Adrian Finanzio SC, the lawyer helping the Royal Commission probe Crown Resort’s suitability in continuing to run its flagship Melbourne Casino has told the Royal Commission that he does not think that Crown Resorts should be given another chance to operate its Melbourne casino.
Finanzio said that Crown Resorts had committed so many breaches in recent years that the public no longer had any faith in the brand or its reputation to run a proper gaming operation and thereby recommended to the Royal Commission that they strip Crown of its casino license.
Finanzio reminded the Commission that they were investigating Crown Resorts for multiple and deliberate breaches that occurred over an extended period. These were not simple breaches that one could overlook or impose a fine and think it will all be okay. Finanzio said that Crown Resorts had not just indulged in misconduct but also very inappropriate conduct and illegal conduct which they had admitted to during the investigation.
ABC News (Australia)
Some of the serious breaches that came to light during the investigation include underpaying its taxes to the Victorian government to the tune of $270 million, selling $160 million in casino chips via the hotel desk and writing a letter to the government indirectly threatening them of consequences if their license was stripped.
While Crown Resorts has promised to roll out significant reforms and make due changes, Finanzio says that the breaches committed by Crown Resorts cannot be overlooked on the basis of new reforms being implemented. The consistent ethical breaches and disregard for gaming regulations has shown that Crown Resorts cannot be trusted going forward.
Finanzio recommended that Commissioner Ray Finkelstein QC revoke Crown Resort’s license as no restructuring or reforms would be able to restore the public’s faith in Crown Resort’s ability to run a clean operation.
Decision To Be Made By Oct 15
Finanzio said that he recognized the fact that Crown Resorts has played a big role in Australia for a number of years and is currently the highest tax payer in the Melbourne. He said the recommendation to cancel Crown’s license was not made lightly nor was the recommendation in anyway placing a black mark on the employees that worked at Crown Melbourne.
Ray Finkelstein QC revoke will review all of the recommendations and suggestions and make a final decision by Oct 15. If he recommends the license to be cancelled, the Victorian government has confirmed that it will follow through with those recommendations.