Asia bulletin: Crown Melbourne to face (more) disciplinary proceedings from VGCCC

Crown Melbourne has been informed by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) that disciplinary proceedings will commence against the casino operator.  

asia bulletin crown vgccc gi web image

The VGCCC has initiated this process following findings made by the Royal Commission, which stated that Crown’s “China Union Pay process” was introduced to evade Chinese currency restrictions and enable the illegal transfer of funds from China.  

This news comes after Crown was deemed unsuitable to operate its casino in Perth by the Perth Casino Royal Commission.

The VGCCC notes three disciplinary actions that can be used against Crown Melbourne. 

These include: imposing a fine of up to AU$100m (US$76.2m), varying the conditions of Crown’s casino licence, censuring Crown and directing the operator to take rectification steps.   

VGCCC Chair Fran Thorn said: “I welcome the legislative amendments which impose stronger regulatory obligations on Crown and provide the VGCCC with greater enforcement powers. These powers are needed to deter Crown from engaging in the conduct that was revealed during the Royal Commission. 

“As a first step, we are acting on the Royal Commission’s findings that Crown’s China Union Pay process breached important Victorian regulatory obligations, was illegal and constituted serious misconduct.” 

"These powers are needed to deter Crown from engaging in the conduct that was revealed during the Royal Commission" Fran Thorn, VGCCC Chair

The VGCCC intends to make a further announcement following an expected response from Crown Melbourne. The Commission has also expressed its determination for appropriate disciplinary action to be taken following the conclusion of proceedings.  

The China Union Pay process is described in the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence’s (RCCOL) report as: "The use of the Chinese-based bank card, China Union Pay, to allow international patrons to access funds to gamble at Crown Melbourne,” which occurred between 2012 and 2016.

The RCCOL further described the China Union Pay process as involving the following practices: “The [Crown Towers] hotel issued a room charge bill to the patron, falsely asserting that the hotel had provided services to the person.

"The patron would pay the bill [using their China Union Pay card] and be given a voucher acknowledging receipt of funds. Then the patron, accompanied by a Crown VIP host, took the voucher to the cage and exchanged it for cash or chips.” 

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