Helen Coonan has admitted failings at the NSW inquiry but said the company is ready to open its new Sydney casino.
Australia.- Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan has admitted failings but told New South Wales authorities the operator did not turn a blind eye to warnings of money laundering related to a Suncity-operated junket in Melbourne.
The New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) inquiry asked about Coonan about Crown’s relationship with the junket operated by Alvin Chau, who is regarded by Australian regulators as a politically-exposed person and a former Macau triad member.
Coonan said: “It may have been ineptitude or a lack of attention. I don’t think it was deliberately turning a blind eye. I do think that’s a different adjectival conclusion.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that commissioner Patricia Bergin asked Coonan if the company’s actions did not equate to facilitating money laundering.
Coonan admitted the group’s “ineptitude” could have led to people knowing there was a possibility to launder money through its casino. She admitted Crown’s failings had “enabled” money laundering but said the firm was ready and suitable to open its new Sydney casino in December.
Coonan took the stand a day after the Australian financial regulator, AUSTRAC announced a formal investigation into money laundering procedures at Crown Melbourne.