PERTH, AAP – Staff at Crown’s Perth casino say the rules are often bent to suit important customers, while managers and supervisors are viewed as poor role models.
An expert report released by the Perth Casino Royal Commission has highlighted concerns about workplace culture as the inquiry prepares to conclude witness hearings.
The report by expert consultant Elizabeth Arzadon includes analysis of a staff survey conducted by Deloitte across Crown’s national operations.
A quarter of respondents from Crown Perth said there were often instances where working around policies and procedures was necessary to “get the job done”.
“Well we kind of skip the policies when VIP guests come in, they get priority and it shows that money is more important,” one respondent said.
Managers and supervisors were viewed as poor leaders and 40 per cent of respondents said their coworkers bent the rules when it suited them.
“There is limited feedback from staff about the integration of risk priorities into Crown’s strategy, and in particular, there is evidence of tension between compliance obligations and Crown’s strategy of delivering outstanding customer experience,” the report said.
The royal commission is investigating whether the West Australian casino regulator effectively allowed Crown to self-regulate aspects of its Perth operations.
An interim report highlighted changes including the deregulation of junket operations and the reduced use of inspectors, who had not been permanently present on the casino floor since mid-2015.
The NSW Bergin report released earlier this year found Crown had “enabled or facilitated” money laundering at its Perth casino through an account linked to a shell company, Riverbank Investments.
WA’s inquiry has heard the state’s Gaming and Wagering Commission opted not to investigate allegations of money laundering against Crown after the company’s “persuasive” former legal boss told them it was a media beat-up.
Billionaire James Packer last month conceded there were “many oversights” during his time overseeing Crown’s Perth casino operations between 2004 and 2016.
In a rare public appearance, he told the inquiry he should have considered resigning from his role as Burswood Limited chair years earlier given he had not attended any board meetings during a three-year period from 2013 to 2016.
Crown was last month castigated for “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative” behaviour by a Victorian royal commission but allowed to keep its casino licence in that state.
The WA inquiry is due to deliver its final report in March 2022. It will conclude its public witness hearings next week before hearing closing submissions in late-January.