Will Crown Resorts End Up Losing Its Melbourne Casino License?
Crown Resorts is now in serious danger of losing its Melbourne casino license. The flagship casino of the Australian casino operator went under the investigation of a Royal Commission earlier this year, after it came to light that Crown Resorts had committed multiple violations.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) announced that a special Royal Commission (RC) led by Commissioner Ray Finkelstein will probe Crown Melbourne and see if there were any serious violations. Given the track record of Crown Resorts, the general public expected the RC to find violations.
The RC did unearth quite a few violations that do not look very good for Crown Resorts.
One of those violations was the fact that Crown Resorts deliberately reported its accounts incorrectly, in order to down play its taxes. The investigation showed that Crown Resorts has cheated the government of nearly $270 million.
ABC News (Australia)
The RC is in the final stages of finishing its investigation and submitting its recommendations. Last week, executive chairman Helen Coonan had to face the commission and things really started heating up. Coonan’s statements put Crown Resorts in further trouble which was compounded by a letter that Crown Resorts sent the government last week.
Crown Resorts sent the government a letter and warned them of catastrophic consequences if a decision was made to suspend its Melbourne casino license. The government was told in no uncertain terms that Crown Resorts employed 12,000 individuals in Victoria and had a $540 million loan that it needed to pay back. Suspending its casino license, would cause Crown Resorts to default on its loan and send thousands of employees home.
The letter came across as a threat and has only tarnished Crown’s reputation further and it now looks like Crown Resorts could seriously end up losing its Melbourne Casino license.
Government Could Look For New Operator
Tony Robinson who is a former gaming minister in Victoria said that Crown Resorts ended up doing more harm than good to its reputation by sending out the letter. He said the threats were frivolous as Crown Resorts had more to lose than the government. This is because the government had the right to strip Crown Melbourne of its license and give it to another casino operator.
If this does happen, the Australian casino will continue to operate and individuals will keep their jobs but function under another operator.