Elouise Fowler, 24 March 2021
The Crown Resorts royal commission in Victoria will probe deeper into whether money laundering is still happening at Crown’s flagship casino at Southbank in Melbourne, says the inquiry head, former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein, QC.
Commissioner Finkelstein said he was concerned the gambling giant had not faced up to its role in facilitating the criminal activity through its gaming rooms, as revealed in a scathing NSW inquiry that found the $8 billion company unfit to hold a licence at its new $2.2 billion casino in Sydney.
In his opening remarks on the first day of public hearings, Mr Finkelstein said he wrote to the gambling giant to gauge its “attitude” and to ask whether Crown accepted the findings from the NSW probe.
In the James Packer-backed group’s first push-back against the NSW findings, Mr Finkelstein said Crown had produced a response that was “a little equivocal”.
“The current companies do not accept, in terms, the findings made by Commissioner [Patricia] Bergin,” he said.