisis:|
|Crown Faces Probe Into Fitness to Run Melbourne Casino|
|Crown CEO Ken Barton Quits After Scathing Casino Report|
|Packer’s Casino Dream Dashed as Crown Seen Unfit for License|
The inquiries in Melbourne and Perth follow a damming report in February by former judge Patricia Bergin for the casino regulator in New South Wales state. Asked to assess Crown’s fitness to run a new A$2.2 billion ($1.7 billion) Sydney casino, Bergin found that the company had facilitated money laundering and needed to overhaul its management, governance and culture.
Bergin’s report led to the resignation of Crown Chief Executive Officer Ken Barton and five other board members, including Packer’s nominated directors.
Executive Chairman Helen Coonan is currently leading the company.
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