Australian Watchdog Expands Crown Casino Investigation, Adds New Zealand Owned SkyCity
Australia’s financial crime agency has broadened an investigation of alleged compliance violations by casino operator Crown Resorts (CWN.AX) to include its Perth property, while rival SkyCity Entertainment Group has done so. under separate investigation, the companies said.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) opened an investigation into Crown’s main casino in Melbourne last October, expressing concern about the company’s handling of “high-risk and politically exposed persons”.
AUSTRAC had now identified a “serious and potential breach” of anti-money laundering rules at Crown Casino in Perth and opened a formal investigation there, Crown said on Monday, adding it would cooperate fully.
The expanded scope of the investigation builds on an already big puzzle for Crown, which saw its gaming license suspended just before the opening of a $ A 2.2 billion (AU $ 1.7 billion) complex. dollars) in Sydney in December following allegations in a separate regulatory investigation into a company’s dealings with organized crime.
The company is conducting two subsequent investigations by regulators into its operations in Melbourne and Perth, two class actions, several buyout proposals and intermittent trading restrictions linked to COVID-19 lockdowns.
In a separate development on Monday, Crown said it received a legal opinion that it broke casino laws by selling more than A $ 160 million in gambling chips to people paying with credit or debit cards from 2012 to 2016.
The Crown had informed all relevant regulators of the legal opinion and would cooperate with any further investigation that followed.
Meanwhile, New Zealand rival SkyCity said AUSTRAC told it it was formally investigated into concerns about due diligence at its Adelaide casino of “customers identified as at. high risk and politically exposed âbetween 2015 and 2019.
SkyCity has said it will cooperate with the investigation. The Adelaide Casino is the only owned company outside of New Zealand and generates about one-sixth of its profit before tax.
A spokesperson for AUSTRAC was not immediately available for comment.
($ 1 = Australian dollars 1.2923)
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