Crown tightens money transfer rules as licence review looms
29 Dec 2020

Crown Resorts has introduced new requirements for gamblers who want to transfer funds to the casino giant, which is scrambling to improve compliance before an urgent review of its Victorian licence by the state government.

In a belated attempt to stop money laundering at its Melbourne and Perth casinos, Crown will now accept funds only from its members’ personal bank accounts and will refuse any transfer from a trust or business account.

Under the major reforms, cash deposits made to Crown’s bank accounts will no longer be released to patrons, who will also be required to provide a receipt before funds can be credited to their private accounts.

The new probity measures follow the recent inquiry by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, which uncovered a litany of breaches, particularly at Crown’s flagship casino in Melbourne’s Southbank.

The inquiry heard that the ANZ and Commonwealth banks had shut down some accounts after Crown patrons used them to make a string of suspicious cash transactions totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The accounts were held through two shell companies Crown set up called Southbank Investments and Riverbank Investments, the inquiry heard.

Gamblers transfer funds to Crown’s accounts and are then issued with credit or chips so they can play at the casino’s tables.

Customers could use the accounts to deposit money for gambling with “privacy”, given the nondescript company names hid the fact that the money was going to a casino. But that also made them susceptible to misuse by criminals.

In a letter sent to members on December 24, Crown issued strict instructions to gamblers about the transfer of funds into gambling accounts. Crown claimed that the changes were necessary “in order to meet its legal obligations”.

Gamblers will be required to provide their name and Crown rewards number when sending funds to Crown, while international transfers will need to include the details of the bank or financial entity involved.

“Any other description or narration on the transfer must either state that the purpose of the transfer is for gaming or gambling, or to repay a debt. Crown will not release any funds where it considers that the description or narration is misleading,” the letter said.

By Cameron Houston, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 December 2020

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

Photo: Paolo Rosa [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

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