Crown in fight to keep casino licence
The NSW government will take advice from the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority about the future of Crown's licence to operate its $2.2 billion casino in Sydney's Barangaroo.
A day after a scathing report into the company, Premier Gladys Berejiklian was asked if she intended to cancel the licence after a former judge concluded Crown was not fit to run a casino.
"It's up to our independent gaming authority to give government advice," she told Radio 2GB on Wednesday.
She warned that any casino needed to "stick to the rules" and "be above reproach".
"If parties don't come with the highest compliance, integrity and lawful activity - well then, all bets are off," she said.
She brushed off suggestions the government could be sued for compensation if Crown's licence was cancelled, rendering the Barangaroo site financially unviable.
"That's up to every company to make assessments as to whether they're viable or not. That's not for government, that's not for the taxpayer," she said.
The commissioner had showed a clear path forward for Crown "to do things properly" and it was up to the company to follow that advice, she said.
The damning report by Commissioner Patricia Bergin found Crown facilitated money laundering through subsidiaries' bank accounts then failed to act when it was drawn to their attention in public media reporting.
It also put its staff in China in danger of being detained and dealt with junket operators it was told were involved in organised crime, Ms Bergin concluded.
The ILGA will now consider the report, which it received on February 1 and which was published on Tuesday.
Chair of the authority Philip Crawford will face media on Wednesday.
Ms Bergin left it to the IGLA to decide whether it should cancel, suspend or impose conditions on the licence.
But she suggested sweeping cultural change was needed - as well as specific measures like the removal of certain board directors, a thorough audit of Crown accounts for money laundering and measures to stop the sharing of confidential information with James Packer.
Crown has vowed to work with the ILGA regarding the report's findings and recommendations.
The company also runs casinos in Victoria and Western Australia, with calls for those jurisdictions to respond to the findings.
Independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie, a long-time Crown critic, told ABC radio this was "a national problem that needs a national response".
"I think the focus is now on (Victorian) Premier Dan Andrews and what he's going to do about it," Mr Wilkie said.
"In my personal opinion Crown will not be remedied until there's a new board, new senior management and James Packer's gone, simple as that," he said.
© AAP 2021