A second Australian regulator said it has begun disciplinary proceedings against casino giant Crown Resorts after media reports accused it of failing to vet foreign gamblers, a second watchdog to take action over the claims.
Crown Resorts hit by second regulator on misconduct claims (Reuters)
From India to Australia, casinos across the Asia Pacific region have closed their doors in response to efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, with little to no visibility at present as to the evolution of the situation.
Fitch Ratings has revised its ratings outlook on Crown Resorts to negative from stable due to ongoing regulatory probes, but said it doesn't think the operator will lose its license.
Billionaire James Packer used his 36 percent share to protect the board of Crown Resorts and to largely save it from immediate accountability in the face of the dissatisfaction of many smaller shareholders.
J.P. Morgan said it has raised its FY21 estimate for Star Entertainment Group's EBITDA by 10.7 percent due to stronger revenue from Queensland and better margins. However, it has downgraded the stock from overweight to neutral with a price target of A$3.50.
Credit Suisse believe it's time to examine the possibility of a Crown-Star tie up in light of both companies' reduced revenue from the pandemic and China's clampdown on overseas gambling activities.
Crown Resorts' former Chairman Robert Rankin may be referred to Australia's Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to protect the company's staff in China, a suitability trial in Sydney heard.
Crown Resorts says an agreement that allows its major shareholder to receive confidential information from the company has been terminated. Also, axed is an accord for Crown to request services from Consolidated Press Holdings at predetermined hourly rates.
While it may be the executives of Crown Resorts that are squirming in their chairs under questioning these past weeks at the Sydney probity hearings, the revelations are also casting a harsh light upon the failures of the regulators in a neighboring state, the VCGLR.
The series of embarrassing revelations from a suitability probe in Sydney continue, with Crown Resorts Chair Helen Coonan admitting the company may have enable money laundering through "ineptitude."
What began with some bad news headlines, then developed into a special probity hearing in New South Wales, and has now become a full-scale governance crisis for Crown Resorts, with the newly announced Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) investigation posing a particular threat.