After an 18-month investigation, former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin released a final report on the Crown Resorts, stating it is “quite unsuitable” to hold a casino license in New South Wales.
Bergin oversaw a public inquiry into the allegations that Crown’s Melbourne (pictured) and Perth casinos were used in a money-laundering scheme and possible ties the company had to criminal gangs through its junket operations. The former judge had to determine if the company was fit to hold a license for its new AUD2.2 bn ($1.7bn) casino in Sydney’s Barangaroo district. During the inquiry, she found a number of problems that would have otherwise remained undetected.
“Any applicant for a casino license with the attributes of Crown’s stark realities of facilitating money laundering, exposing staff to the risk of detention in a foreign jurisdiction and pursuing commercial relationships with individuals with connections to Triads and organized crime groups would not be confident of a positive outcome,” said Bergin. “It is obvious that such attributes would render an applicant quite unsuitable to hold a casino license in New South Wales.”
According to BNN Bloomberg, Bergin’s report includes a suggestion for a 10% individual shareholding limits for any casino. The regulatory authorities will hold a special meeting on 12 February to discuss the recommendations and decide if any of them will be implemented.