Crown Resorts has banned more than one out of every ten of its Australian high rollers because they either could not explain where their money came from, or had raised other integrity concerns, as reported by Brisbane Times.
The decision comes as the group aims to salvage its casino licences in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth by cleaning up its operations, following recent revelations of money laundering and criminal infiltration.
A due diligence review of around 1,800 local significant and VIP players resulted in over 250 being banned from Crown casinos. Such ongoing reviews were “far more significant and comprehensive than we’ve done before,” noted Crown Chief Financial Officer Allan McGregor.
Concerning the ongoing royal commissions examining Crown’s licences in Victoria and Western Australia, the operator’s incoming Chief Executive Steven McCann said it was preparing for a range of possible outcomes.
“We will consider all options to maximise shareholder value in the context of however the regulatory environment plays out,” said McCann. “Crown has three of the best integrated resorts in the world. I’m sure there will be people looking with interest at how things play out.”
The group rejected a takeover bid from private equity company Blackstone in May, before The Star withdrew its merger proposal in July amid uncertainty about the future of Crown’s licences.
McCann added that James Packer’s private company Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH), which owns 37% of Crown, has declined to meet with management, saying: “We’ve offered a meeting as we have with all major shareholders. CPH has chosen not to take a meeting at this point in time — that’s their decision.”