- While the ASX 200 boomed in a record performance today, Crown Resorts is dragging its feet among heavy hitters after taking a hit in its share prices from a crime-scandal media frenzy
- From a story that has been culminating for days, major publications have shed light on the gambling and luxury company having direct links to Chinese crime syndicate operatives
- The black-market syndicate, known as ‘The Company’, has been using Crown’s associated bank accounts and private rooms to launder its funds
- Crown has also come under fire for links to underworld operators who work in luring Chinese high-rollers to its casinos – prompting an interest from Australian Parliament, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter
The ASX 200 hit a record performance today, but one company on the list of top hitters has taken a reduction in share pricing, Crown Resorts.
Amidst a media frenzy, the well-known Aussie hub of gambling and luxury was revealed to have heavy links to a Chinese crime syndicate.
The syndicate, known as ‘The Company’, has been using Crown’s associated bank accounts and private gambling rooms to launder its funds.
After the news broke across multiple publications, shares in CWN plummeted to $11.78 from $12.25 a piece – a 3.84 per cent reduction.
Later in the day, the company’s shares have slightly recovered to $11.99 each – representing a 2.24 per cent reduction from yesterday’s closing price.
As well, Commonwealth officials will be put under a watchdog investigation after Home Affairs admitted to ‘fast-tracking’ visas for Chinese visitors – setting alarms that Crown has been ‘luring’ gamblers from Asia for its business.
This clean-up decision came from Attorney-General Christian Porter, citing ‘sufficient concerns’ today.
“I have considered the allegations that have been raised in the media reporting, and particularly as they touch upon allegations which are either directly relatable to or tangentially relatable to Commonwealth officers,” Christian said to Parliament.
Crown’s links to the ‘The Company’ represent a massive black-market business with specialists known as ‘junket operators’.
These operators carve their place in the illegal gambling world by luring international high-rollers to high-stakes games and potentially chasing up debts and laundered funds.
The use of these ‘junket operators’ are especially valuable as gambling on casino games, mah-jong, all forms of poker and non-approved sporting channels in China is illegal.
According to The Age, Chinese national Roy Moo confessed to sometimes being paid up to $250,000 from Crown for bringing gamblers to Australia in 2016.
Roy also cited sometimes banking up to $800 million on private jet trips with notorious Chinese underworld criminals.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke on today’s concerns during question time in Parliament.
“Everyone is required to abide by Australian law, and that includes casino operators, public officials, and all visitors to our country,” he said.
In response to the media frenzy, Crown issued these words yesterday in an official statement.
“Crown has a comprehensive anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program which is subject to regulatory supervision by AUSTRAC,”
“Crown has a robust process for vetting junket operators with whom it deals and undertakes regular ongoing reviews of these operators in the light of new or additional information that comes to its attention,”