The Crown Withholds Responsible Gambling Papers
Crown sent an “eleventh hour” letter to a royal commission detailing a plan to improve its responsible gambling practices, but withheld key documents.
An investigation into whether Crown remains fit to retain its license for its Melbourne operations should focus on the James Packer’s-backed group’s approach to responsible gaming.
Assistant lawyer Adrian Finanzio SC said on Tuesday that crown attorneys sent a letter to the investigation at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
He said the letter proposed to minimize gambling issues by increasing the number of employees working on responsible gambling and introducing fixed gambling times for its customers.
“The letter promises to stop things that, from a certain point of view, should never have happened,” Finanzio told the inquiry.
“The proposed changes amount to an implicit admission that certain practices are incompatible with the department responsible for gambling.”
Mr Finanzio said the letter was received at the “eleventh hour” ahead of a week of hearings on the matter and that the timing could not go “without remark”.
He added that the assistant lawyer immediately requested access to the proposed changes and documents from the May 24 board meeting where they were built.
But neither was provided.
Mr Finanzio also said that people who play in Crown Melbourne were three times more likely to experience problem gambling than those who use other venues in Victoria.
The royal commission was set up by the Andrews Labor government after a New South Wales investigation ruled that Crown was unfit to run its newly built casino at Barangaroo in Sydney.
This investigation found that Crown facilitated money laundering, associated with junket operators with links to organized crime groups even after being made aware of such links, and put staff at risk. detention in China.
The Victorian Inquiry is now in its third week.
He was told that Crown lied to the Victorian gaming regulator about what he knew about the crackdown on foreign casinos in China after his own staff were arrested overseas.
The Victorian Gaming and Alcohol Regulatory Commission looked into the arrests of 19 Crown personnel in China in 2016.
All have been charged with gambling promotion offenses and are still the subject of an ongoing class action lawsuit against the Crown.
The inquest also learned that a Crown official was “furious” and threatened to call Victoria’s gaming minister after the VCGLR probed its review of junket players.
This continues on Tuesday with evidence from Crown Melbourne responsible gaming manager Sonja Bauer.