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NEWS 26 October 2017

Crown Resorts under scrutiny in Australia

By Harrison Sayers
Crown Resorts has come under increased scrutiny in Australia, despite politicians shutting down a proposal for a parliamentary inquiry into the casino industry.

Independent Member of Australian Parliament (MP), Andrew Wilkie, has managed to gain the support of just three other MP’s to back his casino inquiry proposal.

Wilkie made allegations against Crown Casino’s, including the company tampering with machines as well as turning a blind eye to several illicit activities such as drug taking and prostitution. All allegations have been strongly refuted by Crown Casino’s.

James Packer, Director of Crown Resorts Limited, responded to the recent accusations, claiming: “This is one of the things that frustrates me. Maybe because we’re a bigger company, maybe because we’re more well-known, or maybe because I’m better known, Andrew Wilkie throws something into parliament which is a lie.”

Wilkie’s parliamentary privilege allows him to make such accusations without fears of legal repercussions. Packer and other Crown Board members have insinuated that it has allowed him to make what they claim to be ‘ill-founded’ allegations, which have undoubtedly impacted the company’s reputation.

Crown Resorts, who have won three of the last seven ‘best employer’ awards by the Australian National Government, did concede that more transparency may be necessary for the company to be able to avoid similar future situations from occurring.

Packer commented on increased transparency at the Crowns Annual General meeting stating: “From my perspective, I think it’s a conversation that the board should have because we are living in a world of more and more transparency. Companies have to be more transparent today than they were 10 years ago.”

Although Crown Resorts has not been proven of wrong doing, increased political pressure could start to erode the company’s positive image more and more. It is therefore necessary for the company to evolve and become more transparent to ensure that they can better safeguard themselves and their customers in the future.

For now it is clear that there is no appetite in the Australian Parliament for an inquiry into the gambling industry. However, if negative news stories involving Crown Resorts and other areas of the industry continue, then it could definitely be on the cards.
RELATED TAGS: Land-Based | Industry | Legal & Regulatory | Casino
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