After heavy criticism during Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown Resorts, Xavier Walsh has stepped down as CEO of Crown Melbourne.
Australia.- Crown Resorts has announced that Xavier Walsh will step down as chief executive officer of Crown Melbourne on August 20.
The news comes after Adrian Finanzio, counsel assisting Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown Resorts, said Walsh was not appropriate to remain connected to the Crown Resorts.
The company said Walsh will remain available to assist the company until his employment at Crown ends on December 9. Crown Resorts said it will announce a replacement following consultation with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.
In July, Walsh admitted Crown Melbourne had underpaid its casino tax for seven years. He said he had learned about the possibility in 2018 but only started investigating when Victoria’s Royal Commission into the casino operator was announced.
Asked by former Federal Court judge Raymond Finkelstein, who’s leading the inquiry, why he did nothing for almost three years, Walsh said he “took comfort” from knowing senior Crown staff were aware of the issue.
Finanzio said: “Walsh partially disclosed the existence of the issues to other directors, downplayed the significance of the issue to Crown’s lawyers, and never followed up the matter in any meaningful way.”
He argued that the evidence against Crown Melbourne during the inquiry showed “serious misconduct, illegal conduct and highly inappropriate conduct, which has been encouraged or facilitated by a culture which has consistently put profit before all other considerations.”
He said the casino operator should lose its licence for Crown Melbourne. Crown Resorts is working to make further changes to its board and management in an attempt to satisfy Victoria’s Royal Commission.