Independent NSW MP Justin Field has called on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to direct her Ministers not to attend the opening of the Crown Resorts Barangaroo Casino, planned for December, following revelations Crown could claim compensation for revenue losses as a result of implementing findings from the current Special Commission of Inquiry.
The revelations in today’s media show that, under a deed signed by the Baird Government in 2014, Crown Resorts could claim compensation up to 10.5 times of any estimated negative financial impacts as a result of actions taken, including changes to legislation, regulations or licence conditions, to address risks associated with the Casino operation.
The inquiry was called following a series of media reports of links between Crown’s casino operations across Australia and organised crime figures and the use of Junket operators to facilitate money laundering. The inquiry is considering whether or not Crown is a suitable person to hold a casino licence in NSW and what changes might be needed to NSW casino and gambling rules.
Independent NSW MP Justin Field said, "This agreement between Crown and the Government suggests any action taken as a result of this inquiry to prevent organised crime and money laundering at a future Barangaroo Casino could trigger a compensation claim by Crown. That's outrageous.
“In light of the evidence before the inquiry, It beggars belief that Crown would be allowed to open the Barangaroo Casino in December.
“I’m calling on Premier Berejiklian to direct her Ministers not to attend any formal opening. The Government should in no way condone Crown’s Barangaroo Casino until the inquiry has been completed and risks associated with organised crime and Junket operators using the casino for money laundering activities are addressed.“
"There are questions to be answered about the failed probity process for the Crown licence and agreement and how clauses like this, that weaken the hand of the Government and Parliament to regulate in the public interest, were allowed to be included.
Under the deed agreement, compensation isn’t payable if the Crown licence is cancelled as a result of the Crown licensee being declared not a suitable person to hold a casino licence in NSW.
"Crown owes the community a commitment that they will not seek compensation for any regulatory changes recommended as a result of this inquiry. If they don't, the Government has little choice but to cancel the Crown Resorts licence or bring forward retrospective legislation to prevent compensation being payable."