Crown Resorts Indirectly Threatens Gov. Over License Suspension
Crown Resorts is current the most controversial casino operator in Australia and around the world. The casino operator has this unenviable distinction after consistently breaching domestic and international gaming laws for a number of years.
Crown Melbourne Investigation
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) decided to launch an investigation into Crown Melbourne, the flagship casino for Crown Resorts once it came to light that Crown Resorts had committed multiple breaches in New South Wales.
A special Royal Commission headed by Commissioner Ray Finkelstein launched an in-depth investigation into Crown Melbourne and discovered a number of serious compliance breaches including under reporting its taxes to the Victoria government to the tune of $270 million. The investigation has run for over 7 weeks and is currently in the final stages of being wrapped up.
The final stage of the investigation put Helen Coonan under the spotlight. Coonan is the executive chairman of Crown Resorts and is responsible for making some of these key decisions that have come under the scanner. Her statements have only made things worse for Crown Resorts and there is now more pressure on the Royal Commission to think about handing Crown Resorts a harsh penalty, which could even result in a license suspension.
Indirect Threat To Government
Crown Resorts went ahead and sent a letter to the government of Victoria last week as the Royal Commission was interviewing Coonan. The letter has caused quite a stir with the general public because of the language used. It appears that Crown Resorts is sending across an indirect threat to the government warning them of catastrophic consequences, if the Royal Commission decided to suspend its Melbourne casino license.
Crown Resorts highlighted the fact that it employed nearly 12,000 people in the state and was one of the highest taxpayers in Victoria. This is ironic, given the fact that one of the allegations against Crown is underpaying its taxes to the tune of $270 million. Crown has also pointed out that it has a $540 million loan in place and suspending its license could result in a massive default.
Government Not Threatened By Letter
The letter to the government has done more harm than good for Crown Resorts. Commissioner Ray Finkelstein is certainly not going to be impressed with Crown Resorts going behind his back and using such strong language towards the government.
The former gaming minister in Victoria, Tony Robinson said that the government could hand over the license to another operator and would not lose anything as near as Crown Resorts had indicated.