Crown Resorts fined $57 million for allowing illegal transfer of funds to Melbourne casino | Investment News

(Reuters) – Australia’s Crown Resorts has been fined 80 million Australian dollars ($57.4 million) by the state of Victoria’s gambling regulator for allowing the illegal transfer of funds from China, ahead of the watchdog’s decision on Blackstone’s $6.3 billion takeover of the casino operator.

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), in its decision on Friday, said the issue dubbed the The “China UnionPay Process” linked to illegal conduct between 2012 and 2016, whereby customers were allowed to use credit or debit cards to access funds to play at Melbourne’s Crown Casino.

This made it easier for customers to access nearly A$164 million, from which Crown earned an estimated revenue of more than A$32 million, the regulator said.

The decision came just before regulators in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia – which have all found Crown unfit to hold gambling licenses at different times – decide whether to approve the deal. Blackstone.

Crown shareholders overwhelmingly approved the deal earlier this month. The company expects a successful Federal Court hearing to approve the takeover next week, provided that various gaming regulators give it the green light.

“Crown recognizes its historic failures,” the company said on Monday, adding that the China UnionPay process ceased in 2016 and that an independent investigation was carried out and its findings shared with the Victorian Royal Commission when the issue arose. been revealed.

Crown added that the VGCCC had indicated that it would continue to consider further disciplinary proceedings against the company related to other Royal Commission findings, which could each result in a fine of up to A$100 million. .

($1 = 1.3939 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Rashmi Aich and Uttaresh.V)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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