WA Government Has Still Not Unveiled Specific Measures to Make Things Right at Crown Perth Despite Recent Criticism

Daniel Williams

The last one of the Crown Casinos that only recently faced criticism from the Royal Commission has once again proven that the gambling and casino empire established by billionaire investor James Packer has been too big to simply stop working.

Just like the Royal Commission in Victoria did in 2021, the one in Western Australia found the Perth-based Crown casino was unfit to hold the only casino licence in the state. However, the Australian gambling giant received a second chance, as it was given 2 years to make things right by bringing the necessary changes to its operations in Western Australia.

Both Crown Resorts and state regulatory bodies were found to have failed to protect vulnerable gamblers from gambling-related harm and keep the casino operations crime-free and to stay away from individuals linked to foreign criminal organisations that have allegedly been laundering their dirty money through Crown’s casinos. However, all the findings were not enough to strip the group of its operating licences.

The truth is that Crown Perth has been one of the largest contributors to state coffers, as the casino resort complex is being visited by a significant number of tourists every year, not to mention it provides employment to thousands of people. For the time being, it remains unclear how many people are working in the casino and in the non-gambling business of the resort that could have been left operational without a casino.

Many Wrongdoings Found by the WA Royal Commission at Crown Perth

Although the Western Australian Royal Commission has made some scandalous findings and the state Government has accepted the 59 recommendations of the Commission, it remains unclear whether and, if yes, when the local authorities would bring the most significant ones into action.

For the time being, there has been no commitment that the operating permit of Crown Perth is to be reviewed on a regular basis every 5 years, as it is currently required in the state of Victoria. Furthermore, it is unclear whether someone would be specially appointed to oversee the remediation process of Crown Perth and who this person would be. In comparison, the findings of the Victorian Royal Commission resulted in the immediate appointment of a special administrator of Crown Melbourne to oversee the process of improvement.

As revealed by Tony Buti, the Racing and Gaming Mister, the provision of some extra powers to the local gambling and casino regulator remains among the main priorities of the WA Government, as a more powerful watchdog is expected to be able to minimise risks associated with the operation of Crown Perth.

Probably the most restrictive measure suffered by the casino is associated with the ban on poker machines (also known as pokies) in Western Australia, which is set to be maintained. Under the provisions of the existing gambling law, poker machines are not allowed to be offered in the state’s gambling venues. The Royal Commission recommended that the state Government consider whether the suspension of poker machines should remain unchanged, and if it did, these machines should be subject to a certain definition so that regulatory bodies are provided with more details about what form of gambling is actually banned.

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.

Daniel Williams

Author: Dale Alvarez