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Crown Melbourne retains casino licence following regulatory review

Updated:2024-04-01 08:10    Views:191

Following a decision by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), Crown Melbourne has retained its Victorian Casino licence.

This ruling follows a 'transformation effort' by Crown Resorts and Crown Melbourne aimed at addressing various regulatory concerns.

Since 2021, Crown has invested approximately $200m into its transformation initiatives, which include reforms across harm minimisation, financial crime prevention, governance, compliance, risk management and organisational culture. These efforts are said to have been accelerated under new ownership and management.

The decision by the VGCCC acknowledges the steps taken by Crown Melbourne to improve its operations. However, it is important to note that this decision comes amid ongoing regulatory scrutiny faced by Crown Resorts. This includes investigations into allegations of allowing removed customers to re-enter premises,slots specifically targeting the company's CEO, Ciaran Carruthers.

Crown Resorts has engaged in internal and external reviews to address these concerns, with the operator confirming the engagement of external counsel to conduct an independent review. Additionally, Crown Resorts has been operating under strict conditions set by the VGCCC, which granted it a special licence after a royal commission deemed the group unsuitable to hold a casino licence. 

It is worth mentioning that Crown Resorts agreed earlier this year to pay a AU$450m ($294.5m) fine to AUSTRAC for breaches of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism laws. This, along with other compliance measures and penalties, has impacted the company's financial performance, reporting a loss of AU$199m in its latest financial statement.

Further updates regarding the status of Crown Sydney's licence and ongoing remediation activities at Crown Perth are expected in the coming weeks. The industry will closely monitor these developments as Crown Resorts navigates its path forward.

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