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Australia Victorian Government under pressure over Crown Casino after NSW inquiry

02:32  10 february  2021
02:32  10 february  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

NSW's Crown inquiry to report on probity

  NSW's Crown inquiry to report on probity Commissioner Patricia Bergin will hand her findings and recommendations about Crown Resort's fitness to run a Sydney casino to the regulator.The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority gave commissioner Patricia Bergin until Monday to hand over her findings and recommendations on Crown's suitability to hold a casino licence.

a sign in front of a building: The probe heard evidence from Crown's Melbourne and Perth casinos before determining it unfit to hold a licence in Sydney. (ABC News: Jane Cowan) © Provided by ABC News The probe heard evidence from Crown's Melbourne and Perth casinos before determining it unfit to hold a licence in Sydney. (ABC News: Jane Cowan)

The Victorian Government is under serious pressure over its regulation of Crown Casino after a NSW inquiry deemed the company was not suitable to hold a licence.

The damning findings have raised questions about the efficacy of the Victorian gambling regulator, with much of the evidence against Crown based on events and behaviour associated with the Melbourne casino.

The Andrews Government has already brought forward the five-yearly review of Crown's license in Melbourne to 2021, but that will still be carried out by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).

‘Unedifying performance': Three Crown directors including Andrew Demetriou facing pressure to resign

  ‘Unedifying performance': Three Crown directors including Andrew Demetriou facing pressure to resign At least three members of the Crown board are under pressure to resign, including the group's managing director Andrew Demetriou.Former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin handed down a landmark report into the casino company that put Crown's flagship Barangaroo project in Sydney at risk by finding the company was not suitable to hold a NSW casino licence.

While the Greens and others want Crown to lose its license immediately, the Opposition wants a judicial review into Crown's suitability in Victoria.

"I think is really extraordinary is that it has taken a New South Wales-based inquiry to tell us what problems exist in our own backyard in Melbourne," Shadow Gaming Minister and Deputy Nationals Leader Steph Ryan said.

"What a judicial inquiry, I expect, might look at, is the gaps that exist with the Victorian regulator that has allowed that behaviour to occur under the nose of the Victorian regulator for years."

The months-long inquiry heard evidence of money laundering and links to international criminal syndicates through Crown's relationship with private junket operators who sourced the company's VIP clients from overseas.

Uneasy lies the Crown on James Packer’s head as Bergin inquiry tenders its report

  Uneasy lies the Crown on James Packer’s head as Bergin inquiry tenders its report So much more than a licence is at stake: the future of the reclusive billionaire's casino dynasty hangs in the balance.Former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin will hand to NSW state parliament today her highly anticipated report into whether the casino giant should keep its Barangaroo licence.

The inquiry by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) is the culmination of years of media scrutiny, and a damning 60 Minutes piece last year.

Crown repeatedly denied allegations at the time, releasing a full-page newspaper statement in 2019 calling the media reports a smear campaign.

Ms Ryan said the VCGLR had failed to take regulatory action and had "become a lap dog, instead of a watchdog".

"The Victorian Government has had 18 months of hearings from the Bergin inquiry," Ms Ryan said.

"A lot of that evidence has been public and available to anybody. None of these findings from the inquiry yesterday are all that shocking. So we have to ask — why the Andrews Government has waited until now before even saying that it will consider the findings of that inquiry?"

Crown operates under a special set of laws passed by the Victorian Parliament that may need to be changed to help reform the company's governance — the lack of governance identified by the NSW probe.

Crown Resorts Limited announced on Wednesday morning that directors Guy Jalland and Michael Johnston have resigned.

Crown CEO Ken Barton bows to pressure and agrees to resign .
Crown chief executive Ken Barton appears likely to step down in the coming days, in the wake of a damning report into the Australian casino giant. The Bergin Report this week found there was likely no future in the company for Mr Barton.ABC News understands Mr Barton has given intention he is set to hand in his resignation.Yesterday two Crown board members Michael Johnston and Guy Jalland resigned from Crown.Mr Barton met earlier today with Crown chair Helen Coonan when it is understood he offered his resignation.

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