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- Crown executives resign as inquiry rules against NSW casino license and incompetent leadership
In October 2020, Packer faced an independent inquiry when he tried to get a NSW casino license for a Sydney Crown Resorts Ltd. Casino — which sparked the inquiry to really dive into whether or not the casino was fit to hold one at all.
The hearings, originally postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, began in January 2021 and lasted throughout February 2021. The hearing found that Crown Resorts Ltd. was unsuitable to hold a licence, mostly relating to threats Packer made to Ben Gray, and his involvement with junket operators in China and otherwise.
Now, people are beginning to doubt the integrity of Crown’s Casinos in other cities.
What did the Crown Find?
Inquiry Commissioner Patricia Bergin found that Crown Resort had facilitated money laundering, exposed staff to risk detention in a foreign jurisdiction and pursuing commercial relationships with individuals who are connected to organized crime. She also recommended a total overhaul of the way the company is governed.
Bergin said that the Chief Executive, Ken Barton, demonstrated a ‘breath-taking lack of care’, and that the Executive ‘is no match for what is need at the helm of a casino licensee.’
Crown Chief Resigns Amid Money Laundering
Many directors have started to resign, and Ken Barton was right behind them. The Chief Executive of Crown Resorts Ltd. for a decade, and worked as the Chief Financial Officer for about 10 years before that.
“I would like to thank the Crown Directors for the opportunity to work with them on implementing Crown’s strategy. Over the past 10 years, Crown has established itself as a great Australian company with world-class assets and I am absolutely certain the business is now no the right path as it works to restore confidence in its operations. I am committed to assisting with the transition to new leadership.”
Helen Coonan has stepped into the role of interim Executive Chairman in the wake of Barton’s absence, and Crown Resorts Ltd. Executive Chairman says the company will take ‘significant steps to improve our governance, compliance and culture’.