The Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price will be on watch tomorrow on news that it’s facing a royal commission from Victoria.
This is the latest setback facing Crown Resorts after the casino operator was deemed to be unsuitable to operate the new casino in Sydney.
What was announced today?
Crown Resorts announced this evening that it had been informed by the Victorian Government that it has established a royal commission into Crown Melbourne’s suitability to hold its Victorian casino licence, as well as the suitability of its associates, including Crown.
The casino business said that it will fully co-operate with the royal commission and will engage with the Victorian government about its reform agenda and any further remedial steps identified in response to the NSW inquiry.
The Crown executive Chair, Helen Coonan, said:
Crown welcomes the announcement from the Victorian Government as it provides an opportunity to deliver the reforms and changes to our business to deliver the highest standards of governance and compliance, and an organisational culture that meets community expectations.
Victorians should be assured we recognise the responsibility placed on us by the community, governments and regulators and we will fully co-operate with the royal commission.
The Crown royal commission
The Victorian government also released an announcement about this. It said that establishing a royal commission will ensure the most appropriate access to information regarding Crown Melbourne’s suitability to hold the casino licence given the commission’s powers to compel witnesses and documentation.
Raymond Finkelstein QC will serve as commissioner and chairperson of the royal commission and will hand down his recommendations by 1 August 2021.
Mr Finkelstein QC has served more than 40 years at the Victorian Bar. He retired as a judge of the Federal Court and President of the Competition Tribunal in 2011 and has returned to private practice at the Victorian Bar.
Later this year, the government will legislate to enable the Victorian Gaming and Liquor Regulation Commission (VCGLR) to give effect to any findings of the royal commission.
Melissa Horne, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, said:
The reports from New South Wales’ ILGA Inquiry were incredibly concerning, which is why we’re establishing a royal commission to get the answer we need about Crown Melbourne. The royal commission will establish the facts and the government and the VCGLR will take any necessary action of the conclusion of the investigation. We will not tolerate illegal behaviour in our gaming industry.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said:
This is about making sure that those who hold a casino licence in Victoria uphold the highest standards of probity and integrity – and making sure they’re accountable for their actions.
The Crown share price finished 0.5% lower on Monday.