Special Manager continues independent oversight of Melbourne Casino Operator

The Activity Report provides an update on the work of the Special Manager during the second 6 months of operation.

Tuesday, 20 December 2022 at 3:00 am
Melbourne metropolitan

The Office of the Special Manager for the Melbourne Casino Operator today released a second activity report on the work of the Special Manager, Stephen O’Bryan KC, to independently monitor and assess Crown’s reform program in response to the Finkelstein Royal Commission.

Over the past six months the Special Manager and his office continued work overseeing Crown Melbourne including:

  • monitoring major governance and organisational changes at Crown following its acquisition by Blackstone Inc. in June 2022
  • monitoring and assessing the reforms Crown is undertaking in response to the Finkelstein Royal Commission in relation to cultural change, governance, risk management and compliance, responsible service of gambling, and preventing financial crime
  • overseeing Crown’s ongoing compliance with its legal and regulatory obligations, and its broader integrity framework.

This work has been informed by gathering information and insights through the exercise of the Special Manager’s extensive powers, and active engagement with key stakeholders across state and federal government agencies, non-government organisations, community representatives, academics, and other experts.

The report notes Crown is transitioning through significant change following Blackstone’s acquisition of the company, which has resulted in major changes to Board and senior executive personnel, and to Crown’s governance structures and operations.

“I expect in the coming year as the significant leadership and organisational changes stabilise, that Crown will adopt a more strategic and accelerated approach to implementing its transformation strategy and critical reforms,” Mr O’Bryan said.

“Over the next year we will continue to independently monitor and assess whether the development and implementation of Crown’s reform program is well governed, appropriately prioritised, properly resourced and demonstrates improved outcomes, particularly for customers, staff and the community,” Mr O’Bryan said.

The Special Manager is restricted from making detailed public comment on how Crown is progressing on its reforms and efforts to return to suitability.

The Special Manager has also provided a more detailed confidential Interim Report for the July to December reporting period to the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) and the Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation. The Interim Report is submitted on a confidential basis because of the ongoing legally and commercially sensitive nature of the Special Manager’s work.

In December 2023 the Special Manager will submit a final report to the VGCCC and the Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation. The Special Manager’s confidential reports are to assist the VGCCC in determining whether Crown has returned to suitability to hold the Melbourne casino licence.