Royal commission into Crown Perth will investigate industry’s regulatory framework

A royal commission into Crown Perth in Western Australia began today with a brief public hearing, with further essential hearings scheduled for May. The commission will have two points of focus: whether Crown Perth is suitable to hold a gaming licence and the regulatory framework around the industry in the state.

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Chair of the commission is Neville Owen, a former WA Supreme Court judge, and working as commissioners alongside him are WA Supreme Court judge Lindy Jenkins and former WA auditor-general Colin Murphy.

Justice Owen expressed his intention to work with the other ongoing investigations into Crown, otherwise known as the Bergin inquiry, Victoria’s royal commission into Crown Casino and a regulatory review into the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, whenever possible.

The investigation into Perth started when a NSW inquiry into the casino revealed Crown Resorts’ possible ties to money laundering, and Crown was denied the license to open the Barangaroo venue in Sydney (pictured). The inquiry also touched upon the unsuitable governance of the company.

Last month, WA Attorney-General John Quigley was advised to proceed with a royal commission instead of a regular inquiry because it would grant the investigators immunity, reported ABC News. “Although the inquiry would have the powers of the royal commission, the commissioner would not have the immunities and protections afforded by the Royal Commissions Act,” said Quigley.

The commission will reputedly release the interim report on regulation matters on 30 June. The final report and any proceeding recommendations are scheduled for 14 November.


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