Victoria’s Royal Commission extends inquiry into Crown Resorts
Former Federal Court judge Raymond Finkelstein has ordered an extension to the inquiry up to October 15.
Australia.- Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown Resorts will continue up to October 15 after the government approved judge Raymond Finkelstein’s request for an extension.
Finkelstein also asked for an increase in the commission’s funding from AU$10m to AU$19.75m to continue investigating Crown Resorts suitability to maintain its licence for its Melbourne casino.
The judge leading the state of Victoria’s inquiry was originally due to release his report by August 1.
According to local media, Melissa Horne, minister for consumer affairs, gaming and liquor regulation, said: “The evidence we have seen coming out of the Royal Commission to date is significant.
“We’ll provide the Commissioner with the resources and time required to complete this important work as requested.”
During the last session of public hearings into Crown Resorts, Ann Siegers, Crown’s chief risk officer, referred to the arrest of 19 Crown executives in China in 2016.
Siegers, who joined Crown Resorts in 2017, admitted that a review of the incident should have been undertaken immediately to be effective.
She said: “By the time I joined Crown many of the people and individuals were no longer in place and therefore it was too late.”
Siegers also added that Crown Resorts has made efforts in the past months to reach suitability in the state of New South Wales.
In May, Nick Stokes, Crown Resorts’ head of financial crime, said Crown’s former legal chief Joshua Preston had ignored his concerns about money-laundering risks.
Stokes said he tried to increase the anti-money laundering team at Crown Resorts, which only had three staff members, but that Preston had said it wasn’t necessary.
According to ABC Newspaper, Stokes said: “He would hear me out and he would listen to my views, but on many occasions, he was of the view that “casinos had always been that way and that a casino’s not a bank, and the same rules didn’t quite apply.”
However, Stokes said things had changed at Crown Resorts and that he now has a team of 20 anti-money laundering staff.