Crown Perth Inquiry Rules Casino ‘Flawed from Conception’ and Unfit to Hold License

  • An inquiry has found Crown Perth unfit to hold a license, but it can still remain open
  • The Royal Commission’s findings called Crown’s regulation “flawed from conception”
  • The 1,000-page report contains 59 recommendations, which the WA government is mulling
  • An independent monitor will oversee Crown’s remediation over a two-year period
Crown Perth
The Government of WA has accepted the royal commission’s final report on Crown Perth, which declares the casino unfit to hold a gaming license. [Image:]

Unsuitable for its license

The Government of Western Australia (WA) has tabled the Perth Casino Royal Commission’s final report, which has found Crown Perth unsuitable to hold the region’s only gaming license. However, the ruling does permit the casino to remain open with additional measures in place.

the government accepted the Perth inquiry’s findings

The WA government received the Perth commission’s final report earlier this month. WA Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti said the government accepted the Perth inquiry’s findings, which called Crown’s regulatory framework “flawed from conception.”

The commission pointed out several areas of Crown Perth’s operations that require attention. These include the Perth casino’s corporate and governance structure, along with its risk management, gambling-related harm, and money laundering programs.

In tabling the report on Monday, Buti said: “It is a privilege to hold a gambling license in Western Australia and the royal commission has shown that, at times, Crown has abused that privilege.”

Behind the times

The commission’s 1,000-page report contains 59 recommendations, which Buti said the government will consider in detail.

He confirmed an independent monitor will come in to oversee Crown’s remediation over a two-year period – something WA state political reporter Josh Zimmerman shared via Twitter:

The inquiry found Crown’s corporate regulatory structure behind the times, and designed “without the experience or understanding of modern casino gaming operations and the risks which they pose to the public.”

failed to identify the legislative objectives of casino regulation”

“It was flawed from conception in that it failed to identify the legislative objectives of casino regulation and to clearly express the associated duties and powers of the regulator to meet those objectives,” the report continued.

Buti has also taken aim at regulator the Gaming and Wagering Commission (GWC), which he said: “needs to do better.” The minister has confirmed that the government will change legislation to give him improved powers, enabling Buti to appoint an independent chair of GWC.

Crown accepts the ruling

In a statement on Monday, Crown Resorts said it acknowledged the inquiry’s findings and recommendations and would “work cooperatively and constructively with the Western Australian government.”

In February 2021, a New South Wales inquiry found Crown’s casino in Sydney unfit to hold a gaming license, with failings ranging from evidence of money laundering to ties with junkets. The beleaguered James Packer-backed firm has since accepted an AU$9bn ($6.74bn) takeover offer from private equity giant Blackstone Group.

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