Crown Resorts Fined AU$30m for Check Practice That Likely Resulted in “Criminal Infiltration”
Crown Resorts has received an AU$30m (US$20m) fine from the gambling watchdog in Victoria for allowing patrons to cash bank checks. The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) believes the practice worsened gambling-related harm and likely aided “criminal infiltration by money launderers.”
Australia has strict controls related to the use of checks for gambling due to fraud and money laundering risks. As reported by ABC News, patrons of the Australian casino giant exchanged checks for chips before their payments cleared. The VGCCC estimated that this process could have occurred with more than AU$1.5bn (US$1bn) worth of payments between 1994 and 2021.
Crown Resorts has accepted the penalty
The regulator also believes it is likely that Crown allowed people to gamble using blank checks. Although unable to prove the theory, the VGCCC specifically told Crown to ban this practice. Crown Resorts has accepted the penalty and confirmed the practice is no longer permitted.
A recent Victorian royal commission into Crown Resorts’ operations revealed significant failings at its Melbourne property. The company has until the end of 2023 to showcase that it is fit to hold a casino license. It received an AU$120m (US$79m) fine last year in Victoria for its various breaches and could be facing a much larger fine from Australia’s financial watchdog AUSTRAC.
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