Licence review hearing uncovers Crown (ASX:CWN)'s legal blunders

Company News

by Michael Luu

Casino giant Crown Resort (ASX:CWN)’s legal blunders continued to unravel, as the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation (VCLGR) entered the second day of the hearing to review the besieged gambling company’s suitability to hold a Victorian gaming licence.

The casino watchdog condemned Crown’s hostile media response to a journalistic investigation that exposed the company’s involvement with money laundering and criminal infiltration in its gaming operations.

The gambling regulator also referenced a instance where Crown allegedly refused to cooperate with the VCLGR and threaten to liaise with Victoria’s gaming minister to fend off recommended measures to prevent criminal access to Crown’s casino facilities. The authority’s licensing manager Jason Cremona alleged that Crown’s legal officer “pretty aggressively” confronted him about the recommendation.

The VCLGR also addressed Crown’s “unnecessarily belligerent” attitude obstructed and delayed the authority’s report on the company’s nineteen arrested marketing staff in China. The report stated that Crown’s executives failed to notify these employees of the legal risks and implement adequate protection measures in a timely manner.

The inquiry highlighted that Crown’s executives were aware of the detainment of Australian and Chinese marketing staff for illegally promoting gambling in China, which currently has a ban on all gambling activities. However, the James Packer-backed entertainment giant did not immediately act on the acquired information.

The report commented “Unfortunately for the Crown staff who were arrested, convicted and sentenced in China, these opportunities were missed and never acted upon”.

Shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) were trading 0.5 per cent lower at 13.09 at 3.53pm.