Crown Resorts chair: “We can do better”

Crown's chair gave testimony to the NSW ILGA inquiry.
Crown's chair gave testimony to the NSW ILGA inquiry.

Helen Coonan has admitted background checks on VIP guests were not robust enough.

Australia.- Crown Resorts’ chair, Helen Coonan, has admitted its background checks on VIP guests were not “robust” enough and promised that the group “can do better”.

During the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) hearing into the operator’s suitability to hold a Sydney casino licence, the company recognised that it did not run the proper checks on Chinese high rollers and let them use unsupervised bank accounts to make transfers.

Questioned by the inquiry, Coonan said the group’s operations to attract Chinese customers had a large risk, but that the concerns of staff had not been escalated through risk management channels. The operation led to the arrest of 19 company officials in 2016.

She said: “I think we can do better as we have alluded to in the course of these proceedings […] in respect of not casting the net wide enough to people associated with junkets, affiliates and the like.”

Coonan, who was appointed chair in January, said the company was not initiating a review of the procedures at the moment, while legal matters such as the class suit brought by Crown shareholders for losses incurred after the China incident remained pending.

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