HomeCrown Resorts: Casino could face more changes

Crown Resorts: Casino could face more changes

More changes may be coming for Crown Resorts, as the scandal-plagued casino giant recovers from another damning report.

Crown Resorts’ executive team are bracing for further possible changes, as an incoming board member admits the scandal-plagued casino “lost its way”.

Incoming board member Anne Ward told the Crown Perth royal commission on Wednesday the company’s leadership has “almost completely changed” at the board and senior executive level.

However more changes could be on the way, according to Ms Ward, who has served as a non-executive director on 20 other boards.

Crown Resorts chairman-elect and former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski told the commission earlier this week he believed two more directors were needed on the six-person board.

Crown Resorts’ managing director and CEO Steve McCann also indicated there would be further changes to the board and senior executive team.

“I’m aware that the process of board renewal will continue,” Ms Ward told the commission.

“In discussions with Mr McCann, he has some other changes potentially under consideration in the executive team — whether that is structure or the individuals involved, I couldn’t say.

“But I think he anticipates the executive team will be stabilised within a number of months.”

The commission is examining Crown Perth’s operations and existing regulatory frameworks to establish if Crown Perth is fit to continue holding its casino gaming licence.

A separate Victorian royal commission into Crown’s flagship Melbourne casino on Tuesday deemed its conduct “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative” but recommended against stripping its gaming licence for now.

The Melbourne and Perth royal commissions came after the Bergin inquiry in NSW found Crown’s Melbourne and Perth casinos had been infiltrated by underworld figures through Chinese high-roller junket tours and had facilitated money laundering.

Ms Ward, who is awaiting the regulator’s approval before her board appointment is confirmed, said Crown’s “remediation” plan to address its failings was “very extensive” and went to “almost every level of its operations”.

“It’s accepted more needs to be done,” she said.

“There have been clear deficiencies outlined in the financial crime programs.

“That’s urgent to remediate … and progress has been made.”

Mr Ward said she accepted the position as director to meet the challenge of helping restore Crown’s reputation.

“I view Crown as an iconic Australian company that has contributed significantly to the economies of Victoria and WA, but it’s a company I think that has lost its way and needed and needs an ongoing very significant transformation program,” she said.

“I would not have accepted the invitation to join the Crown Resorts board if I didn’t have confidence with the leadership that’s been put in place, capable of effecting that change and that Crown was capable of remediation.

“I’m attracted to the challenge of assisting that remediation and restoring Crown to the position that it should be in, restoring the trust and confidence of its regulators and communities in which it operates and restoring the pride of people who work for Crown.”

The inquiry continues.


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