Crown (ASX:CWN) keeps Melbourne licence despite scathing report

Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) has been given an alternative to operate its Melbourne casino under a two-year probation despite the Royal Commission finding Crown Melbourne unsuitable to hold a casino licence.

The news comes after months of investigating Crown, following the Bergin Inquiry finding that Crown Melbourne facilitated millions of dollars to be laundered through a bank account of its subsidiary with links to organised crime. On October 15, the Royal Commission reported that the casino giant engaged in conduct that was “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative”.

Despite being told it was unfit to continue, Crown Melbourne’s economic contribution is too significant to completely shut its pokies and gambling machines. The Royal Commission concluded that immediate cancellation is not in the interests of the Victorian community as it will harm the Victorian economy and innocent third parties. It also believes Crown Melbourne has the capacity to reform itself.

The Royal Commission recommends that Crown operate under the oversight and direction of a “special manager” for two years, while it attempts to undertake a comprehensive reform agenda with 33 recommendations. The Victorian government plans to introduce new measures to ensure the failures exposed by the Royal Commission never happen again.

Shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) are trading 7.5 per cent higher at $10.38.