Perth Commission Delivers Final Crown Report to Premier

Almost two months ago, the Perth Casino Royal Commission wrapped its hearings regarding Crown Perth. More specifically, it completed the last step before issuing a final report regarding the suitability of Crown Casino to keep its Perth gaming license. On 4 March, the Commission submitted that report to Western Australia Governor Kim Beazley AC and Premier Mark McGowan MLA.

The public must wait until the McGowan government releases it.

Based on the Interim Report…

When the hearings concluded at the beginning of February, the Perth Casino Royal Commission stepped into its next task. It needed to compile all of its findings and issue a final report.

In the meantime, Crown and the government had an idea of what would be in it. This was due to the previous release of the Interim Report on the Regulatory Framework. The Commission released that report to the public on 19 July 2021. The 145-page document is a heavy read.

Much of the information in that report transferred nicely to the final report. This includes the background information on Crown Resorts and the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia. The interim report detailed past and present gambling legislation. In addition. Royal Commission members analyzed other jurisdictions and their regulatory frameworks and laws. And finally, they studied the Bergin Report from New South Wales and the Royal Commission report from Victoria. Both of those inquiries preceded the end of the Perth hearings.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

On 4 March 2022, the Perth Casino Royal Commission officially submitted its final report. Neville Owen AO, Lindy Jenkins, and Colin Murphy PSM comprised the Commission and sent the report to Governor Kim Beazley and Premier Mark McGowan. This happened one year and one day from the appointment of the Royal Commissioners.

Owen, who served as the Commission Chair, thanked everyone for their cooperation. “It has been an extremely demanding task,” he said, “and we are very grateful for the dedication and commitment shown by so many people. We particularly wish to acknowledge the work of senior and junior counsel assisting the Commission, solicitors assisting the Commission and the secretariat.”

WA Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti said, “Western Australians can be assured that the state government will be seriously considering all the recommendations put forward in the final report. This has been a long and thorough process and I also extend my gratitude to the Perth Casino Royal Commission for its work.”

Buti noted that the officials who received the report will examine it before tabling it in Parliament.

What Might Happen?

The Bergin inquiry found that Crown knew of and possibly facilitated money laundering at its Melbourne and Perth casinos. The Victorian report agreed and put Crown’s Melbourne gaming license on probation for two years with some stern warnings. The NSW government denied Crown Resorts a gaming license for its new casino in Sydney. That Crown Sydney was supposed to be a significant part of the new Barangaroo project.

The most likely outcome is that Crown Perth will keep its license but accept a probationary period. It will likely need to meet a series of criteria within that period to keep its license.

This is all the more likely because Crown Resorts will soon be under new ownership. Bidder after bidder put up billions of dollars for Crown in the past year, but Crown finally accepted one offer for A$9M. That offer came from Blackstone Group, based in the United States. And Crown accepted it on Valentine’s Day 2022.

New ownership may lead to new management. However, the breadth of the changes from Blackstone Group have yet to be mentioned.

Regulators in NSW, Victoria, and WA are currently considering regulatory approvals of the deal. With those and other approvals, the deal may go forward. Crown and Blackstone hope to close it before the end of June 2022.

Answering the Big Questions

Per the directives of the Perth Commission from the start, the final report should answer several key questions.

  • Should Crown Perth keep its gaming license?
  • If not, what would make it suitable to retain or reapply for its gaming license?
  • Did Crown Perth and the WA Gaming and Wagering Commission communicate well?
  • Should the WA Gaming and Wagering Commission change its regulatory framework?
  • Is the WA Gaming and Wagering Commission effective?
  • Are there any other laws or regulations that would help permit money laundering and criminal infiltrations into the Perth gaming community?

The WA government will release the report to the public after proper analysis and discussion. This could happen in the coming weeks.

 

Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.