Crown inquiry: Andrew Demetriou concedes firm was poor ‘in some points’ | Crown Resorts


Crown Resorts director Andrew Demetriou has discovered himself in scorching water on the NSW on line casino inquiry after studying from notes within the witness field.

The previous AFL boss seemed to be studying from notes exterior shot when requested what he understood the position of an unbiased director was, as he gave proof by video hyperlink.

The inquiry is trying into Crown’s suitability to function a brand new on line casino at Sydney’s Barangaroo, prompted by allegations its casinos had been used for cash laundering and organised crime.

Counsel aiding the inquiry Scott Aspinall requested: “Do you assume it’s acceptable for a witness to convey notes right into a witness field with out disclosing it to the examiner?”

“I haven’t considered it, Mr Aspinall,” Demetriou replied.

He informed the inquiry he had written the notes himself and had about half a dozen pages. The inquiry commissioner, Patricia Bergin, adjourned briefly on Monday afternoon in order that Demetriou’s counsel might verify what notes he had used whereas giving proof.

Earlier, Demetriou defended the playing big towards recommendations it isn’t match to function a brand new on line casino in Sydney, describing it as a “superb organisation” and a “positive enterprise”.

His questioning coincided with Crown alerting the ASX that Victoria’s gaming regulator had issued it with a show-cause discover over compliance points referring to junket operators. Crown shares had fallen 2.33% to $eight.77 at noon.

Demetriou was defensive of the corporate, characterising its issues as historic and insisting these with its tradition of compliance had been addressed.

At occasions Bergin appeared annoyed.

Demetriou refused to concede Crown had turned a blind eye to cash laundering, and mentioned that solely a really small variety of transactions by way of two Crown financial institution accounts alleged to have facilitated cash laundering had been problematic.

“One of many issues I believe you face is that the matter went on even after the inquiry was introduced,” Bergin informed him. “The financial institution accounts had been nonetheless open, and apparently you weren’t made conscious of it.”

Bergin mentioned there have been “numerous layers of issues right here” and “in the intervening time, I merely have no idea what the corporate says concerning the issues on this space”.

Demetriou additionally stood by an aggressive full-page advert revealed by Crown within the wake of reporting by 9 in 2019 that detailed issues with Crown’s use of Chinese language junket operators and its anti-money laundering processes.

The advert has come below criticism in the course of the inquiry however Demetriou mentioned he would solely change a number of particulars in gentle of the knowledge he now is aware of.

He mentioned he would nonetheless describe the media reporting as a “deceitful marketing campaign towards Crown”.

Demetriou blamed the compliance tradition of Crown Resorts for failures which led to the 2016 arrest of workers in China and accusations that they had breached Chinese language regulation by luring Chinese language nationals to gamble in Australia.

Demetriou, who has sat on Crown’s board since 2015, informed the inquiry that the corporate’s danger administration processes had been good however that necessary data was not escalated to the board.

“That’s not a failure of our processes, nevertheless it speaks extra of a failure of tradition,” Demetriou mentioned on Monday.

Demetriou mentioned the chief govt, Ken Barton, would lead a evaluate into the issues with the corporate’s tradition of compliance, however mentioned there was no plan to take a look at the historical past of the organisation as an entire.

“We had been an excellent organisation. We run a really massive and sophisticated enterprise using 18,500 folks. You don’t win the Australian Employer of the Yr thrice until you’re operating a positive enterprise,” he mentioned.

“In some points we’ve confirmed to be poor, notably within the areas this inquiry has checked out. Nevertheless it’s to not say we don’t run a really positive enterprise in different areas.”

The inquiry is scheduled to proceed all week, with different administrators together with the Crown chair and former Australian senator, Helen Coonan, scheduled to look.