Federal Court Questions Crown's Claim of Financial Hardship

Federal Court Justice Michael Lee raised concerns about Crown’s claim of financial hardship. According to the casino operator, it cannot afford to pay the $301 million fine in a single payment. Also, the AUSTRAC levied a penalty against the casino for various violations of counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws.

According to online slot machines experts, Justice Lee stated the fine was already at the lower end of the punishment for the company’s non-compliance with the law. However, Crown suggested allowing it to pay the fine within two years. Also, it wants to reduce the amount to $271.6 million.

Philip Crutchfield, Crown’s lawyer, claimed the casino could not afford to pay more than they agreed. However, Justice Lee was skeptical about the Crown’s financial status. He noted a lack of evidence aside from the affidavit from Crown’s CFO Alan McGregor.

Crown’s Financial Hardship

Federal Court Questions Crown's Claim of Financial HardshipIn addition, Justice Lee emphasized that AUSTRAC could not verify Crown’s accusations since it could not cross-examine McGregor. According to operators of online casinos in Korea, Justice Lee underlined the importance of responsibility and pointed out that the integrity of witnesses’ affidavits may be questioned if they were not thoroughly examined. Also, he argued that there should be sufficient sanctions to deter such illicit conduct, and he was concerned that the penalty did not consider the past dividends paid to Crown stockholders.

When the case against Crown was finally brought to court in February, Justice Lee reprimanded AUSTRAC for taking too long.

On July 11 at 3:30 p.m., Justice Lee is scheduled to issue his ruling. While he seemed inclined to okay the fine, he also broached the idea of bringing in a third party to evaluate Crown’s finances. Instead, he suggested providing a payment plan with early payment options for Crown if its financial situation improved.

During the trial, Crown’s sincerity was also questioned. Justice Lee asked if the company’s professed regret for its transgressions and a subsequent shake-up of its board and upper management reflected a sincere state of repentance. He stressed that real repentance entails a shift in perspective and not only replacing persons complicit in wrongdoing. The best online casino websites strive to comply with the rules to avoid paying large fines.

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