Crown Resorts continues to face more challenges as the embattled Australian casino operator could end up losing its Crown Melbourne casino license. Crown Resorts has just gone through a detailed investigation by the New South Wales (NSW) gaming regulator who is currently debating when the casino operator should have its licensed revoked in the state.
Crown admitted during the NSW review that it had permitted money laundering to take place at its casino because it did not strictly adhere to anti-money laundering (AML) policies.
The Victorian government has now decided to launch an investigation into Crown Melbourne which is the flagship casino in Australia for Crown Resorts.
Earlier this week, the Victorian government ordered the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) to carry out a detailed investigation into Crown Melbourne and decide whether Crown Melbourne should have its license revoked.
VCGLR generally carries out a review of Crown Melbourne every 5 years to see if everything is in order and if the gaming license can be reviewed. The last review was in 2018 and the next review was scheduled for 2023. However, VCGLR will now have to carry out its review right away and provide the state government with its feedback.
The Victorian government admitted that its decision to bring up the Crown Melbourne review process was brought on by the string of shocking admissions that Crown Resorts made to the NSW gaming regulator. Apart from money laundering, Crown officials also admitted to failures in corporate government and links to organized crime.
Melissa Horne, Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation said that a special commissioner will be appointed to spearhead the investigation into Crown Melbourne and a decision will be made in early 2021.
Crown Melbourne has reopened for business after the COVID-19 lockdown but is operating under highly restricted conditions due to social distancing measures.
Crown Barangaroo Opens Non-Gaming Facilities
The NSW gaming regulator prevented Crown Barangaroo which is a new $2.2 billion waterfront casino resort from fully opening. Crown Barangaroo has been restricted from opening its casino floor as the gaming regulator is not convinced that Crown has proper procedures in place to run a seamless casino gaming operation that complies with state laws.
The regular has allowed non-gaming facilities at Crown Barangaroo to open to the public. This includes the Crown Towers hotel, two restaurants and its bars. The liquor license expires on April 30, 2021 after which Crown will have to reapply.