Crown Resorts’ “failure of culture”

Crown Resorts

The departure of James Packer from the witness chair has not marked the end for Crown Resorts’ agony at the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) inquiry. Crown Resorts director Andrew Demetriou was in the witness box on Monday, trying desperately to defend the company, but still conceding that it had a “failure of culture” on the compliance issue.

Demetriou himself did not come out of the day looking very good. It was revealed that less than two years ago that he himself had raised questions about the focus on compliance at Crown–not that there was too little compliance, but that there was too much.

“We’re at risk of being like the Australian cricket team–timid, reactionary, not bold or aggressive,” Demetriou wrote to James Packer in December 2018. He advised that the company was spending too much “time, resources, costs, and focus of management” dealing with regulatory compliance, whereas company leaders needed to be turning their minds to “strategies to grow revenue.” He added, “We exist to win.”

Demetriou argued on Monday that his message to Packer should not be misunderstood: “It wasn’t meant in any way to diminish the importance of being compliant or regulated; they are absolutely critical. But we had to find the right balance,” he said.

At the time, it would seem, he felt the balance argued for less attention to compliance.

Demetriou did his best to try to defend Crown, asserting, “We were a very good organization. We run a very large and complex business employing 18,500 people. You don’t win the Australian Employer of the Year three times unless you are running a fine business… In some aspects we’ve proven to be deficient, particularly in the areas this inquiry has looked at. But it’s not to say we don’t run a very fine business in other areas.”

In his own assessment, Demetriou observed, “That is not a failure of our processes, but it speaks more of a failure of culture.”

James Packer may have been the most dramatic element of Crown’s failure of culture, but clearly the leadership problems were not limited to him alone.

SHARE

Related Articles

Covid-19 turns out lights in most of Asia’s casinos

From India to Australia, casinos across the Asia Pacific region have closed their doors in response to efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, with little to no visibility at present as to the evolution of the situation.

Packer spokesperson denies NYE meeting with Adelson

A spokesperson for James Packer has reportedly denied that the Australian billionaire met with Sands China Chairman Sheldon Adelson over the New Year holidays. The super yachts of the two casino executives were moored next to each other, triggering speculation. 

Crown Resorts tightens money transfer requirements

Crown Resorts has introduced new requirements for gamblers who want to transfer funds to the casino giant, which is scrambling to improve compliance before an urgent review of its Victorian license by the state government.
Crown Barangaroo

Crown Sydney opens with no casino, amidst new NSW Covid outbreak

Crown Resorts opened the doors to its $2.2 billion ($1.66 billion) Crown Sydney property on Monday, but without the fanfare that accompanies the openings of such mega projects after a bruising year of suitability hearings and amidst a new cluster of Covid-19 cases in the city.

James Packer sued by former Crown Resorts security guard

A former security guard at Crown casino is pursuing James Packer for aggravated damages in the Supreme Court over allegations the billionaire assaulted him before threatening to have him sacked.
Crown Resorts

Crown suitability review brought forward in Victoria

Crown Resorts is facing more regulatory scrutiny after the Victorian Gaming Minister said she was fast-tracking the regular review of its suitability to hold a casino license and appointing a special commissioner to oversee the process.

Crown Sydney gets temporary liquor license, to open December 28

Crown Resorts said the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has granted a temporary liquor license to its Crown Sydney property until April 30, 2021 and therefore several non-gaming amenities will open from 28th December.

Crown Resorts whistleblower taking the firm to court

A former Crown Resorts employee who exposed the company's conduct in China and helped spark a powerful inquiry in New South Wales says she is ready to take her fight against the gambling empire to the Supreme Court.

Crown Resorts faces lawsuit over lower share prices

Leading law firm Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has lodged a new class action against Crown Resorts alleging the company’s governance and risk management failings caused a massive share price plunge in October.
AUSTRAC probe raises the stakes for Crown Resorts

AUSTRAC urges casinos to mitigate junket risk

Australia’s top anti-money laundering watchdog has released an in-depth report into junket operators, concluding they are highly vulnerable to criminal activity and that casinos need to do more to mitigate the risks.