The Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price was in the green earlier on Thursday. However, it tumbled after the company announced it’s been hit with another $1 million fine by Victoria’s gambling watchdog.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) has issued Crown with a second maximum penalty fine. This time, it found the company failed to comply with junket regulations in 2015 and 2016.
The body slapped Crown with a $1 million fine in April for similar behaviour.
At the time of writing, the Crown share price is $11.74, 0.34% lower than its previous close.
For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is currently up 0.22%.
Let’s take a closer look at today’s news of Crown’s Melbourne casino.
Crown share price slumps on more historical wrongdoings
The Crown share price is sliding after the VCGLR fined the company for ignoring an order to end its relationship with an individual, non-residential, junket operator and their associates.
VCGLR also found Crown didn’t conduct due diligence on the operator and allowed them to conduct junkets. It also failed to tell the commission before they began their operation.
Notably, had the watchdog made its findings after 1 January 2022 – when the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission is to replace the VCGLR – Crown could be looking at fines of up to $100 million.
The new maximum fine is part of the recently passed Casino and Gambling Legislation Amendment Act 2021.
VCGLR chair Ross Kennedy commented on Crown’s fine, saying:
The amount of this fine reflects the seriousness of this matter, particularly Crown’s conduct in failing to immediately implement the requirements of the commission’s direction to cease a relationship with an unsuitable junket operator.
The VCGLR expects its regulated entities to be proactive in their compliance with regulatory requirements, and firm action will continue to be taken against those that wilfully disregard or disobey directions of the regulator.
The matter wasn’t addressed in the Royal Commissioner’s report, released in October, after which the Crown share price surged. However, VCGLR said it’s “considering Commissioner Finkelstein’s report and will decide what further regulatory action is appropriate in relation to the findings”.
If further action is taken, it could be under the new legislation.
Crown CEO Steve McCann commented:
Crown will consider the findings of the VCGLR carefully, with a view to continuing to advance its reform agenda and taking into consideration all available learnings…
The announcement today from the VCGLR is a reflection of past practices which no longer occur at Crown.
The Crown share price has gained 18% over 2021.