As it was reported recently, a couple of Australian casino junkets are under government investigation. One of the local newspapers has stated that the country’s law enforcement officials have launched an investigation into whether a couple of overseas casino junket operators may be promoting Chinese organized crime by using the country’s casinos for money laundering.
According to one report released several days ago by GGRAsia citing reports from The Sydney Morning Herald local newspaper, the latest special investigation by the ACIC or Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission was mainly initiated due to allegations that one land-based casino operator, the popular Crown Resorts Limited may be helping with facilitation of illicit activities with their high-stakes gambling lounges within its casinos.
Crown Resorts Limited Facing Obstacles Since 2007
Crown Resorts Limited is one of the country’s biggest, leading entertainment and gaming groups which had a massive market capitalization going over A$8.7 billion as reported in April last year. The company is located in Southbank in Melbourne and it both operates and owns two of the country’s biggest entertainment and gambling complexes including Crown Perth and Crown Melbourne.
The company was founded in 2007 when PBL or Publishing and Broadcasting limited fully divested all of its assets to Crown Limited. Later on, PBL was renamed to Consolidation Media Holdings. Back in December of 2007, Crown Limited agreed to purchase CCR for around $1.75 billion. Only two years later, this business deal was ended even though Crown Limited insisted on purchasing a smaller stake in the company.
One year later, Crown Limited entered the biggest Las Vegas entertainment and gambling market by purchasing almost a 20 percent stake in popular Fontainebleau Resorts for around $250 million. This business deal resulted in the company facing financial issues which led to several bankruptcy applications. Even though the company was on the edge of bankruptcy in 2008, it has managed to continue its operations and even expand further.
In 2013, the company’s then biggest shareholder and chairman invested in Crown located in Sri Lanka. One year later, the company partnered with Betfair. That same year in December, the company also partnered with another leading online gambling operator BetEasy. However, as of recently, the company is facing serious charges as well as further probes by the country’s regulators.
Alleged Organized Crime Charges
As it was reported recently, Crown Limited has been the center of a messy web or denials, allegations, and government inquiries and the biggest so fat is alleged reports which link the company to organized crime. The allegations are based on thousands of accidentally leaked internal company’s documents which suggest that the casino was not performing all necessary activities to ensure the government that there are no links between organized crime and junket casino operators.
It is also reported that Crown Limited allowed money laundering as well as exploited the country’s visa system weaknesses by allowing Chinese bettors who invest high stakes without any of vetting. The company has denied all of these allegations. It was also reported that the company’s board is extremely concerned for its stakeholders, shareholders and its staff. What is even more, the Crown Limited official press release also accuses others of attempting to destroy its good reputation. Another company which may be looked at by the government is Suncity Group as it offers VIP lounges at the Crown Resorts Limited and Crown Melbourne.