Earlier today, the Victorian Government shared that it will provide the Royal Commission into the Melbourne operations of Crown Resorts with more time and money in order to allow it to expand the range of the issues that are being investigated.
The announcement came as another step in the state’s regulatory scrutiny on the Australian gambling giant and was made at a time when Crown Resorts is dealing with the suspension of its new casino licence for its Sydney-based AU$2.2-billion facility. In a statement, issued on June 11th, the Victorian Government announced its decision to extend the Royal Commission probe’s August 1st deadline to October 15th because of the seriousness of the evidence gathered through hearings and submission to date. The investigation’s funding will be boosted from AU$10 million to AU$19.75 million.
According to James Merlino, Victoria’s acting Premier, the extension of the probe’s deadline and the increased fundings will help the Royal Commission gather the answers the authorities need about Crown Resorts, as it would have enough time to consider the evidence provided so far.
Furthermore, state authorities revealed that the Victorian Royal Commission is set to investigate deeper into Crown Melbourne’s corporate culture. The commissioners are expected to take into consideration some claims of Crown Melbourne’s failure to pay the casino tax owed to the Government. As Reuters wrote, the Australian casino behemoth issued a separate statement, saying that it would continue to provide full cooperation with the Royal Commission’s probe.
Royal Commission’s Probe into Melbourne Operations of Crown Resorts Extended to October 15th
The Royal Commission was established by the state of Victoria in February, as part of the authorities’ efforts to evaluate the gambling operator’s suitability to continue holding its Crown Melbourne operating licence. Other states are also having investigations into the company after NSW Commissioner Patricia Bergin announced the findings of her probe into the Australian casino giant, saying the company’s casinos had links to Chinese criminal organisations and money laundering.
Previously, several media hubs accused Crown Resorts of partnering with so-called junket operators, some of which are tied to organised crime. At first, the gambling company rejected the claims but at the time of the 2020 investigation into its Sydney business, some of the claims were proven as the truth.
As mentioned above, the Government of Victoria mentioned the wider range of matters, which are set to be considered by the Royal Commission, are associated with the corporate culture of Crown Resort’s Melbourne-based gambling venue, as well as with minimisation of gambling-related harm and with some additional claims that came as part of the evidence so far. In any case, the evidence gathered by the Royal Commission to date is significant, which was exactly why the Government decided to provide the body with more time and financial resources to complete its investigation.
As Casino Guardian previously reported, another Royal Commission inquiry was established in the state of Western Australia to investigate alleged problems with corporate structure and unlawful activities at Crown Perth.
The Executive Chair of Crown Resorts – Helen Coonan – shared that the company had initiated some significant reforms, personnel changes and policies enhancements in order to comply with the requirements of central and state Governments and gambling regulators.