Crown Resorts Hit With $1m Fine & Banned From Working With Junket Operators
Crown Resorts is currently waiting to hear from multiple state gaming regulators on whether they will be given the approval to continue operating their casinos resorts or whether they get their casino license revoked. New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia have all launched investigations in to Crown Resort’s operations and compliance breaches.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) which is the gaming regulator in Victoria has slapped Crown Resorts with a $1 million fine for failing to properly vet junket operators.
The investigation has shown that Crown Resorts has done business with a number of junket operators who had ties to the criminal underworld in Asia.
Crown Melbourne is the flagship casino for Crown Resorts and used to generate the majority of its gross gaming revenues (GGR) from its VIP clientele that were brought in by junket operators. Most of the VIP clientele were Chinese high rollers who often ended up spending millions of dollars in just one hour gambling at the VIP tables in Crown Melbourne.
Crown Resorts deliberately turned a blind eye towards both the junket operators and VIP gamblers as they were more interested in getting these high rollers over to spend their millions at the table. Crown Resorts has multiple compliance breaches in this area and as a result will have to pay a $1 million fine.
VCGLR has also temporarily suspended Crown Resorts from working with junket operators, until it satisfies the regulator that it has changes its process and procedures and will be in full compliance with state gaming regulations going forward.
The gaming regulator did not release more information on what compliance breaches incurred at Crown Resorts as the casino operator requested the gambling watchdog to keep this confidential to prevent criminals from exploiting these loopholes going forward.
Crown Could Face $100 Million Fine
Crown Resorts is also being investigated by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) which is the financial crimes watchdog in the country. AUSTRAC is investigating Crown over multiple money laundering claims. A number of these money laundering claims also have ties to the criminal syndicate in Asia though they have previously admitted they were powerless to stop it.
If Crown Resorts is found guilty by AUSTRAC, the troubled casino operator could face a fine in excess of $100 million. The various investigations into Crown Resorts are all expected to wrap up before the end of 2021.