Crown WA Royal Commission deadline pushed back to March 2022

Crown WA Royal Commission deadline pushed back to March 2022

Crown Perth

The Perth Casino Royal Commission into gambling giant Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) has been handed a reporting extension, allowing the inquiry to table its final report into the company's suitability to hold a casino licence in March 2022.

State Premier Mark McGowan announced the news on Friday, saying the extension would provide the three commissioners with "additional time to carry out their investigations and consider the findings of the Victorian Royal Commission".

"The State Government believes that public interest will be best served if the Perth Casino Royal Commission has sufficient time to produce its final report," he said.

The Commission has already handed its interim report over to the State Government, which plans to table it when Parliament next sits in August.

That piece shines a spotlight on the state's regulatory framework, including any actual or perceived conflicts of interest by officers involved in casino regulation, and any matters that might enhance the Gaming and Wagering Commission's future capability and effectiveness.

However, the final report will turn on an analysis of Crown Perth's suitability to hold the state's casino licence.

Hearings resumed today in Perth, with opening statements delivered before the three commissioners, former Supreme Court justices Neville Owen and Lindy Jenkins as well as former WA auditor-general Colin Murphy. Witnesses are due to be called Wednesday.

Crown today reiterated it "continues to fully co-operate in relation to the WA Royal Commission".

The news comes after a Victorian inquiry into Crown was last month handed a two-month extension and an additional $9.75 million in funding, due to what Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino termed the "seriousness of evidence uncovered".

"Commissioner Finkelstein is now investigating a wider range of matters," Merlino said.

"This relates to the corporate culture of Crown Melbourne, gambling harm minimisation, and claims brought forward in evidence so far, including allegations Crown Melbourne underpaid casino tax."

The Victorian Royal Commission 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.

A report from Deloitte submitted to the Royal Commission found evidence of money laundering activity in up to 14 other Crown accounts.

Shares in CWN are down 2.59 per cent to $9.76 per share at 11.55am AEST.

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