According to an investigation lawyer, Crown Casino is unfit to have a casino license in Victoria as the public has lost its trust in the establishment.
Adrian Finanzio SC, the counsel assisting the royal commission, said the company’s efforts to redeem itself might not be enough to reclaim the trust of the public, which he claimed it had lost owing to “flagrant” and “repeated” breaches of ethical standards and law.
Mr. Finanzio stated it was possible that the commissioner, Ray Finkelstein QC, would find Crown eligible to keep its license, but this would not be easy to justify.
After admitting its mistakes, the organization understands what is needed and might become suitable once again. That fact alone can sometimes qualify a licensee, but according to him, it was not a matter of isolated or minor infractions or breaches that could be easily and quickly rectified.
In this situation, it’s possible to conclude that the wrongdoing was so egregious and well-publicized and extremely damaging to the Crown’s entire reputation, so much so that there is no way to rebuild faith in it, no matter how much damage control is done.
He also stated that the Crown complex had become a prominent part of the city’s infrastructure; it is the most extensive single-site employment establishment in the city. He further stated that no part of the submissions should be construed as an insult to Crown’s dedicated staff.
When he issues his recommendation on Crown’s Melbourne license by 15th October, Commissioner Finkelstein will consider Mr. Finanzio’s submission. The Andrews government has promised to accept his advice if he advises that Crown lose its license.
According to the commission, Crown underpaid up to $272 million in tax to the government of Victoria, sold $160 million in casino chips without permission through the hotel desk, threatened to file a complaint about the regulator to the gaming minister, and warned the government about the risk of the commission’s adverse finding.
After the NSW government learned Crown’s casinos were being used to help money laundering, the outfit backed by James Packer was deemed unfit to hold a license in NSW in early 2021.
Commissioner Finkelstein said in the final week of the commission’s hearings in early July that he had uncovered “misconduct or improper During down and in-between” during the eight weeks of public hearings.
He stated that he had witnessed bad and illegal, improper, and unwanted behavior everywhere he turned, and it ran through the entire company.