1. Tasmania’s Wrest Point casino refuses to cave to hackers attacking slot machines
The Federal Group – owner of Tasmania’s Wrest Point Casino in Hobart and Country Club Tasmania Casino in Launceston – was subject to “a major cyber-attack which resulted in the encryption of a number of systems” and downed its gaming machines and hotel booking system for a number of weeks.
However, the company chose not to cave in to ransom demands and did not respond to those responsible.
In Federal Group’s statement for 2020/21, Executive General Manager Daniel Hanna said, “Federal Group has not quantified the cost of the cyber-attack (which included external specialists, internal resources and foregone revenues) but estimates it would be several million.”
2. Australian regulator files lawsuit against Melco to recoup Bergin Inquiry costs
The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) in New South Wales has filed a lawsuit seeking to recoup some of the expenses of the Bergin Inquiry into Crown Resorts from Melco Resorts & Entertainment.
The lawsuit, which has been filed in the Supreme Court, is claiming $3.7 million from the Macau operator, according to an exclusive report from the Australian Financial Review.
The 18-month long Bergin Inquiry delved into the business dealings of Australia’s Crown Resorts and ultimately found the operator to be unsuitable to hold a license for its new Sydney casino.
Melco and Crown were formerly joint venture partners, teaming up to develop resorts such as City of Dreams Macau and City of Dreams Manila. That venture was broken up in 2017, though two years later Melco agreed to buy a stake of just under 20 percent in Crown from main shareholder, James Packer.
Crown was also asked to pay for its share of the trial and was given a $12.5 million bill in May last year.
3. Perth casino regulator admits conflict-of-interest mistakes
Western Australia’s gaming department admits it failed to properly manage conflicts of interest while overseeing the operations of Crown Perth.
A royal commission is investigating whether lax government oversight contributed to issues including money laundering and problem gambling at the Perth casino.
The Burswood venue is regulated by the Gaming and Wagering Commission – a part-time, seven-member board that meets monthly – with assistance from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSCI).
WA’s inquiry has heard the GWC opted not to investigate allegations of money laundering against Crown after the company’s “persuasive” former legal boss told them it was a media beat-up.