Crown to cough up $12.5m towards Bergin Inquiry

Crown to cough up $12.5m towards Bergin Inquiry

Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) has revealed it will pay $12 million towards the costs of the Bergin Inquiry that deemed it "unsuitable" to run a casino in NSW, after reaching a deal with regulators to make all gaming in its casinos cashless with card technology linked to identity.

Crown clarified the cost after normal trading closed on the ASX this afternoon, releasing further details of its agreement with the state's Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).

After the Bergin Report's explosive findings around the casino operator's governance and alleged failings with anti-money laundering protocols, Crown has also agreed to pay an annual casino supervisory levy in FY21 and FY22.

The levy from FY2023 is subject to further consultation with the ILGA.


Read more: Cashless casinos, no junkets as Crown appeases NSW regulator


The sums to be paid to the ILGA are much higher than Crown's $1 million fine for junket conduct in Victoria, where it is in the midst of a Royal Commission as well as in Western Australia.

Payments due to the regulator in the current financial year are equivalent to more than a fifth of its $79.5 million in FY20, although earnings were heavily affected by pandemic-related closures. In the pre-COVID year of FY19, NPAT stood at $369.7 million.

The company is in discussions with the ILGA to evaluate the necessary steps towards introducing cashless gaming alternatives at Crown Sydney.

"While we recognise we have more work to do, we welcome ILGA's indication today that Crown's reform implementation is well-advanced towards suitability to operate gaming at Crown Sydney," says Crown's executive chairman Helen Coonan.

"It's important to know we are well on track but I have assured the regulator there will be no complacency as we continue to embed the changes to improve our governance and compliance processes across the organisation."

Crown clarified it had previously announced it had ceased dealing with all junket operators, and as part of a restructure of its international VIP business the company has closed overseas offices and intends to operate its international VIP activities out of Australia.

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