The board of Crown Resorts has issued a strong rebuttal of allegations that it is linked to criminal figures who may be laundering money through Australian casinos, though the probe into its operations has now widened to include the country’s most powerful investigative body.
An investigative report by The Age, 60 Minutes and the Sydney Morning Herald, which aired over the weekend, also accused the company of liaising with immigration officials to fast-track visas for wealthy individuals.
In a letter posted on its website, Crown’s 11 directors said they were highly concerned for the company’s staff and shareholders, as “much of this unbalanced and sensationalized reporting is based on unsubstantiated allegations, exaggerations, unsupported connections and outright falsehoods.”
The operator clarified its relations with junket operators, pointing out that it is standard practice in international casinos to work with the agents, who are also subject to regulatory oversight.
Crown blasted what it said were mistakes in the reporting, including the fact that a cousin of Chinese President XI Jinping had been found on one of the company’s private jets by law enforcement authorities. The jet was not owned or chartered by Crown, it clarified.
Also, CCTV footage showed a person handing over a bag of cash in a vegetable market, but did not mention that person had been barred from Crown’s casinos six years ago.
“The programme also made various allegations of money laundering, implying that Crown facilitates it, or turns a ‘blind eye’ to it. In fact Crown has a comprehensive anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program which is subject to ongoing regulatory supervision by AUSTRAC,” the letter reads.
The directors also rebutted allegations that its behaviour had put employees in danger in China and sought to discredit one of the key whistleblowers in the report, saying she had sought compensation from Crown equivalent to 50 times her annual salary.
Still, Australian authorities are taking the allegations seriously and on Tuesday appointed theAustralian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity to look into some of the issues raised, in particular the favourable visa treatment.
Crown said it will fully cooperate in the investigation.
The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald also reported Wednesday that the head of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Michael Phelan, says federal police and intelligence agencies have uncovered damning “insights and vulnerabilities within casinos in Australia.
He said his probe is targeting the activities of junkets and the report said his comment suggested the inquiry won’t be just limited to Crown’s casinos and may extent to Star Entertainment.
28-07-2019A six-month joint investigation by 60 MINUTES, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald has exposed a corporate scandal unlike anything Australia has...
23-01-2019The first casino in Vietnam that allows locals to gamble has opened in Phu Quoc Island, the southern province of Kien Giang.
09-07-2018Another Cambodian casino has been shut down for staging cockfights, and some local residents are pissed that the operators have apparently received...
04-07-2018The Tigre de Cristal casino in Russia’s far east Primorye gaming zone has been named the best resort in the country by an international awards panel....
18-05-2018For the final day of Global Gaming Expo 2018, CalvinAyre.com’s Stephanie Tower takes us to the record-breaking 37,000 sqm exhibition hall at the V...
17-05-2018Thousands of people continue to arrive at the second day of the Global Gaming Expo 2018 at the Venetian Macau to learn more about the future of gaming...
16-05-2018CalvinAyre.com’s Stephanie Tower is at the Venetian Macau for the 12th edition of G2E Asia, the largest industry event in the region. Here are the h...
22-03-2018The second day of Asean Gaming Summit talks about the benefit of advance technology in blockchain can benefit the gaming industry.
21-03-2018Asean Gaming Summit is back and Calvinayre’s Stephanie Tower brings us the highlights of day 1 at the Conrad Manila, Philippines.
16-03-2018The last day of the iGaming Asia Congress 2018 was dedicated to a series of in-depth workshops on eSports and driving online traffic for the iGaming...
Next week, the Australasian Gaming Expo, in collaboration with Asia Gaming Brief will be launching the 2020 edition of the AGE...