Australia: Independent Monitor Appointed By WA Government To Oversee Crown Perth's Operations

Australia: Independent Monitor Appointed By WA Government To Oversee Crown Perth's Operations

After a royal commission investigation into the casino’s operations that resulted in the recommendation of a two-year remediation plan, an independent monitor has been appointed by the Western Australia government to oversee the activities of the Perth Casino. The move comes as Crown Resorts works to establish its suitability to hold the casino license.

Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti said current police Assistant Commissioner Paul Steel would take on the role from November onwards, bringing in “decades of experience in organized crime investigations, organizational transformation, delivery of cross-government strategic outcomes and senior leadership” to the new position.

The WA parliament has recently passed legislation allowing the establishment of the position and subsequent supervision of the casino’s operations. “This is the latest step in the WA government’s response to the royal commission and represents a new era of integrity, accountability and transparency at Perth’s casino,” Buti stated, as reported by WA Today.

He noted that the purpose of the legislation and independent monitoring is “to restore integrity to the casino operator in Perth” to ensure that it is operating in a first-class manner. “That is what we require as a government and that is what the community expects,” said Buti.

According to Buti, the costs associated with appointing the monitor would be recovered from Crown. The royal commission found this year that Crown Resorts was unsuitable to run its Perth casino, but gave the operator two years to set their activities straight.

This came as Crown and its subsidiaries were found to have facilitated money laundering at the casino, failing to implement systems to detect suspicious transactions and permitting junkets with criminal links to operate at the Burswood complex.

Crown Melbourne

Crown has been embroiled in conflict at more than one of its properties as of late. The Victorian parliament passed new restrictions on Crown’s Melbourne casino recently, forcing customers to set limits on their time and losses. The property has until the end of next year to establish some of these limitations, which cleared the upper house a month after a bill was first introduced to parliament.

The changes in the Casino Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Implementation and Other Matters) Bill 2022 must be introduced at the casino by no later than December 2025 to allow for the development of technology that does not currently exist. It also contemplates an AUD 1000 ($668) cash cap every 24 hours that must be implemented by the end of 2023 to tackle money laundering, and anyone who exceeds that limit will have to use casino-issued cards.

Last month, the new NSW Independent Casino Commission commenced its activities and warned NSW casinos that they will not be able to hide from the authority, which will impart “very severe” punishments for wrongdoing. The NICC will have unprecedented powers to monitor casino activities and act against operators who engage in misconduct, targeting money laundering and other criminal activity.

Under new laws, casinos face fines of up to AUD 100 million, and senior executives and board members will be personally liable for wrongdoing they know about, but fail to stop.