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Legal & Regulatory

Royal commission into Crown Resorts extended until October

The royal commission into Crown Resorts’ suitability to hold a casino licence in Victoria has been granted additional time and funding by the Victorian Government.

Crown

The inquiry deadline has been extended from 1 August to 15 October 2021, at the request of Commissioner Ray Finkelstein. The commission will also receive an increase in funding from AU$10m ($7.7m) to AU$19.75m.

“We established this royal commission to get the answers we need about Crown – and this extension will ensure the scope of evidence provided so far is able to be thoroughly considered,” said James Merlino, Acting Premier of Victoria.

The time extension and additional funding were requested to help the inquiry look into Crown’s management, the corporate structure of its casinos, its suitability to hold a licence for a Melbourne venue, and possible allegations that the operator has underpaid casino tax.

The inquiry uncovered that Crown never investigated a 2016 incident when 19 of the company’s staff were detained in China for gambling promotion offences.

Crown Chief Risk Officer Anne Siegers has said conducting an investigation now won’t have any effect, as it should have been done immediately – not years after the fact. She added that by the time she joined Crown, “many of the people and individuals were no longer in place and therefore it was too late.”

“The evidence we have seen coming out of the royal commission to date is significant – we’ll provide the Commissioner with the resources and time required to complete this important work as requested,” said Melissa Horne, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation.

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