Published: February 11, 2021

Second gaming regulator adds to pressure on Australia's Crown

Feb 11 (Reuters) - A gaming regulator is demanding Crown Resorts CWN.AX explain why two executives are fit to associate with its Melbourne casino, increasing pressure on the company after it was denied a licence to operate its Sydney casino.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation said it would consider the responses from Chief Executive Ken Barton and Crown Melbourne's Chair Andrew Demetriou before deciding on further action.

"Associates of the casino operator must be of good repute, having regard to character, honesty and integrity", the regulator said.

The future of the A$6.6 billion ($5.1 billion) company was thrown into doubt on Wednesday after the New South Wales state gaming watchdog said it was unfit to hold a licence for its flagship new Sydney venue, citing money laundering and the "dysfunctional" influence of major shareholder James Packer.

Two directors with links to Packer resigned on Wednesday. The company has not commented on the future of any other directors, including Barton, who was heavily criticised in the report commissioned the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority.

Earlier on Thursday, Crown Resorts Chair Helen Coonan in a statement said the company had already taken steps to improve its "governance, compliance and culture."

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