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Silvia Pavlof February 9, 2024 3 min read
Blackstone-owned Crown Resorts CEO Cleared of Wrongdoing
The investigation, prompted by claims that Carruthers allowed patrons back into the casino after they were removed by security, concluded that no laws or regulations were breached by the CEO
After an internal investigation, Crown Resorts, under the ownership of Blackstone, has absolved its CEO, Ciaran Carruthers, of any wrongdoing following allegations that he intervened in security matters at Melbourne’s Crown casino.
Crown Resorts Chairman Affirms CEO’s Innocence Amidst Investigation
In a statement to staff, Crown chairman Bill McBeath emphasized the findings of the independent investigation, asserting that Carruthers had not violated any regulations or laws, reported the Australian Financial Review.
However, McBeath highlighted the need for a comprehensive review of the company’s security policies and procedures to ensure clearer lines of authority and accountability in operational decision-making across its properties.
McBeath reiterated the board’s full support for Carruthers, describing him as an experienced and respected executive leading the organization through a transformation. Carruthers, who assumed the role of CEO in 2022 after a lengthy tenure at renowned casinos such as Wynn Macau, was brought in by Blackstone following its acquisition of Crown Resorts from the Packer family. Carruthers was one of the numerous executive appointments orchestrated by Blackstone.
The acquisition of Crown by the American equity firm was made possible due to the previous company’s vulnerable position following extensive regulatory scrutiny. Crown faced allegations of numerous regulatory lapses and questionable dealings with high-profile clients. Consequently, it was placed under the supervision of a special manager tasked with overseeing its efforts to address these issues.
Victorian Commission Praises Crown’s Response Ahead of License Review
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), which had initiated its own investigation, expressed satisfaction with Crown’s handling of the complaints and stated it would closely monitor the implementation of recommendations. While specifics of these recommendations were not disclosed publicly by Crown Resorts, the VGCCC is expected to make a determination regarding the suitability of Crown Melbourne’s casino license in April.
The VGCCC’s scrutiny follows a series of regulatory challenges faced by Crown Resorts, including a royal commission in Victoria regarding money-laundering charges. Since 2021, the company has undergone significant leadership changes as part of efforts to demonstrate to authorities its commitment to rebuilding governance systems.
The conclusion of the investigation into Carruthers comes amid ongoing efforts by Crown Resorts to address regulatory concerns and regain trust in its operations. With the assurance from both internal and external investigations, the focus now shifts to the VGCCC’s upcoming decision regarding the Melbourne casino’s license, which will play a crucial role in determining the future of Crown Resorts’ operations in Victoria.