Embattled casino giant Crown Resorts will face a review of its Melbourne operations after emerging bruised and battered from a long-running NSW inquiry.
The Victorian government has requested the state gambling regulator to bring forward Crown’s seventh casino review, after its last evaluation in 2018.
These reviews from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation assess the suitability of Crown to hold the state’s sole casino licence and are required at least every five years.
The state government said the decision to bring forward the review had been prompted by “concerning” revelations at the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority inquiry.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the government determined on Wednesday it was the right time to formally announce the process.
“It would be my hope that some of the issues that have been raised can be accounted for and we can have confidence that the biggest single-site employer in the state, Crown Casino, is run to the highest standards,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“We’re all entitled to that reassurance. But that’s not a matter for me, that’s a matter for the independent regulator.”
A dedicated commissioner will be appointed to run the Victorian-based review and findings will be reported to Ms Horne next year.
Mr Andrews said he didn’t want to prejudge their findings but pledged to take appropriate action.
“It will be fearless,” the premier said.
“It will be properly resourced. It will be the right person and they will get to the bottom of a question that many people are asking: ‘what’s going on down there?’.”
The NSW inquiry aired allegations of money laundering, corporate governance stuff-ups and involvement with organised crime as Crown seeks a gaming license for its new Sydney complex.
A temporary liquor licence was issued on Wednesday, allowing Crown to run a new hotel, restaurants and bars at the Barangaroo building.
But Crown Sydney’s centrepiece – a casino for VIPs and high-rollers – will remain unopened, with the ILGA withholding a gaming licence until the inquiry reports back in February 2020.