Crown Casino returns fire after being linked to Asian crime gangs

Crown Casino has described media reports linking it to Asian crime gangs, money laundering and fast-tracked visa applications as “a deceitful campaign” and has taken out full-page advertisements in major newspapers to condemn the allegations.

An investigation aired on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes program on Sunday and published in Nine newspapers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald alleges that large sums of cash were being laundered at Crown’s Melbourne casino, and that special deals with government were granting foreign high-rollers, including criminals, easy access to the nation’s gaming rooms.

In the ads, the board of directors of Crown Resorts said they are “setting the record straight in the face of a deceitful campaign against Crown”.

“As a board, we are extremely concerned for our staff, shareholders and other stakeholders, as much of this unbalanced and sensationalised reporting is based on unsubstantiated allegations, exaggerations, unsupported connections and outright falsehoods,” the advertisement said.

“As an ASX listed company and a Board we are always striving to ensure we have the highest levels of governance and a commitment to the highest standards.

“It is deeply disappointing that the media involved in these inflammatory stories have not upheld the same principles.”

It also rejected claims it circumvented Australian visa application requirements for rich clients.

“Crown has not sought to circumvent visa requirements or compromise any process of identification or verification for immigration purposes,” the ad stated.

The Federal Government has ordered an investigation into the allegations.

“The infrastructure supporting junket operations both internationally and within Australia provides opportunities for exploitation by serious and organised crime to conceal and legitimise criminal wealth,” the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Michael Phelan, told Nine.

Earlier this week, Attorney-General Christian Porter referred the allegations raised by Nine to the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, saying there were “sufficient concerns” to warrant further examination.