Embattled casino giant Crown Resorts will face a review of its Melbourne casino 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.
“We’re making sure Crown Melbourne conducts its business in a transparent and appropriate manner,” Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne said on Thursday.
“This review is needed given the evidence we’ve seen come out of the NSW inquiry.
“While we await the findings of that investigation, it’s appropriate to bring forward the next review to ensure Crown Melbourne is suitable to hold a licence in Victoria.”
The NSW inquiry aired allegations of money laundering, corporate governance stuff-ups and involvement with organised crime as Crown sought a gaming licence 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.
A dedicated commissioner will be appointed to run the Victorian review and findings will be reported to Ms Horne in 2021.
The Victorian government said it would not hesitate to take “any appropriate and necessary action at the conclusion of the investigation”.