News – AU – Another Crown director resigns as Victoria calls royal commission

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Victoria has announced a royal commission on Crown Casino’s eligibility to hold a Victorian casino license

Crown Resorts’ suitability to run Melbourne’s casino is under scrutiny by a new royal commission in Victoria after a damn investigation by NSW found the gambling giant was not eligible to own a casino license

This afternoon, media buyer Harold Mitchell stepped down from the company’s board of directors as Crown’s youngest director after the Bergin report was released earlier this month

The NSW investigation found that Crown Resorts was unsuitable to own a casino license due to poor governance and a number of issues at Melbourne Casino

Mr. Mitchell’s resignation means that four directors have resigned from the nine-member board since the report was published

“It gives us an opportunity to detail the reforms and changes in our business to achieve the highest standards of governance and compliance and an organizational culture that meets the expectations of the community,” she said

Much of the evidence from the Crown Resorts investigation related to incidents and conduct at the company’s flagship Melbourne casino, including permitting money laundering

The Victorian government said its royal commission would be set up after examining the results of the Bergin inquiry

“This is about ensuring that those who hold a casino license in Victoria meet the highest standards of honesty and integrity – and that they are accountable for their actions,” Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said in a statement in which the royal commission was announced

Another change is coming for the competitive casino giant Crown Resorts, and major shareholder James Packer may have to radically reduce its stake, writes business reporter Daniel Zahl

The work of the Bergin investigation exposed the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) and the state government for failing to respond to allegations made by whistleblowers, media and MPs from previous years

Until this week, the Prime Minister and his ministers have defended the work of the VCGLR

The government has selected a royal commission to make it easier for former board chairman Ken Barton and former board members including Andrew Demetriou to testify

Minister for Gambling and Alcohol Regulation Melissa Horne said the reports from the Bergin investigation in NSW were “incredibly worrying”

“So we’re setting up a royal commission to get the answers we need about Crown Melbourne,” she said

“The Royal Commission will ascertain the facts and the government and the VCGLR will take all necessary action once the investigation is complete

The VCGLR, which has been investigating some of these allegations, including money laundering and junket operators, welcomed the royal commission

“We look forward to supporting Mr. Finkelstein QC and his team in the course of the royal commission,” the agency said in a statement

Andrew Wilkie, the independent MP who helped whistleblowers spread allegations of wrongdoing, said it was “a bloody time” to set up a royal commission as it was the “only credible option” the Victorian government had open

“We finally have the promise of a truly independent judicial investigation into alleged crimes at Crown”

The state is also conducting a review to see if Victoria should establish an independent casino regulator apart from the VCGLR

Following the Bergin investigation, the state opposition called for a judicial review of Crown because regulators had proven to be the casino’s “lapdog”

The Greens have called for Crown to suspend and revoke its license The royal commission is “an admission” that the Victorian government regulator “has completely failed” “

It’s a tough topic for the Andrews government with Crown Casino over 16000 employees at Melbourne Casino is the largest employer for any location in the state

According to a 2018 assessment by ACIL Allen Consulting quoted on Crown Resorts’ website, Crown’s estimated economic contribution to real Australian GDP was up to $ 4.4 billion, with Crown Melbourne up to $ 3 billion. Dollar contributes 2 trillion

When the previous Napthine government renewed Crown’s license, it included a clause requiring the state to pay more than $ 200 million if a future government changed the casino’s license

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Crown Resorts, Royal Commission, Crown Melbourne, Victoria State Government, Australia

News – AU – Another Crown director resigns as Victoria calls the Royal Commission

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-22/victorian-government-crown-casino-royal-commission/13177970