Gaming | Australia: Crown admits newspaper ad included false claims

The board of Crown Resorts misled investors through a newspaper advertisement last year that claimed long-time junket partner Suncity was controlled by a regulated Hong Kong firm.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Crown’s chief legal officer Joshua Preston admitted at a New South Wales gaming commission inquiry that the claim was incorrect. “The junket operations were not part of that listed company,” he said, as reported by the Australian newspaper.
Preston said that Crown’s junket partnership was actually with Alvin Chau, the high-profile junket operator who chairs the Hong Kong-listed company.
According to Preston, the board was made aware of the error days after the release, but they had not corrected it to his knowledge. There is no suggestion that the board intended the statement to be misleading, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Suncity Group Holdings Limited is a company listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is primarily engaged with the development of residential and commercial properties, providing hotel and integrated resort management, and consultancy services.
However, the gambling promotion activities associated with the Suncity name are managed by the Macau-based Suncity Group. According to the company’s website, its VIP entertainment services have a foothold in the Macau SAR, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines.
The newspaper advertisement was published in July last year in response to the findings of a joint investigation by Australian media sources The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes. They alleged Crown Resorts’ junket partners had links to organized crime and money laundering.
The inquiry is being conducted to assess Crown’s suitability to hold a license for a new hotel and casino nearing completion at Sydney’s Barangaroo.
Additional law enforcement investigations into Crown regarding other matters are running in parallel with the inquiry, including alleged links to money laundering activities via its partners. DB

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