Crown Resorts is once again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The company's CEO, Ciarán Carruthers, is facing allegations of permitting banned patrons to enter the Crown Melbourne casino, overruling internal security officers who had prohibited certain customers from entering.
The allegations include instances where Carruthers allowed a customer serving a one-year ban for bringing a minor into the gaming area to re-enter the property, and another occasion where he let an intoxicated customer remain on the premises after security told them to leave.
This has led to a petition signed by some members of the security team, who claim that the CEO's actions led to them having to break the law.
The petition seeks an apology from Carruthers for making them feel "insignificant, snubbed, and scared" for their jobs.
In response to these allegations, Crown's board is now investigating the matter through external legal counsel and is calling on employees to come forward with details of any other potential transgressions.
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) is also reviewing the outcome of Crown's internal investigation into the CEO's conduct.
The VGCCC had previously set out strict conditions for Crown's Melbourne casino to operate after the company faced years of regulatory challenges, including a royal commission in Victoria around money-laundering charges.
This scandal comes at a time when Crown Resorts is trying to rehabilitate its image and maintain its license. The company has been operating under strict conditions due to extensive historic transgressions, which have proven costly, resulting in huge fines and generating a loss of almost AU$200m (US$131m)during 2023.
In a bid to address its gambling addiction concerns and maintain its license, Crown Resorts has implemented compulsory carded play measures on its almost 3,000 electronic gaming machines at the Crown Melbourne casino.
These measures include mandatory sign-up and pre-commitment of time and spend limits, enabling guests to track and monitor their progress. Also included are regular safety checks by a dedicated team and expanded access to preventative gambling support.
This initiative, which Crown said is the first of its kind in the world, follows the recommendations of the 2021 royal commission into the casino’s license in Victoria. It reflects Crown’s collaboration with the Victorian government to foster responsible gambling.
he allegations against Carruthers, if proven, will further damage Crown’s reputation and threaten its ability to operate its casinos in Australia. The company has already been fined millions for its past transgressions, and these new allegations could potentially lead to further regulatory action.