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Crown Resorts appoints McCann as Melbourne CEO as Walsh exits

| By Nosa Omoigui
Crown Resorts Limited has confirmed the appointment of Steve McCann as the CEO of Crown Melbourne, as Xavier Walsh departs.

McCann will undertake the role while serving in his current capacity as Crown Resorts CEO. He will relocate from Sydney to Melbourne as soon as possible in keeping with Covid-19 restrictions.

McCann succeeds Xavier Walsh, whose departure was announced earlier this month. Walsh will still remain with the business until 9 December, in keeping with the terms of his contract.

Walsh’s departure coincided with an inquiry into Crown Melbourne’s operations. The ongoing inquiry has heard evidence that Crown is “not a suitable licensee” to operate in the state. In addition to breaches of anti-money laundering rules, Crown was found to be circumventing Chinese currency restrictions with a ‘voucher for chips’ exchange system with VIP customers.

When adding in that the operator failed to pay its casino tax bill in full, the inquiry found Crown to be untrustworthy and “unfit to hold a licence”. Crown later paid the remaining AUD$61.0m (£32.5m/€38.1m/$43.8m) of its tax bill.

The Melbourne inquiry followed the New South Wales-based Bergin inquiry which led to the resignation of former Crown Resorts CEO Ken Barton. Here it was found that Crown Resorts had further ties to money laundering as well as dealings with junkets with criminal connections.

This led to Crown being deemed unsuitable to hold a licence to operate a casino at Barangaroo in central Sydney. Last week, New South Wales implemented all of the recommendations from this inquiry, including the creation of a new regulator.

Crown Melbourne recently had to close temporarily for a second time following a local lockdown imposed by the Victoria government.

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