Crown Casinos have to pay a million AUD fine
It seemed as if would have dealt with the negative headlines regarding Crown Casinos. And it also seemed as if this gambling company could soon open the already built casino in Barangaroo. According to a new report, there is a setback and Crown Casinos has to pay a million AUD fine. The extent to which this penalty will affect Barangaroo cannot be estimated. After all, there are no current violations of the license terms.
Penalty for wrong behavior in the past
The group will not have been happy about this Christmas business, because the penalty was announced shortly before Christmas. The incidents to which the penalty relates took place inyears 2015 and 2016. At that time, the group was still working with junket operators who lured wealthy customers to Crown's casinos. Allegedly, the managing directors or CEO of Crown at the time knew nothing about it. However, in the course of the investigation it became clear that both the cooperation and the behavior of the players were known at the top business level.
Collaboration with junket operators is generally not prohibited. In the present case, however, there were several companies with which Crown was not allowed to work due to the license conditions. At the very least, Crown Casinos should have reported thecollaboration to the appropriate regulator. That didn't happen either. Apparently, it was much worse that Crown Casinos was asked by the authority to end the cooperation. That was not followed either. At least the collaboration didn't end immediately.
For this reason, theVictoria Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation has imposed thecurrent maximum penalty. Sie beträgt umgerechnet mehr als 600.000 Euro. Im Grunde genommen kann sich der Glücksspielkonzern darüber noch freuen, denn in Zukunft darf die Behörde sogar Strafen bis zu 100 Millionen AUD verhängen.
Junket operators belonged to criminal organizations
There is a good reason why the penalty is so high in the first place. The junket operators that Crown Casinos worked with were criminal syndicates. The result came fromfrom years of investigation. This made it possible for the gambling customers recruited by the junket operators to launder their money through Crown. This offense was also included in the decision on the amount of the penalty. Last but not least, Crown had worked with Suncity.
Suncity's CEO was recently arrested on separate charges of money laundering and offering illegal gambling. This fact may also have led to the fine. It should be noted, however, that the supervisory authority does not name any names with whom Crown Casinos has worked.
Collaboration with junket operators now banned
The investigations into Crown Casinos ran for several years. During this time, the managing director was replaced first, in the hope that this would allow the group to comply with the current license conditions. According to official reports, this also seems to be the case. At least Crown is hoping to finally open the newly builtCasino in Barangaroo. Crown's license for this was revoked when it became clear from the investigation that the suspected money laundering was actually taking place.
Meanwhile, the above-mentioned regulatory authority hascollaboration with junket operators outright banned. This ban applies to the Australian state of Victoria. The situation in the other states was not mentioned in this context.
Fixing the highpenalty may also be intended as a threat to other gambling corporations. Anyone who does not comply with the prevailing license conditions must generally expect a high fine. This has now become clear in the case of Crown. While it may seem belated that Crown Casinos is only now being penalized for past offenses. But that also makes it clear how important it is to consistently comply with the conditions.
Crown could face further punishment
Crown will not be happy about another official report: The investigations are not yet completed. Therefore, it could happen that another penalty is imposed on Crown. This is because Crown operates casinos in other states of Australia. For these,the investigations are still ongoing. It is also unclear to what extent the supervisory authorities responsible there will react and whether there will also be similarly high penalties. The Chair of the Victoria Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation made the following clear in a public statement:
The size of the penalty imposed on Crown reflects the offence. The regulator also expectsall licensed gambling companies to comply. If there are violations, they must also be eliminated immediately. Crown didn't do that. Despite being ordered to stop working with the junket operators, Crown continued to work with them for some time. This also led to the large fine.
No position was taken on the other allegations against Crown. Here both the group and all gambling fans have to be surprised.