/ 27 October 2021

Victoria keeps its Crown

Image source: Crown Resorts
Image source: Crown Resorts

Crown Resorts will hold onto its casino licence in Victoria despite the adverse findings made by the Royal Commission into the company’s conduct in its final report. Crown engaged in “disgraceful” conduct at its Melbourne casino, Commissioner Ray Finkelstein’s report says. And there is evidence of links to criminal gangs and repeated breaches of money laundering laws to boot. But unlike the result of NSW’s review of the same claims, Finkelstein stopped short of recommending that it be stripped of its gaming licence. Instead, it should be given 2 years to reform when a “special manager” will tell the regulator if it’s up to scratch. One of the Commission’s recommendations is that by 2024, no shareholder should hold more than 5% of the company without the regulator’s approval. James Packer has 37%, and he may be forced to sell that down if the Victorian Government moves to adopt the limit. All of that was received well by investors – Crown’s share price jumped 8.7% yesterday.

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