Australian gaming regulators said that Crown Resorts, owners of one of the country’s largest casinos and the largest in Sydney, is unfit to hold a gaming license, according to a Reuters report.
The statement was released Tuesday, just a week after regulators found “widespread money laundering and governance issues.” Crown is now undergoing an audit with the authorities to fix the problems if the company is going to keep its license and continue doing business. The review began after the allegations surfaced last December.
According to a Business Insider report, CEO Ken Barton stepped down on Monday after regulators found that the casino was allowing Chinese high-rollers associated with organized crime to launder money through its casino.
In the report, commissioner Patricia Bergen said that Crown was “facilitating money laundering, exposing staff to the risk of detention in a foreign jurisdiction and pursuing commercial relationships with individuals” connected to criminal groups. Bergen recommended the audit process that is currently underway.
In 2017, three executives of the company did jail time in China for promoting casino gambling abroad, which is illegal under Chinese law.
In addition to Barton’s resignation, three other directors have resigned. Barton will leave the company with about $1.08 million in company stock, his $3.3 million annual salary for 2021, and 11.5 million stock options, which carry an exercise price of $8.89. If those options are exercised, Barton could leave the company with about $60 million.