Published: March 28, 2021

Western Australia's royal commission into Crown Resorts will also look at regulator

Western Australia has issued terms of reference for the royal commission’s investigation into Crown Resorts’ suitability to hold a license for its Perth casino; with additional attention given to the state’s regulatory body.

According to the terms of reference, the royal commission will assess if the state’s regulatory framework is efficient in addressing existing and possible strategic risks, related to junket operations, money laundering, cash and electronic transactions, and other elements interfering with casino operations.

The commission will also investigate if Crown is suitable to hold a licence in the state, and if not, whether it can present a plan to rectify this.

The royal commission will look into how the Gaming and Wagering Commission exercised its power and if it was efficient in its regulatory duties, such as “identifying and addressing any actual or perceived conflicts of interest by officers involved in casino regulation."

Last month, the chief casino officer in the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Michael Connolly stepped down from his position because of a social relationship with senior Crown Resorts personnel.

The royal commission also plans to investigate the communication between Crown and the GWC “in relation to matters related to or connected with the Bergin Report and any matters referred to therein”.

The investigation from WA is the first royal commission in 20 years, and it comes after New South Wales' commissioner Bergin published a report that recommended Crown is unsuited to hold a licence for its new Sidney casino.

© Public Gaming Research Institute. All rights reserved.