Crown Resorts: Third license revokedBlog Crown Resorts: Third license revoked

    Crown Resorts: Third license revoked

    The money-laundering scandal is coming to a head

    The ILGA has made a decision on the question of whether Crown is suitable for a third casino license: Due to the escalating money laundering affair, the Australian market giant's license, which had already been granted in 2014, was temporarily withdrawn. The gates of the $ 2.4 billion casinos in Barangaroo, which was supposed to open next month, will remain tight. After CEO Ken Barton first admitted security gaps in the business processes in September, further details about the dubious partnerships of the former managing director James Packer have come to light in the last few weeks. The company has since admitted that criminal groups have probably laundered dirty money into Crown's bank accounts. Australian media report at least two accounts. It is disappointing that Crown had not delayed the opening of its own accord, said Philip Crawford, chairman of the ILGA, in a special meeting on Wednesday (November 18). The investigations would in any case continue until next year, the third Crown license should therefore be withdrawn. One does not feel comfortable granting the group another casino. The revelations would be of great concern to ILGA. As the investigations show, the Crown scandal has worsened over the past 12 months and the facts have become more and more intense. Crown's attorney Robert Craig had admitted that Crown had deposited funds in its accounts at Riverbank and Southbank to be laundered. Crawford then stated that it could possibly be drug money, and spoke of the sexual exploitation of children, human trafficking, and the financing of terrorism. The extent cannot yet be foreseen. The Sydney Harbor Bridge in the evening.

    What is the background?

    The investigation into Crown was kicked off in August 2019 by an investigative report from Australian newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and 60 Minutes. With the help of a dubious Chinese junk operator partner (Suncity), Crown is said to have recruited super-rich VIP players from China who have turned over sums of millions in Crown Casino Melbourne within a short time. Junket Operators are agencies that are responsible for attracting wealthy casino guests. They accompany the potential customers on organized gambling trips, look after their funds and provide information about high chances of winning. The activity is generally allowed in Australia. However, customers from countries where gambling is prohibited, such as China, may not be recruited. In addition, Suncity has been suspected of cooperating with Chinese syndicates since 2014. In this context, there was talk of an illegal organization called The Company. The group is said to have infiltrated the Crown Casinos in Melbourne and Perth and carried out money laundering there. The newspapers primarily referred to thousands of secret e-mails and information from insiders.
    Further allegations relate to the deal between the former CEO James Packer and Lawrence Ho, the owner of the gambling company Melco (Hong Kong). His father, Stanley Ho, is also said to have cooperated with organized crime syndicates. Despite an explicit ban, Packer is said to have attempted to conduct stock deals with Ho, which put Crown's third license in jeopardy. According to the license agreement, Crown was not allowed to enter into any business relationship with any person or company associated with the ex-Melco CEO.

    How is the investigation going?

    The ILGA special committee told the Australian daily SMH that it was concerned and would now investigate the group's bank accounts more closely. Furthermore, it must be checked whether and to what extent the share deals between James Packer and Lawrence Ho violate the license conditions. In addition, the Australian consulate, which is responsible for issuing visas, is said to have been involved in the business. The circles are so vast that even the names of a senior Labor member and a Chinese businessman are flashing on ILGA's radar. Crown's private jet is said to have been made available to both of them several times for private flights. The politician is Jamie Clements, former Labor Secretary-General of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). With the Chinese billionaire around real estate agent Huang Xiangmo. Meanwhile, the owner of Suncity, Alvin Chau, has expanded into other areas. Most recently, he increased his stake in the Tigre de Cristal Casino in Russia and now owns over 77 percent of the Russian establishment. Since this is only around 150 kilometers from the border with China, experts assume that Chinese customers will be brought to the casino in the future.