Criminal Activity at Crown Casino
In an article published by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the infamous criminal syndicate known as “The Company” has revealed how it used the Crown casino and its high-roller rooms to launder money and commit other crimes. Crown partnered with junket operators with connections to organised crime to lure high-stakes punters, arrange credit, and pursue bad debts. As a result, there have been numerous instances of criminal activity within the Crown casino and its surrounding complex.
The Australian Financial Watchdog (AUSTRAC) has filed a lawsuit against Crown Resorts for failing to protect customers against money laundering. The watchdog says Crown Casino failed to follow anti-money laundering laws and allowed casino patrons to use cash from cardboard boxes to gamble. The regulator argues Crown failed to maintain a two-part anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program. The casino also failed to follow its own rules and regulations regarding counter-terrorism funding and financial crime.
The Australian regulators are too close to the people they are supposed to control. They lack the political backing to go after those responsible. As a result, they have failed to respond to the parliamentary inquiry. Despite these failures, the Australian government has issued 20 recommendations for Crown to improve their operations. Of those, only one is related to money laundering, the other nine are largely about responsible gambling and technical corporate governance. No recommendations address the exploitation of Crown by organised crime figures.
AUSTRAC has not disclosed the exact amount it would fine Crown, but its highest fines were levied against Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, and Tabcorp. Credit Suisse analysts estimated the fine for Crown would be around $250 million. Crown has declined to comment on the lawsuit, but has said it would review it. The company has also devised a comprehensive mediation plan for the case. The settlement is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2019.
A recent investigation has revealed that the Crown casino and its associated junkets were used by organised crime groups to launder black money. While some of these companies are legitimate, the majority of them are run by Asian organised crime groups, including the infamous triad. According to the report, The Company caused more damage to Australia than any other illegal drugs importer during the past 30 years. It also provides proof that such operations were not regulated by the VCGLR.
AUSTRAC has commenced a review into the Crown casino after the NSW government launched an investigation under the Casino Control Act 1992. The report outlines lapses in Crown’s corporate governance practices. The investigation uncovered how the Crown partnered with junket operators associated with organized crime. These findings have led to the establishment of the new casino in Sydney called SkyCity Adelaide. And this has led to many people calling for a change.