Australian gaming operator Crown Resorts denied in a statement sent to MNA allegations made by Australian media that the group hired junket operators with connections to Chinese organised groups to attract VIP players to its properties.
A joint investigative report by Australian media The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes alleged that a Chinese criminal syndicate known as ‘The Company’ used bank accounts and high-roller rooms connected to gaming operator Crown Resorts to launder its funds, with Crown licensing and paying syndicate members to generate turnover in its Melbourne and Perth casinos.
The report also inferred that the junket operator companies and agents the Australian gaming operator founded by businessman James Packer had associated with had dubious connections to Chinese crime syndicates.
In a statement sent to MNA, stated that it takes ‘legal and regulatory responsibilities very seriously’ and that it has a ‘comprehensive Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Program’ which is subject to regulatory supervision by the Australian government financial intelligence agency Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
‘Crown takes its regulatory obligations very seriously and works closely with all of its regulatory agencies, including law enforcement, both state and federal. In this respect, Crown provides a range of information in a proactive manner consistent with its regulatory obligations, including reporting all transactions over A$10,000 (MOP55,618/US$6,909) and suspect transactions of any value’ the company spokesperson told MNA.
‘Crown is subject to the various non-disclosure provisions within the Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing legislation and is not at liberty to disclose details of transactions it has reported’.
The group also stated to have a ‘robust process’ for vetting junket operators with whom it deals and that it undertakes regular ongoing reviews of these operators in the light of new or additional information that comes to its attention.
Concerning accusations made the reports that the connections to triad connected junkets were the reason behind the arrest of 19 serving and former Crown employees in China for gambling promotion crimes, the group stated that there is currently a class action being pursued in relation to the detentions.
‘Crown does not wish to comment on the matters in issue in that action, other than to say that it denies any allegation that it knowingly exposed its staff to the risk of detention or conviction in China,’ the statement reads.
In June Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited announced that it has purchased a 19.99 per cent stake in Australian gaming operator Crown Resorts for some A$1.75 billion.
The group’s CEO, Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, was undergoing probity review by Australian gaming authorities so he can be included as a board member in Crown.