Crown Resorts reacted sharply and emotionally to the message from the head of the gambling business regulator Victoria.
The directors of Crown Resorts were furious. Reproaches and threats began to arrive at the state regulator.
It all started with a small statement - the gambling regulator expressed concern about the company's reluctance to take action against large players.
The Victoria Gambling and Liquor Regulatory Board is concerned about what is happening at Crown and has advised tightening control over special players who participated in casino group games three years ago and were suspected of receiving illegal money. This was announced on Monday morning by the Victoria State Commission.
In the spring of 2019, VCGLR CEO Alex Fitzpatrick spoke with Crown attorney Josh Preston. In the conversation, Fitzpatrick expressed his reluctance to somehow track the losses of the main highlighters. This entire conversation was documented and presented by the regulatory body as evidence.
In her address to Preston, Fitzpatrick expressed grave concern over this issue. "The company does not want to revise any relevant ICS statements regarding Austrac."
Crown has not complied with RIA data:
- Until July 1, 2019, it was necessary to cooperate with Austrac financial intelligence.
- Start to maintain control, tighten sanctions for major players.
- Track withdrawals.
11 months have passed, and the situation has remained the same. Virtually no action was taken.
The investigation had to be resumed. "The tension is growing. And the situation with Corona is getting worse every day. Our requests and recommendations are ignored, "VCGLR officer Jason Cremona said during the investigation.
The CEO's response was lightning fast. The next day, CEO Michelle Fielding called Cremona. She then rudely informed him by e-mail that all statements in the investigation completely misrepresent the position of the entire Crown company. Further, the message was regarded as evidence.
Cremona is outraged and writes a letter to Fitzpatrick: "Sorry to bother you, but I just thought I'd let you know that Michelle called me this morning and she answered the letter quite aggressively."
"Since she said that Josh [Preston] was very angry and would contact the minister directly, I just informed Catherine [Myers, another VCGLR officer] of this. I cannot remember all my work, that at least someone threatened to refer the case to the minister. Michelle was very offended that they did not understand her and did not try to hear her "
As it turned out later, Preston no longer works for Crown, also resigned from the post of Minister of Gambling of the state of Victoria Marlene Kairuz, he was accused of abuse of office.
The dispute dragged on. Crown accused the committee of misinterpreting the recommendations and said it did everything it could to strengthen internal controls.
But Cremona and his team considered this implementation to be wrong. The committee called this implementation inadequate. "The Crown dodges and tries to replay the situation because the recommendations were too narrow and did not take into account the desire of the VCGLR to specifically target junket players." - said Cremona in the investigation.
After much debate and hearing, the VCGLR decided to close the case. Published documents indicate that Crown met the requirements. However, Cremona decided to conduct its own independent review of the internal control claims because VCGLR does not trust the company.
But as expected, in April 2021, Crown was fined $ 1 million for indiscriminately controlling junkets. The VCGLR did its job, although not as quickly as expected.
A new independent commission has been established in New South Wales. The investigation has been resumed. This showed that the organizers of the junkets that brought the high rollers to the casinos in Melbourne and Perth were involved with organized crime and that the Crown was facilitating money laundering.
Old members of the commission were involved in the investigation. A similar royal commission operates in Western Australia.
Victorian hearings continue this Thursday. Publication date: May 18, 2021, 08:31 UTC