Crown Resorts Shareholders File Class Action Lawsuit Due To Poor Governance
Crown Resorts which is the biggest casino operator in Australia has had a terrible year in 2020. While COVID-19 has impacted casino operators all over the world, Crown Resorts has not only had to battle COVID-19 and the financial impact but also multiple allegations regarding mismanagement.
Crown Resorts has been the subject of multiple investigations from top agencies in Australia including Liquor and Gaming NSW which is the gaming regulator in New South Wales and AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) a financial intelligence agency.
Crown Resorts were supposed to open their A$2.2 billion Crown Barangaroo casino resort in Sydney before the end of 2020. However, the gaming regulator has prevented Crown from opening out the casino section of the resort due to its many failings.
Sky News Australia
A detailed review is currently under process and in the next few weeks a decision will be made as to whether Crown is eligible to open and run the Crown Barangaroo casino.
Legal firm Maurice Blackburn filed a class action lawsuit on 11 December in the Victorian Supreme Court. The lawsuit alleges that Crown Resorts deceived shareholders between December 2014 to October 2020 by making it appear that they had robust controls in place to comply with anti-money laundering laws.
However, Crown had weak AML in place and did not comply with them. The casino operator was accused of multiple AML breaches as former chairman James Packer admitted during an inquiry that the casino operator could have done more to stop money laundering. Packer also admitted that the Australian casino operator had ties to junket operators which were owned by individuals who had ties to the underworld.
When AUSTRAC announced in October 2020 that they had launched an investigation into potential money laundering breaches at Crown Melbourne, the market reacted negatively and over $500 million was wiped out.
The class action lawsuit was filed by two shareholders and will allow other shareholders to add their name to the list. One of the points pushes for Crown Resorts to buy back their shares. Crown Resorts has so far declined to comment on the new class action lawsuit.
Crown Faces Multiple Lawsuits
Crown Resorts is facing multiple lawsuits. Maurice Blackburn also has another lawsuit pending against Crown Resorts.
This one is a Federal lawsuit where shareholders are claiming millions from the casino operator due to the $1.3 billion market wipe out Crown suffered in 2016 when news broke of Crown employees being arrested in China over illegal gambling activities.