Crown Melbourne Casino. Source: Crown/Facebook.
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  • Crowns Resorts (CWN) will keep its Victorian casino licence despite a damning report labelling the operator’s behaviour as “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative”
  • The final report from the Victorian Royal Commission found Crown Melbourne breached local and international laws, underpaid tax and exploited gambling addicts
  • But, as the casino operator has embarked on a significant reform program, Commissioner Ray Finkelstein has given Crown a two-year grace period for its licence
  • If Crown Melbourne fails to address the concerns highlighted in the report during the grace period, the regulator may cancel the ASX-listers licence in Victoria
  • CWN shares are trading up 7.04 per cent following the tabling of the report, trading at $10.34 per share

Crowns Resorts (CWN) will keep its Victorian casino licence despite a damning report labelling the operator’s behaviour as “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative”.

The final report from the Victorian Royal Commission into Crown Melbourne has been tabled in State Parliament, revealing CWN breached local currency laws, underpaid tax and exploited gambling addicts.

Commissioner Ray Finkelstein said in today’s report the inquiry readily found “Crown Melbourne had engaged in conduct that is, in a word, disgraceful.”

“The catalogue of wrongdoing is alarming, all the more so because it was engaged in by
a regulated entity whose privilege to hold a casino licence is dependent upon it being,
at all times, a person of good character, honesty and integrity,” he said.

Regardless of the widespread issues, Commissioner Ray Finkelstein has given Crown a two-year grace period to retain its licence as the casino operator has embarked on a significant reform program.

“Although Crown Melbourne rightly deserves criticism for its past misconduct, and no one
connected with the organisation is entitled to much sympathy, what tipped the balance against the cancellation of its licence was that Crown Melbourne has, at great financial cost, embarked on a significant reform program led by people of good will and skill,” he said.

Crown Melbourne will be assigned a Special Manager during the two-year period, before another decision will be made on the casino operator’s licence.

Commissioner Ray Finkelstein was assigned to investigate Crown after the NSW Government refused to issue a licence for its new Barangaroo facility in Sydney.

A year-long investigation into crown by Sydney’s gaming regulator found widespread money laundering issues, with the WA Government also launching its own inquiry.

Crown Resorts is yet to respond to the Victorian Royal Commission report, but has vowed to work cooperatively with the State Government in relation to the finding and recommendations.

Following the tabling of today’s report and the announcement of the license extension, shares in CWN have soared back above the $10 mark.

During midday trade on Tuesday, Crown Resorts was trading up 7.04 per cent at $10.34 per share.

CWN by the numbers
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