Article: Reflecting crypto craze, crypto-related scams spiral higher in the U.K.

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Reflecting crypto craze, crypto-related scams spiral higher in the U.K.

SOPHIE MELLOR, 06 April 2021

As the value of virtual currencies spirals ever higher, so have the scams related to them.

According to new data from the U.K.’s fraud reporting service Action Fraud, scams involving cryptocurrency investment rose 57% across the U.K. in 2020, with a total of 5,581 reports made.

Investors lost a total of £113 million to crypto scammers in 2020, up from £76.6 million the previous year. Continue reading “Article: Reflecting crypto craze, crypto-related scams spiral higher in the U.K.”

Article: ‘A harm-production factory’: Crown casino faces scrutiny over problem gambling

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‘A harm-production factory’: Crown casino faces scrutiny over problem gambling

Ben Butler,  26 March 2021

Triads, shopping bags full of cash, money laundering – if you’ve been following the inquiry into Crown Resorts run by New South Wales authorities, you might think there aren’t many allegations left to be hurled at the casino operator.

But a royal commission into the operation of the James Packer-controlled group’s flagship casino in Melbourne could expose it to fresh attack over a problem its critics have long claimed is rife at the complex: problem gambling.

Opening the inquiry on Wednesday, royal commissioner Ray Finkelstein said there was “no practical utility” in going over the same territory dealt with by the NSW inquiry, which reported to state parliament in February. Continue reading “Article: ‘A harm-production factory’: Crown casino faces scrutiny over problem gambling”

Article: Commission will probe money laundering

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Commission will probe money laundering

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. Continue reading “Article: Commission will probe money laundering”

Article: Crown Resorts: US private equity group Blackstone offers James Packer exit strategy

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Crown Resorts: US private equity group Blackstone offers James Packer exit strategy

Anne Davies, 22 March 2021

Billionaire James Packer has been offered a new exit strategy from Crown Resorts after the company received an unsolicited bid from private equity company Blackstone Group.

Blackstone, which already has a 10% holding in the casino giant, has offered to acquire all of the shares in Crown through a scheme of arrangement.

It is offering $11.85 a share, representing a 19% premium to the volume-weighted average price of Crown shares since the release of its first half results for the financial year 2021. Continue reading “Article: Crown Resorts: US private equity group Blackstone offers James Packer exit strategy”

Article: Blackstone rolls the dice with $6.2 billion move on Australia’s Crown Resorts

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Blackstone rolls the dice with $6.2 billion move on Australia’s Crown Resorts

Byron Kaye, Rashmi Ashok, 22 March 2021

Crown shares leapt more than 20% after it disclosed the informal offer on Monday, passing Blackstone’s indicative price of A$11.85 as investors wagered a bigger payment could be in the offing from the world’s No. 1 private equity firm or another suitor.

“It’s nice to get a bid, and now it’s about price discovery,” said John Ayoub, a portfolio manager at Wilson Asset Management, which has Crown shares.

“These stocks are trading at trough earnings and I wouldn’t be surprised to see further activity in the sector.” Continue reading “Article: Blackstone rolls the dice with $6.2 billion move on Australia’s Crown Resorts”

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. Continue reading “Article: Crown chairman Helen Coonan admits casino ‘facilitated’ money laundering”

Article: Crown Melbourne casino faces Austrac investigation for potential money laundering breaches

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Crown Melbourne casino faces Austrac investigation for potential money laundering breaches

Anne Davies,  30 March 2021

Crown Resorts is facing a new threat to its casino licences and the prospect of multimillion-dollar fines after it was informed by Austrac, the government agency responsible for anti-money laundering laws that it has identified “potential non-compliance” by Crown Melbourne.

In a release to the ASX, Crown has said the “potential non-compliance includes concerns in relation to ongoing customer due diligence, and adopting, maintaining and complying with an anti-money laundering / counter-terrorism financing program”. Continue reading “Article: Crown Melbourne casino faces Austrac investigation for potential money laundering breaches”