Crown Resorts deemed unsuitable to run $2.2bn Sydney casino due to money laundering concerns

An inquiry has found Crown Resorts unfit to hold a casino license in New South Wales due to money laundering and business dealings with organised crime groups.

The verdict from the 18-month investigation means the group’s new $2.2 billion casino in Sydney can’t open its doors.

In her final report, former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin confirmed Crown Resorts had “facilitated money laundering” through its bank accounts and went into business with “high-roller” junket tour operators (JTOs)linked to Triad and other criminal enterprises.

This made Crown Resorts unsuitable to hold a casino licence with its core problem being “poor corporate governance, deficient risk management structures and processes and a poor corporate culture”.

The findings follow a report by regulator AUSTRAC in December warning that the JTOs have money laundering vulnerabilities.

JTOs bring wealthy gamblers to casinos by offering promotions and other services, with these ‘high-rollers’ paying the JTO. AUSTRAC said that the lack of transparency and anonymity created by the pooling of funds under the JTO is a “key vulnerability” as the financial arrangements are not disclosed to the casino.