Crown is not allowed to open a new casino
The accusation for the first time since 2019 was pronounced against the casino giant Crown, this group had to endure numerous investigations. After the company initially rejected all allegations, there are now certain details. This results in Crown's license being revoked.
Crown not allowed to open new casino in Barangaroo
The new casino in Barangaroo is ill-fated. Crown announced in 2012 the opening of a new casino in Barangaroo. The opening was actually not planned for 2021, but for a few years earlier. The reason for the late opening was adelay during construction. The reason was a lawsuit brought by the non-profit organization Millers Point Fund. Now the construction seems to be completed and now the casino is not allowed to open for other reasons.
This time the reason is the investigation Crown has had to deal with for several months. The latest findings led to Crown's license for the new casino being revoked. It is true thata provisional revocation of the license. It's definitely an annoying proposition given the high cost of construction, which is more than $2 million.
For Crown,this decision may not come unexpected. The Australian Gaming Authority announced a year ago that it would review the license issued for the new casino. The fact that the decision was made now is by no means a coincidence.
Crown admits to money laundering
Crown has acted the way everyone responds to allegations: denials and excuses. For this reason, during the investigation, Crown stated that itwas ignorant of criminal activity. However, internal situations should have caused the current management to have doubts.
This is howformer CEO James Packer had business dealings with the Ho family. However, Crown's license terms expressly prohibited such relationships. The reason: Stanley Ho is said to be in contact with criminal syndicates. Despite this, Packer has attempted to sell a not inconsiderable stake in Ho. To this end, he had requested certain documents from the current CEO, Ken Barton. The latter had not thought about this.
All the more surprising that suddenlyCrown's lawyer admits that money laundering was carried out. To do this, Crown used two business customers to whom money was paid. This statement naturally drew attention to the ILGA, whoseCommittee of Inquiry would like to take a closer look at the accounts concerned. It has not yet been revealed where Crown's change of heart came from.
All that seems certain is that the money laundered came from drug deals. Unfortunately, there is a suspicion that the money is based on other criminal activities. Should that really be the case, Crown could face further consequences.
Other companies are involved in the scandal
Of course, the authorities asked themselves how money laundering could have happened at all. One reason lies in the so-called Junket Operator Partners. Thesecompanies recruit rich clients and organize the travel and bring the players to the local casinos.
For Crown, this was already a violation of the law: Australia is not allowed to accept players who come from a country where gambling is prohibited. However, this applies to players from China. In addition, the Junket OperatorSuncity brought criminals into Crown Casinos. And so it happened that criminal money appeared, which should be laundered.
In order for players to be allowed to enter Australia at all, they need a visa. Whether this was issued legally at all is currently being determined. Thus, theAustralian consulate is also suspected of having participated in the criminal activities.
Possible consequences for Crown
Although the immediate measure is already very drastic, Crown could face further measures. A few months ago, Crown promised the investigative committee that it would cooperate fully. In addition,Crown wanted to withdraw the stock sale to Ho if this situation could be the reason for a possible license revocation.
The reason why the third license was revoked now only suggests that either the sale of the shares was not revoked. Alternatively, new findings could have tipped the scales. However, all of these are just guesses.
On the other hand, theRegulatory Admits They Are Disappointed With Crown's Conduct. The authority had expected that Crown would not have opened the new casino of its own accord in view of the new investigation successes. After all, money laundering and high-roller games don't mix.
Crown could still have one hope: The investigations also extend to current and former business customers.It is also examined to what extent the gambling group Melco is reliable. First and foremost, the financial situation of the company should be clarified. If it turns out that the company now has a clean record, it could present itself as a lifeline for Crown. After all, the stock sale was supposed to go to the son of Melco's former CEO. However, only business relationships with Stanley Ho are prohibited.