CANBERRA, AAP – Casino and resort giant Crown has announced it will no longer make political donations.
The company told the securities exchange on Tuesday it and its associated entities would no longer make “monetary or in-kind political donations, effective immediately”.
Long-time anti-gambling campaigner and independent MP Andrew Wilkie said it was “way beyond time” Crown stopped making political donations.
“The gambling giant has paid millions of dollars to the political parties during the last 20 years, mostly the Liberal and Labor parties,” Mr Wilkie told AAP.
He said the timing was “curious”.
Two royal commissions have been launched into Crown’s operations in Perth and Melbourne.
The inquiries came after a NSW report found Crown was not suitable to hold the licence for a Sydney casino because it had facilitated money laundering through bank accounts held by subsidiaries.
“The company is obviously in a whole lot of trouble and they want to be able to front the Victorian Crown royal commission with proof that they’re working to clean up their act,” Mr Wilkie said.
“Frankly no political party should accept donations from any gambling company, and the pressure is now on the parties to follow Crown’s lead and promise to end their reliance on the industry.”
Perth-based businessman John Poynton earlier this month became the fifth director to resign from Crown’s board in recent weeks.
Crown has pledged to fully cooperate with the commissions, which it said would give it an opportunity to detail reforms and changes to the business to improve governance, compliance and organisational culture.
Last month Labor national secretary Paul Erickson said Crown’s donations to the party were under review.