Crown Resorts in Australia has come to an agreement with AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) after it was discovered that the popular casino service had breached gambling regulations. The casino is guilty of failing to comply with anti-money laundering laws at its Perth and Melbourne locations. The casino has agreed to pay $450 mill AUD in fines.
Crown Resorts has admitted to allowing money laundering to take place in their locations. The casino franchise didn’t take action as billions of dollars passed through their location. Some of the events that took place were very suspicious, but Crown Resorts looked the other way as they were earning record-breaking profits.
The casino franchise allowed junkets to take place at locations in Melbourne and Perth. Well-known customers would bring in high rollers and the casino would offer them private rooms for gambling activity. One client, known as Suncity, ran 252 junket events between 2016 and 2020. Crown Resorts recorded over $22 billion AUD in profits alone from this customer’s events.
There were several incidents where the activity was very suspicious and Crown Resorts admit they should have investigated. Some of these junket customers weren’t trying to blend in. They would bring dirty money into the casino in paper bags, shoe boxes, and suitcases. After reviewing surveillance footage, it was discovered that one customer even brought money in using a cooler.
Crown Resorts couldn’t pretend that they didn’t know about the financial crimes occurring in its venues. There is evidence that the casino operation was gifting its junket customers by sending them private jets. It was also discovered that 4 different junket operation organizers had access to these private jets for all of their domestic and international travellings.
This isn’t the first time that Crown Resorts has been in hot water for breaching gambling laws. In 2018, a customer had $790,000 AUD in undeclared cash on one of the Crown Resorts’ private jets. The casino franchise has a long record of historical failings when making a profit.
The casino’s chief executor, Ciaran Carruthers, has publically apologised for the failings.
“I want to reiterate that these historical failings were unacceptable and on behalf of Crown Resorts, our new owners and leadership, I apologise for the failings of the past. We are committed to implementing these reforms to make Crown a better business and lift the standards for the entire industry.”
The casino’s current chairman, Ziggy Switkowski, didn’t come on board until late 2021. Although he is currently head of operation, he was not involved with the casino franchise at the time of these incidents.
This is not the first time Australian Casinos have been in the news this year for breach of anti-money laundering regulations. Earlier this year, Skycity Casino was under investigation for money laundering. Also, at the end of 2022, AUSTRAC was obliged to launch an investigation into Star Entertainment Group amid claims the casino operator was not compliant with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.
Gamblers in Australia are still able to visit Crown Resorts. Although the casino is expected to pay $450 million in fines, the establishments are still allowed to operate. This scandal won’t affect patrons who plan to visit the establishment. However, they may notice that the staff is more attentive regarding responsible gambling measures.
At the time, the casino is still in the works of developing the framework to prevent illegal activity from occurring on its premises. The team at Crown Resorts does realise how serious these crimes are. They are taking responsibility for what happened and taking active steps to make sure it doesn’t occur again in the future. Their goal is to make Crown Resorts a safe casino for patrons and staff to enjoy legal gambling activity.
Lily, a Casino Content Specialist, has amassed an impressive wealth of experience in the iGaming industry for well over a decade. She infuses this experience with each review, casino guide, and blog post. She spends her time playing titles like Mega Moolah and Starburst when not writing or spending time with her family in Auckland.Read more about the author