Asia Bulletin: Crown receives AU$20m penalty over unpaid taxes

Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has claimed that, if not for the group's "remorse and cooperation," the penalty would have been higher.

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Crown Resorts has received a penalty of AU$20m (US$13.7m) in Victoria for claiming inaccurate tax deductions, in the past for advertising costs that were handed out as winnings.

The issue came to light after various documents that Crown Melbourne produced in the 2021 Royal Commission examining Crown Melbourne.

In a joint filing with the Federal Court last month, the Crown and the financial crimes regulator proposed that the organisation pay one of the largest financial fines in Australian corporate history, for the substantial anti-money laundering and counterterrorism shortcomings that were revealed by the Royal Commission.

Since then, Crown has admitted that it was incorrect to claim these tax deductions and has given the state of Victoria roughly AU$61.5m, which includes about AU$37.4m in unpaid casino tax and nearly $24.1m in penalty interest. 

These payments are in addition to the fine imposed by the VGCCC. 

According to reports, Fran Thorn, VGCCC chairperson, said: “Crown and other gaming licensees have important obligations to pay gaming taxes to the state. Not only did Crown breach its obligations by claiming tax deductions to which it was not entitled, but Crown also made significant efforts at concealment.”

The VGCCC claimed that, if not for the group's "remorse and cooperation," the fine would have been higher.


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