Crown Resorts faces a new threat to its casino licenses and the prospect of multi-million dollar fines after being informed by Austrac, the government agency responsible for anti-money laundering laws. money that he identified as a « potential non-compliance » by Crown Melbourne
In a statement to ASX, Crown said that « potential non-compliance includes concerns related to ongoing customer due diligence and the adoption, maintenance and adherence to a control program against money laundering and the financing of terrorism ”
« These concerns were identified during a compliance assessment which began in September 2019 and focused on Crown Melbourne’s handling of clients identified as high risk and politically exposed persons, » said Crown in a press release
Investigation by Federal Anti-Money Laundering Authority follows evidence ahead of New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority investigation into allegations of Sydney license violation
The investigation was sparked by James Packer’s plan to sell 199% to Macau-based Melco Holdings, a company controlled by Lawrence Ho
But, after revelations in the nine media outlets of money laundering allegations, it has expanded to include activities in the high roller hall in Melbourne and alleged connections with junkets, who recruit and fund high rollers
These include allegations of cash being handed over to Aldi bags in the upper rooms of the Melbourne casino outside the normal anti-money laundering controls that operate within the casino
The NSW investigation also heard evidence that Crown operated two accounts – Southbank and Riverbank – which allowed customers to deposit money without having to disclose their identity The accounts of these companies were closed by ANZ and later by the Commonwealth Bank after deposits were « structured » to keep them below the $ 10,000 anti-money laundering reporting threshold.
The Sydney casino in Barangaroo, which will host the big players, is expected to open in December
Last week, Victorian Gambling and Alcohol Commission regulations issued Crown justification for its Melbourne casino license
The Crown expected an investigation from Austrac, especially after the evidence before the Sydney inquiry
Civil penalties that Austrac can impose can run into the hundreds of millions and can be imposed for every offense For example, Westpac was hit with a $ 1 3 billion penalty for 23 million offenses The Commonwealth Bank was sentenced to pay $ 700 million
The company said the case had been referred to the Austrac enforcement team, which launched a formal investigation into Crown Melbourne’s compliance
« Crown Melbourne will respond to all requests for information in support of the investigation and will fully cooperate with Austrac in this process, » the statement said.
Crown Resorts, Money laundering, Crown Melbourne, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, Finance
EbeneNews – AU – Crown Melbourne Casino faces investigation by Austrac for violations potential money laundering