Australia’s Crown Resorts says it has received new legal advice that it breached its Casino Control Act by processing more than AU$160 million in gambling funds via credit or debit card processing at Crown Melbourne between 2012 and 2016.
Details of the historical breaches formed part of a Monday morning announcement by Crown informing the market of potential serious breaches to Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering laws at Crown Perth following an investigation by AML watchdog AUSTRAC. Similar breaches have also been uncovered at SkyCity Entertainment Group’s Australian casino, SkyCity Adelaide.
According to Crown, its historical breaches – which are unrelated to the AUSTRAC investigation also announced Monday – involved the company receiving payment from debit or credit cards of international guests at Crown Melbourne’s Crown Towers Hotel, with the funds then made available to the patron for gaming at Crown Melbourne’s casino.
Under Section 68 of Victoria’s Casino Control Act, an operator is prohibited from providing money or chips for gambling as part of a transaction involving a credit or a debit card.
“Crown transacted over AU$160 million through the hotel card process, which ceased in November 2016,” Crown revealed.
“Crown is continuing its investigations into these matters, including whether it may have breached other laws by reason of the hotel card process.
“Crown has notified the VCGLR and the Victorian Royal Commission of the matters the subject of this release. Crown will also notify all other relevant regulators and the Western Australian Royal Commission of these matters.”
Both Royal Commissions are ongoing and follow on from the findings of an independent inquiry held last year in New South Wales which subsequently found Crown unsuitable to hold a casino license for its AU$2.2 billion Crown Sydney development.