Following an investigation by Crown Resorts into allegations that its chief executive, Ciaran Carruthers, permitted patrons to re-enter its Melbourne casino after being removed by the security, the said firm can say that the aforementioned chief executive didn’t break any regulation or law, as reported by the Australian Financial Review (AFR).
Reportedly, commenting on the investigation, in a memo to his employees, Bill McBeath, president of Crown Resorts, commented that the said investigation discovered that “no regulations or laws were breached,” as mentioned above. However, he also said the Board had also started a wider consideration of the firm’s security procedures and policies “to ensure clearer lines of authority and accountability over operational decision-making in our properties.”
Relatedly, the Australian Financial Review first revealed in the last month of 2023 that an investigation was underway into Carruthers, who was the leader of few of the most popular casinos in Macau, involving Wynn Macau where he held the position of COO. Additionally, Crown Resorts, the leader in the gaming industry that was purchased by Blackstone, a private equity company based in New York, in 2022, has officially employed 2 law companies to be in charge of the investigation.
The allegations being inquired into were linked to incidents that happened at Crown’s Melbourne casino during 2023, involving one in which Carruthers reportedly stepped in to bring back a patron who had been given a one-year ban and had been removed for bringing a minor to said casino.
Good reputation among colleagues:
Reportedly, commenting on Carruthers, the spokeswoman for the firm reportedly said: “Mr Carruthers is an experienced and well-respected executive and has the full and absolute support of the Crown board of directors as he continues to lead the organization through its transformation.” Furthermore, he was one of the few casino veterans who was brought in by Blackstone following its purchase of the said firm, which was previously controlled by James Packer.
As for McBeath, he used to control The Cosmopolitan resort located in Las Vegas. Then, the chief executive of Crown Melbourne, Michael Volkert, was appointed as the Senior Executive at The Venetian in Las Vegas, and the CEO of Crown Sydney Mark McWhinnie supervised few resorts in Macau.
On a related note, in his electronic mail to staff, McBeath commented that the Board of the Crown Resorts had been informed that the complaint had managed “to generate significant public attention.” However, he was “creating a culture of raising concerns and speaking up is of great importance” to the firm.
VGCCC is satisfied with the recommendations from the results from the Crown’s investigation:
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) formerly stated that it would analyze those findings to decide what the next step must be. On that note, the VGCCC commented that it was “satisfied that … the recommendations resulting from Crown’s own investigation into the complaints were appropriate.” However, the regulator is still evaluating the suitability of the Crown to manage a casino in the city of Melbourne, with the procedure projected to be completed in April 2024.
Moreover, in a statement, the VGCCC stated according to the Australian Financial Review: “The outcomes of the commission’s investigation into this matter should not be taken to indicate any pre-judgment about its pending decision.”
The internal inquiry by the Crown follows few years of the careful examination by the regulator – and at the firm’s Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)-listed, smaller rival Star Ent., – involving a Royal Commission in Victoria. Additionally, that investigation, directed by Raymond Finkelstein KC, the previous Federal Court judge, caused the appointment of a designated manager who has the authority to control the management of the casino and make suggestions on whether it may retain its gaming license, according to the AFR.
The aforementioned inquiry also forced the aforementioned Packer, the billionaire supporter of the firm, to officially sell his 37% stake, after finding that Crown knew as far back as 2014 that cash was possibly being laundered via its bank accounts. Beside that, the said inquiry also discovered a backlog when it came to checking high-rollers in addition to range of other management problems.
However, those problems were long before Carruthers gained control of the firm’s management. The act of publishing discoveries regarding Carruthers, in addition to individual investigations in Western Australia and NSW, prompted the formal leave of the Crown’s management and Board.