Crown Resorts shares fall amid money laundering investigation

By Peter Lynch

Crown Resorts shares have fallen by more than 9%, with the company currently being investigated for potential breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. 

Crown, who has casinos in Perth and Melbourne, could face millions of dollars in fines and threats to its licences if found guilty.  

The company is also currently building a property in Sydney, which it plans to open in December despite facing several legal issues. 

Together with the laundering probe, Crown is already facing inquiries over high-roller gamblers at its Melbourne casino. 

Crown Melbourne is facing allegations of having business ties to operators with suspected crime links in Asia, with former chief executive James Packer among those who have already given testimony. 

And in the latest development, Crown has revealed that it has been contacted by the country’s financial crime regulator. 

In a statement, the company said that the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) had raised concerns about possible breaches in many areas.  

“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,” Crown said.  

Austrac has confirmed that the investigation is indeed underway, and is the result of a compliance assessment that began in September of last year. 

Upon the announcement, Crown’s shares have dropped by over 9% to $8.14. 

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