Crown Resorts has been fined AU$1 million and temporarily banned from resuming junket operations at Crown Melbourne for failure to comply with requirements around its relationship with junkets.
The actions, announced by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), come after the state regulator issued a notice last October for Crown to show cause why it should not be disciplined for alleged failures of its internal junket controls.
The AU$1 million fine is the maximum allowed under Victorias Casino Control Act with the VCGLR determining that Crown had failed to comply with its obligations to implement a robust process around the probity of junket operators, agents and players.
Crown also failed to gather necessary information to enable it to make an informed decision concerning the probity of relevant junket entities and did not check and verify relevant information directly with the junket entities; to ensure that decisions relating to probity assessments were made by decision-makers who understood or were in a position to prioritize Crowns regulatory obligations; and to maintain appropriate and contemporaneous records relating to junket probity decisions.
This failure meant it was unclear how certain decisions were reached by Crown and whether such decisions were made with due regard to Crowns regulatory obligations, the VCGLR said.
Aside from issuing a fine, the regulator has also issued a letter of censure prohibiting Crown from recommencing junket operations at Crown Melbourne until it has satisfied the VCGLR that processes and procedures have been improved.
The punishment reflects the seriousness of this matter, and the fact that Crowns failure to implement a robust process occurred over an extended period, said VCGLR Chairman Ross Kennedy.
Robust processes must be implemented to ensure that Crowns Melbourne casino remains free from criminal influence and exploitation. These are strict and legislated regulatory requirements, and this is an area where Crown has repeatedly failed.
The VCGLR also acknowledged that its findings may be relevant to a Royal Commission into Crown Melbourne currently underway in Victoria.