Crown pays $61 million in unpaid taxes to Victorian Government

Crown pays $61 million in unpaid taxes to Victorian Government

Embattled casino and hotels giant Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) has paid $61 million in unpaid taxes and associated penalties to the Victorian Government.

In an ASX update posted after the close of trade yesterday the company says the underpayment occurred because of an incorrect deduction of certain bonus rewards provided to patrons in connection with play on the company's electronic gaming machines in Melbourne.

As such, CWN has paid approximately $37 million to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) for underpayment of casino tax, plus penalty interest of approximately $24 million.

"Crown is continuing its review of other aspect of casino tax payments and will update the market once the review is complete," Crown said.

"Crown has been advised by the VCGLR that after the Victorian Royal Commission has delivered its final report, the VCGLR intends to finalise its consideration of Crown's potential casino tax underpayments in order to form a view as to the quantum of Crown's outstanding tax liability to the State.

"Crown will fully cooperate with the VCGLR's review."

The update comes as Crown today reopens its gaming and non-gaming operations in Melbourne after a circuit-breaker lockdown lifted overnight.

Restrictions on gaming operations include limiting the maximum capacity in each indoor space to 100 patrons or the number permitted by the density quotient of one person per four square metres.

"Crown Melbourne will continue to work closely with the Government and health authorities in Victoria and will respond to measures taken in relation to COVID-19," CWN said.

The $61 million payment of unpaid taxes also comes as Crown is subject to a Victorian Royal Commission which will examine allegations of misconduct against Crown.

To date the Royal Commission has heard evidence that criminal activity around money laundering may be more extensive than previously uncovered by last year's Bergin Report which found Crown unsuitable to hold a casino licence in NSW.

The evidence has heard that forensic analysis had uncovered numerous suspicious transactions across several Crown accounts, more than the two now closed accounts that were previously subject to money laundering allegations.

Meanwhile, CWN is subject to another Royal Commission in Perth where it will be determined whether the company is suitable to hold a casino licence in Western Australia.

That Royal Commission recently received a reporting extension, allowing the inquiry to table its final report in March 2022.

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