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Crown Resorts to permanently cease all junket activity

Australia’s Crown Resorts has announced it will permanently cease all activity with junket operators at its casinos in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

Almost two months after initially suspending junket operations until 1 July 2021, Crown upped the ante on Tuesday by pledging to end all junket relationships completely, with any future partnerships subject to local licensing approval.

“The Board has determined that Crown will permanently cease dealing with all junket operators, subject to consultation with gaming regulators in Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales,” the company said.

“Crown will only recommence dealing with a junket operator if that junket operator is licensed or otherwise approved or sanctioned by all gaming regulators in the States in which Crown operates.”

Crown added that the consultation process with gaming regulators in Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales has already commenced.

The decision to stop working with all junkets comes as an inquiry into Crown’s suitability to hold a NSW casino license for it soon to open AU$2.2 billion Crown Sydney development nears its conclusion. Counsel assisting the inquiry is pushing for Crown to lose its license for breaching regulatory agreements, primarily related to the influence exerted on the company by major shareholder James Packer.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation has also issued a notice to show cause why Crown should not be disciplined for alleged failures of its internal junket controls.

Crown is already in the midst of a board makeover with former Executive Chairman John Alexander and John Horvath both stepping down at the recent AGM. Chairman Helen Coonan has promised that further changes to the Board of Directors will come.

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