At the beginning of the week, Australian casino giant Crown Resorts shared that the state of Western Australia had extended the time provided to the state’s Royal Commission that is currently investigating the operations of its Perth casino venue. Reportedly, the deadline was extended to March 2022.
The announcement was made after a similar thing was done by the state of Victoria after the authorities said they would give more time and funding to the Royal Commission so that it would be able to investigate a wider range of issues in Crown Melbourne.
Originally, the Royal Commission in Western Australia was expected to issue its final report in the middle of November 2021. Now, the final deadline for the report was pushed to March 4th, 2022. Mark McGowan, the Premier of Western Australia, said that the Royal Commission of the state would serve the public interest but it should be given enough time to produce its final report.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, Crown Resorts is currently facing investigations that are aimed at making sure whether the Australian casino company is suitable to hold its gambling operating licences in the states of Victoria and Western Australia. The probes in the two states were given a start after the New South Wales Royal Commission shared it found Crown Resorts unfit to keep its Barangaroo casino licence in Sydney because of alleged ties to criminal organisations and money-laundering activities, poor corporate structure and management, etc.
Racing and Gaming Minister May Be Urged by WA Gambling Regulator to Cancel Crown Perth’s Licence
The inquiry into Crown Resorts heard that the gambling regulatory body of Western Australia (WA) may urge Reece Whitby, the Racing and Gaming Minister, to cancel the casino licence of the operator’s casino in Perth before the Royal Commission has officially announced its findings.
Paul Evans, a lawyer of the Gaming and Wagering Commission (GWC), explained that the regulatory body would be closely monitoring the Royal Commission as it is gathering and considering evidence to conclude whether Crown Resorts is fit to hold its Perth casino licence or not. As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the commission would be considering a number of issues, such as whether the Australian gambling giant had underpaid casino tax that it owed to the Government of Western Australia and whether it had been honest in its communications with the local gambling regulator, especially following some media reports of breaches of anti-money laundering laws.
As explained by Mr Evans, the Minister was authorised by state laws to act оn the advice of the Gaming and Wagering Commission.
At the beginning of the week, the Royal Commission into Crown Perth also heard some opening statements, with witness hearings set to start on July 28th. The hearings will include the casino’s response to its China staff’s arrest in 2016, evidence on the operation and corporate structure of Crown Resorts’ casinos, as well as the suitability of changes that the Australian gambling company made following the inquiry of Commissioner Patricia Bergin; evidence on criminal and money laundering infiltration; management of problem gambling; possible influence of loosening the ties to junket operators, etc.