Crown Perth: Money was more important than rules, inquiry hears

The Western Australian Royal Commission will continue until March 2022.
The Western Australian Royal Commission will continue until March 2022.

Crown Perth employees have told the WA Royal Commission they felt unable to talk about bad behaviour while some felt money was more important than rules for the company.

Australia.- A new report has highlighted concerns about the psychological safety of Crown Perth employees, many of whom said they felt unable to talk about bad behaviour. 

The report released by the WA Casino Royal Commission also includes stories from staff who believed they work with people who “bend the rules” and that “money is more important” than following the rules.

The WA Royal Commission is about to conclude the final stage of its witness hearing and will study whether Crown Perth has taken sufficient steps to be suitable for holding a casino licence. 

Crown’s senior leaders told the investigation that a lot of work is being done to repair the company’s corporate culture, including hiring financial crime experts and changing its procedures and policies.

Corporate culture consultant Elizabeth Arzadon was commissioned by the WA Royal Commission to write an expert report that reviewed a separate Deloitte report commissioned by Crown. 

According to the report, Crown puts customers and profits first, rather than following the rules, and senior leaders are not trusted.

The Royal Commission was told that the Deloitte report investigated whether Crown employees effectively talked about their corporate values, including the slogans of “We do the right thing” and “We act respectfully.” 

When reviewing the company’s culture, Deloitte surveyed employees, organised focus groups and interviewed people across the entire organisation. Every employee was asked to respond to the survey, and about 60 per cent participated

According to Arzadon’s report, the results show that many employees do not believe that management, including the Crown Board of Directors, showed the company’s purported values ​​in their work.

The report also showed only 55 per cent of the staff were confident they would not be penalised if they observed problems and raised them with a manager.

ABC highlighted that Deloitte partner Victoria Whitaker, who wrote the culture report, said it could take between three to five years for Crown Perth to make a substantial change in its culture.

The Western Australian Royal Commission into Crown Perth will continue until March 2022.

James Packer admits multiple failings in his oversight of Crown Perth

In a previous session, Crown’s former chair and biggest shareholder giving evidence via video link. Packer admitted to Patricia Cahill, counsel assisting the Royal Commission, that he failed to attend board meetings for nearly four years after moving overseas and failed to ensure the board had a written charter. 

He said he did not attend the Burswood board meeting after leaving the country in 2013, but continued to receive news about casino operations from Barry Felsted, Crown’s then head of Australian resorts.

Packer noted that the company was named employer of the year in 2015 and he believed Crown’s corporate culture has been achieving good things but that at some point “the culture slipped.”

He said he didn’t believe Crown Perth had been involved in money laundering.

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Crown Perth Crown Resorts