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WA orders royal commission into Crown Resorts’ (ASX:CWN) Perth operation
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  • The WA government has ordered a royal commission into Crown Resorts (CWN) that will examine the entertainment giant's suitability to run its Perth casino
  • A recommendation from the state's Gaming and Wagering Commission to launch an inquiry was accepted three weeks ago, but has now been upgraded
  • The royal commission will be run by three commissioners — former WA Supreme Court judges Lindy Jenkins and Neville Owen, and former WA auditor-general Colin Murphy
  • An interim report is expected in June, with a final report scheduled to be received in November
  • Crown Resorts is down one per cent to $9.86 per share

The WA government has ordered a royal commission into Crown Resorts (CWN) that will examine the entertainment giant's suitability to run its Perth casino.

It follows a recommendation from the state's Gaming and Wagering Commission, which suggested an independent inquiry with all the powers of a royal commission.

Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia revealed this morning that that investigation has now been upgraded to a full royal commission, which will provide additional legal protections witnesses and the three commissioners.

The commissioners include former WA Supreme Court judges Lindy Jenkins and Neville Owen, and former WA auditor-general Colin Murphy.

They will be assisted by six barristers and the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm, which worked on a similar inquiry into Crown's NSW activities at a cost of around $5 million.

While the royal commission will primarily assess Crown's suitability to hold WA's only casino license, it will also look at the Gaming and Wagering Commission, which has been criticised for being too close to the company.

WA has already banned gambling junkets in response to a report by retired NSW judge Patricia Bergin published on February 9. The report found that Crown was "recklessly indifferent" to the activities of criminals using bank accounts to launder money from 2014 until they were closed in October 2019.

The two accounts, Southbank and Riverbank, were used to gamble hundreds of millions each year at Crown Perth and Crown Melbourne.

An interim report from the royal commission is expected in June, with a final report scheduled to be received in November.

Crown Resorts is down one per cent to $9.86 per share at 1:21pm AEDT.

CWN by the numbers
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