Victoria Regulator Rules Crown Melbourne May Retain License

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has ruled that Crown Resorts may retain its license and continue to operate the Crown Melbourne property.

The decision comes after a “transformation effort” undertaken by Crown Resorts and Crown Melbourne with the aim of addressing issues uncovered by the Royal Commission. The Commission labeled Crown Melbourne’s behavior “illegal, dishonest, unethical, and exploitative”.

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$200m Invested in Transformation Effort

Since starting in 2021, Crown has spent roughly $200 million on its transformation effort. It included work to improve harm minimization, financial crime prevention, governance, compliance, risk management, and more. The efforts were reportedly sped up when the casino came under new ownership and management.

The VGCCC’s decision is a recognition of the effectiveness of these efforts. However, Crown Resorts is still under regulatory scrutiny with ongoing investigations into accusations that the operator permitted removed customers to re-enter the premises. In particular, the company’s CEO, Ciaran Carruthers, is a target of these investigations.

As part of its efforts to address the concerns raised by the Commission, Crown Resorts conducted internal reviews and ordered external reviews. The operator also appointed external counsel to carry out an independent review. Furthermore, the operator has been adhering to strict rules laid out by the VGCCC as part of its license conditions.

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Further Updates Expected

Updates regarding Crown Sydney’s license and the ongoing remediation efforts at Crown Perth are expected to be published in the coming weeks. Crown Resorts has already agreed to pay an AU$450 million fine earlier this year for breaches of AML and counterterrorism laws.

The fine, together with other compliance measures and penalties, has hit the company’s finances and it reported a loss of AU$199 million in its latest statement. Therefore, all updates are sure to be closely analyzed by the industry.


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