Crown’s Perth Casino Probed by Financial Crimes Regulator

Crown’s Perth Casino Probed by Financial Crimes Regulator
·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Crown Resorts Ltd. said its Perth casino is being investigated for a potential breach of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules, adding to a similar probe at the company’s flagship Melbourne site.

Other companies with casinos in Australia, including Star Entertainment Group Ltd. and Auckland-based SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd., also announced investigations on Monday, pointing to a broader push by the regulator against potential criminal financing and money laundering.

In a statement, Crown Resorts said Australia’s financial-crimes regulator had started an enforcement probe into its Perth site. Austrac, as the watchdog is known, identified “potential serious non-compliance,” Crown said, without giving details. Crown said it will cooperate with Austrac.

The fresh probe piles more pressure onto Crown, which is also the subject of independent inquiries into the suitability of its Perth and Melbourne casinos to hold gaming licenses. Its new Sydney casino remains shuttered after Crown was found to be unfit to operate the venue.

Crown shares were down 0.9% at A$12.58 at 10:51 a.m. in Sydney, heading for a sixth day of declines. Star fell as much as 5%, before trading down 2%. New Zealand’s market was closed for a national holiday.

Austrac’s Melbourne investigation, which was announced in October, stemmed from concerns about customer due-diligence that arose during an assessment of how Crown handled individuals deemed to be high-risk and politically exposed.

Read more: Crown Slumps as Financial-Crimes Regulator Starts Probe

Star said in a statement that Austrac will carry out an investigation after identifying a potential “serious” breach of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules at its Sydney casino. Some of the concerns relate to customer due-diligence. Austrac is conducting a similar probe at SkyCity’s Adelaide casino.

(Updates with other investigations in second paragraph.)

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