Crown may have supported money laundering
The Australian-based casino group Crown is again in the headlines. It's still the same scandal that's been going on for a number of years: has Crown supported money laundering in its casinos? In the current investigation, Ken Barton has admitted for the first time that there are security gaps in the group.
Vulnerabilities may have supported money laundering activities
In this week, among other things, the focus was on the managing director of the Crown group. As part of thesesurveys Ken Barton admitted that there were too few controls in the casinos. Further statements about the missing controls were not announced. Only one thing was mentioned by the managing director Ken Barton:The Crown resorts work together with so-called junket operators. These are intermediaries that bring casino players and the casinos together.
And this is exactly where the controls could have been too weak or not at all. TheJunket operator Suncity has in the past frequently referred rich people from China to the Crown Casinos. These people were not always serious businessmen. Allegedly, there were also known criminals among them. If so, this could have far-reaching consequences for the entire Crown group.
Former Crown owner has contacts with criminals
The Crown group has a former owner: James Packer, who still owns the largest portion of Crown shares. As has now been officially announced, James Packer has been in contact with criminals in China for years.The junket operator mentioned above also has contacts with criminal groups. So it was not difficult for the investigators to find a connection. Suncity also works with the illegal Chinese organization The Company. It was thus possible to legally infiltrate these groups of people into Crown's casinos. Money laundering was also carried out there.In the Crown Casinos, for example Melbourne, sometimes millions were played.
Anyone who is honest must also admit that other government agencies could also be to blame: Chinese tourists would have received entry permits without any problems andthe Australian consulate would also have taken care of that that certain controls are circumvented.
In addition, there have been many reports in recent years that blame other politicians. So it could also be that donations from China were distributed among important people. Such an approach is of course also prohibited in Australia.
During his interrogation, the current managing director claimed that he knew nothing about these transactions.He also didn't pry when Packer requested detailed business information for the last few months. The other shareholders were also not informed of Packer's interest. When asked during the general meeting, Barton probably didn't reveal anything either. Whether he actually had no idea or is now playing the clueless is now being determined.
Crown Corporation fails to comply with licensing regulations
If allegations that the junket operator is working with criminals are true, Crown Corporation's license will be at stake. Licensing regulationsIn Australian casinos, no player may be admitted if they come from a country where gambling is prohibited. This would apply to China, which is why basically no tourist from China would be allowed to enter the Crown Casinos.
However, the situation at the Crown group is worse.It is forbidden by license rule to contact ex-Melco CEO. This provision was again undermined by Packer: he wanted to sell a large part of his stock to a certain Lawrence Ho. The problem is that it's the son of the former ex-Melco CEO. Thus, the regulations were clearly not complied with. But why was this condition included in the licensing rule? The answer is:Ho must have been involved with crime syndicates in China.
If the current CEO of the Crown Group is not involved and has a clean record, the licenses are still at stake.Failure to comply with license terms may result in revocation. The next week will show whether the withdrawal is actually in the room. In this, James Packer is to be questioned.
Head of the legal department also had no idea
The head of the legal department of the Crown group has also already been questioned. He also stated that he did not know about the machinations between Packer and the criminal organizations.He showed skepticism about the junket operators, but did nothing against them. In essence, however, it would be his job to ensure that all licensing regulations are observed. This also includes checking all partners in order not to take any risks here.
However, none of this seems to have happened.During interrogation, Preston could not confirm that he checked the junket operators. This could be a breach of his duty, since it was already known in 2014 that many operators have contacts with criminals. No wonder, then, that the possible withdrawal of a license was also discussed during the survey.
The group is currently building another casino for which a license has already been issued. However, the validity of the license has been suspended at the moment and will be checked again.