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Crown casino boss Barton resigns amid money laundering scandal

Business desk || shiningbd

Published: 15:05, 15 February 2021  
Crown casino boss Barton resigns amid money laundering scandal

An inquiry recommended that Ken Barton was not suitable to lead the casino firm

The chief executive of Australian casino group Crown Resorts has quit amid a scandal over money laundering allegations within its casinos.

Ken Barton's departure follows that of several other company directors.

Last week an inquiry found Crown was not fit to hold a gaming license in New South Wales, meaning it cannot operate its newly built casino in Sydney.

The report has also thrown doubt over Crown's casinos in other cities. Crown, which is majority-owned by Australian billionaire James Packer, has been dogged by allegations of illegal activity for years at its casinos in Melbourne and Perth.

Its operations overseas have drawn particular scrutiny after allegations that its junkets (paid-for trips) for Chinese high-roller gamblers were linked to organized crime groups.

In her report last week, inquiry commissioner Patricia Bergin found Crown had been "facilitating money laundering, exposing staff to the risk of detention in a foreign jurisdiction and pursuing commercial relationships with individuals" connected to criminal groups.

She recommended an overhaul of the company's governance, beginning with the sacking of most of the board.