What Were the Worst Crown Resorts Scandals?

Even though Crown Resorts pioneered Australia’s massive gambling industry, a slew of scandals threatens to derail their legacy. This gaming and entertainment group is functioning since 2007 and is now, entering into a gambling empire. Today the company is worth a staggering A$8.7 billion and enjoys $4.71 billion in revenue every year. Crown Resorts has stakes in casinos in Las Vegas, Macau, Australia, and online. Despite all these achievements, the company has endured plenty of scandals. These disasters eventually led to founder James Packer resigning from his position as director.

This blow to the company sent shockwaves throughout the industry since the colorful Australian billionaire embodied Crown Resorts. While Packer’s departure is final, plenty of rumors surround the circumstances of his dismissal. Even though Packer’s company Consolidated Press Holdings cites “mental health issues” and Crown claimed “personal reasons”, multiple scandals played a part. Seeing a billionaire dethroned from his empire is always shocking since it shakes up the entire industry.

To truly understand why Crown Resorts is in its current predicament, it’s essential to examine its latest scandals. From ties to corrupt politicians to crackdowns in Asia, plenty of misfortunes have affected the company. Even though they are still generating massive profits, the international spotlight is on this entertainment group. The effects of the scandals surrounding Crown Resorts are still rippling through the industry, which makes them impossible to ignore. Discover which scandals led to one of the biggest upsets in Australia’s gambling industry!

Biggest Crown Resorts Scandals

Scandal #3: Ties to Corrupt Politicians

Crown Resorts
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no stranger to police scrutiny.

While this controversy didn’t directly involve Crown Resorts, it attacked its founder James Packer. Against all odds, the Australian billionaire’s name come in a corruption investigation that targeted the prime minister of Israel. Despite having accused of corruption multiple times; Mr. Netanyahu has dominated Israeli politics. His uncanny resilience to political opponents and criminal accusations has earned him the nickname “The Magician”. From corrupting judges to bribing newspaper editors, he has been embroiled in scandals throughout his political career.

This latest scandal alleges that Netanyahu received over $300,000 in gifts from powerful businessmen in exchange for favors. These presents ranged from expensive cigars to pink champagne. Israeli police allege that James Packer gave Netanyahu a staggering amount of gifts, but Packer maintains his innocence. Whether Packer get benefits from being so generous is a mystery, but this scandal didn’t help his public image. From backing out of Macau investments to selling $75 million in Crown shares, Packer’s erratic behavior became detrimental. He was finally forced from the company that he founded, and now Crown Resorts’ reputation is compromised.

Scandal #2: China’s Crackdown

Crown Resorts
Multiple Crown Resorts employees were arrested in China.

Two years ago, business was booming for Crown Resorts in China. To help attract more high roller Chinese tourists to their resorts throughout Australia, they opened an office in mainland China. While gambling is not publicly clear, this site is in charge of marketing and arranging trips. This strategy has a major effect resulting in Crown Resorts getting many wealthy Chinese customers. Business was so good that Crown Resorts planned to construct a casino in Sydney that catered exclusively to Chinese tourists.

This close relationship abruptly came to an end in October 2016. During a sweeping crackdown, Chinese authorities arrested 18 Crown Resorts employees on suspicion of committing gambling crimes. The detained included high-level executive Jason O’Connor and two other Australian citizens.

These employees are accused of seducing wealthy Chinese citizens to gamble with the promises of private jets and instant visas. They get ten months imprisonment and fine of large sums of money. Even though they finally get release, this incident strained the relationship between China and Australia. It showed that gambling companies couldn’t invest in the region and forced Crown Resorts to abandon an aggressive global expansion project.

Scandal #1: Pokies Rigging Allegations

Crown Resorts
Rigging pokies machines was a common practice in Melbourne.

Last year, damning allegations from Parliament put the Crown Melbourne casino under investigation. According to unidentified gaming-floor technicians, the establishment routinely tampered with pokies machines. This included removing built-in controls that regulated gambling rates and caused punters to lose more money. They were also accused of helping customers evade detection by AUSTRAC and failing to stop onsite drug use and domestic violence. These allegations gained national attention, but Crown Resorts managed to weather the storm. To this day all of their resorts are still operating and they continue to dominate Australia’s thriving gambling scene.

About the author

Nathaniel Mansfield