Raymond Finkelstein has rejected Crown’s warning that 12,000 jobs would be at risk if the company is unable to retain its gaming licence.
Australia.- Former Federal Court judge Raymond Finkelstein, who’s leading the Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown Resorts, has rejected Crown Resort’s claims that jobs would be at risk if it loses its licence for Crown Melbourne, saying that another company would eventually step in to take over the venue.
Michael Borsky, Crown’s lawyer, had stated in his submission to the Royal Commission that shareholders, employees and tourism would all suffer if Crown Melbourne lost its gaming licence.
The warning came after another Crown lawyer, Leon Zwier, wrote a letter to the Victorian gaming minister Melissa Horne warning that 12,000 jobs would be at risk. The letter also noted that the casino operator wouldn’t be able comply with its lending covenants which total $700m if it loses the licence.
Xavier Walsh has stepped down as CEO of Crown Melbourne after heavy criticism from Adrian Finanzio, counsel assisting Victoria’s Royal Commission. According to Finanzio, Crown should lose its licence for Crown Melbourne.
The company said Walsh will remain available to assist the company until his employment at Crown ends on December 9. It 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.
Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown Resorts will continue until October 15 after the government approved judge Raymond Finkelstein’s request for an extension.