Currently, a royal commission is trying to determine if lax government oversight had any contribution to money laundering and problem gambling issues at the Perth casino.
WA’s investigation revealed the Gaming and Wagering Commission (GWC) had decided not to look into several allegations of money laundering against Crown because the company’s former legal boss had claimed “it was a media beat-up.”
GWC is a part-time, seven-member board that meets once a month and is provided assistance by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSCI).
There was evidence that the state’s former chief casino officer would have shared regular fishing trips with two Crown employees.
Counsel representing the DLGSCI, Fiona Seaward, outlined an overhaul of GWC and department processes, including requirements to disclose personal relationships with Crown staff and to register gifts, benefits and hospitality.
She added that the department is investigating its code of conduct, and awaits integrity presentations from the state’s corruption watchdog and public sector commission.
Seaward said: "The department has accepted, and accepts today, that its historical management of conflicts of interest was not of the standard expected of a modern public sector organisation involved in regulation. The department has taken a number of steps to address this issue."
The royal commission will also find out if Crown was allowed to self-regulate aspects of its Perth operations, with WA’s knowledge and approval.
In the coming days, the inquiry will hear a closing submission from lawyers representing Crown as well as the company’s major shareholder James Packer.