Crown Melbourne has issued its response after it received a $20 million fine from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission after it was found to have claimed tax deductions in Victoria it was not entitled to.
The inquiry uncovered how Crown “improperly claimed tax deductions by including the costs of certain promotional activities as amounts paid out as winnings”.
Crown was also found to have “deliberately concealed the nature of these deductions” from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, the VGCCC’s predecessor.
“Not only did Crown breach its obligations by claiming tax deductions to which it was not entitled, Crown also made significant efforts at concealment,” VGCCC chairperson Fran Thorn said in a statement.
In a statement responding to the fine, Crown Melbourne said it accepted the VGCCC’s outcome relating to “historical breaches”, with the practice ending two years ago.
“These historical breaches, decisions and actions have no place at Crown,” Crown Melbourne CEO Mike Volkert said.
“And under new ownership and leadership, we are committed to an open, constructive, and transparent relationship with our regulators and stakeholders, as well as improving internal controls and our regulatory reporting requirements.
“Our Future Crown program is driving whole-of-company reform and we are focused on building a Crown that exceeds the expectations of our stakeholders and the community.
“This practice ceased in 2021 and Crown has since made the required payments to meet its casino tax obligations.”
Crown’s recent fines for casino breaches during the James Packer era:
- June 2023 ($20m fine): For wrongly claiming tax deductions by including the costs of certain promotional activities as amounts paid out as winnings and seeking to deliberately conceal their nature.
- May 2023 ($450m fine): For failing to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. The financial intelligence agency launched legal proceedings in March 2022 after its investigation identified poor governance and risk management failures at Crown.
- April 2023 ($30m fine): For letting Melbourne gamblers deposit bank cheques made out to themselves in breach of problem gambling and money laundering controls. – Fine imposed by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission
- November 2022 ($120m fine): $100m fine for allowing patrons to gamble for upwards of 24 hours without a break and failing to stop patrons. $20m fine for not preventing gamblers from using devices to hold down pokie machine buttons, allowing patrons to play on multiple machines at the same time.
- May 2022 ($80m fine) For its China Union Pay scheme which facilitated the illegal transfer of $164m in funds between 2012 and 2016.
Crown Melbourne responds after $20 million fine is issued by Victorian gambling and casino commission over tax obligations | Sky News Australia