Article: Crown chairman Helen Coonan admits casino ‘facilitated’ money laundering

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Crown chairman Helen Coonan admits casino ‘facilitated’ money laundering

Mostafa Rachwani,  20 October 2020

The Crown Resorts chairman, Helen Coonan, has admitted the company facilitated money laundering at its Melbourne casino but denied it was “turning a blind eye” to criminal activity instead blaming it on “ineptitude”.

The concession was made at the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s inquiry into Crown’s suitability to hold a Sydney casino licence.

Coonan was asked on Tuesday about Crown’s relationship with SunCity, a high-roller junket partner with alleged criminal links. She was challenged on why Crown did not shut down SunCity’s private room in Melbourne after evidence emerged of money laundering.

“Isn’t this a quintessential example of Crown Resorts turning a blind eye to the prospects of money laundering occurring at its casino?” the counsel assisting the inquiry, Naomi Sharp SC, asked.

“It may have been ineptitude or a lack of attention, I don’t think it was deliberately turning a blind eye, I do think that’s a different adjectival conclusion,” Coonan, a former Howard government minister, replied.

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