Following a dismissive response to the point of tyrannical arrogance, “Manchurian Dan” Andrews has been forced to act on Crown, via Domain:
Victoria’s gaming minister has instructed the regulator to launch an urgent investigation into Crown Resorts’ business ties to organisations linked to Chinese criminals, amid the deepening scandal engulfing the Australian casino giant.
In her first public comments since The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes revealed Crown’s partnerships with tour companies backed by crime gangs and foreign influence agents, Gaming Minister Marlene Kairouz on Thursday instructed the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) to “re-examine the allegations raised as a matter of priority”.
The commission must report back to her “as soon as possible”.
A quick glance at the last review by the VCGLR conducted by Ms Kairouz just last year does not offer much encouragement:
This is the report of the sixth periodic review of the Melbourne Casino Operator and Licence since the grant of that licence in 1994. It covers the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018. Periodic reviews are required by law. The VCGLR must investigate and form an opinion about:
• the casino operator’s suitability
• its compliance with key gambling laws
• its compliance with a collection of transaction documents relating to the casino and the casino complex (which among other things require compliance with all applicable laws), and
• whether, by reference to the creation and maintenance of public confidence and trust in the credibility, integrity and stability of casino operations, it is in the public interest that the casino licence should continue in force.
The VCGLR has formed an opinion affirming each of these matters. In arriving at this opinion, the VCGLR has identified areas for improvement which are addressed by the recommendations of this review. Periodic reviews impose a discipline on the regulatory regime under which the regulator undertakes a comprehensive and considered evaluation of the regulated entity. Undertaking this work in respect of an extended period of activity allows issues and themes to be identified. It allows the VCGLR, as the regulator, to challenge the status quo and reset the direction of regulatory engagement if necessary.
So, the failed VCGLR is to investigate its own failure. Noice. That is what is known in the common tongue as a smokescreen.
And why not? Victorian oligarchs must be protected, by Labor as much as anyone else. Also at Domain:
Influential shareholder advisory groups have questioned the ability of the board of Crown Resorts to police the company following revelations the casino giant went into business with figures linked to Asian crime gangs.Wall Street posts biggest drop since May
…Crown’s practice of employing an “executive chairman” in charge of both management and scrutinising management has also been criticised. Most major listed Australian companies follow the stock exchange’s recommendation that the chair be an independent director and “in particular, should not be the same person as the CEO”.
…Susheela Peres da Costa from governance advisory firm Regnan, which has long had concerns about the makeup of Crown’s board, said directors needed to be “proactively curious” about what was going on in their company.
…”This is the opposite to what we see on this board where some directors have significant outside commitments and there’s an executive chair,” Ms Peres da Costa said. “It’s not a great set up.”
It is if you’re one of them:
Manchurian Dan is importing more than Chinese money laundering gangs and China’s BRI to Victoria. He’s got show trials and poisoned due process now too.
All hail Manchurian Dan!