Crown Resorts Chairman Defends CEO After Internal Investigation Clears Him of Wrongdoing
After conducting an internal investigation, Crown Resorts, now under the ownership of Blackstone, has cleared its CEO, Ciaran Carruthers, of any alleged wrongdoing. The investigation stemmed from accusations that Carruthers had interfered in security matters at the Crown casino in Melbourne.
In a statement to staff, Crown chairman Bill McBeath emphasized the findings of the independent investigation, asserting that Carruthers had not violated any regulations or laws. However, McBeath also emphasized the need for a comprehensive review of the company’s security policies and procedures to ensure clearer lines of authority and accountability in operational decision-making across its properties.
McBeath reiterated the board’s full support for Carruthers, describing him as an experienced and respected executive leading the organization through a transformation. Carruthers assumed the role of CEO in 2022 after a lengthy tenure at renowned casinos such as Wynn Macau and was brought in by Blackstone following its acquisition of Crown Resorts from the Packer family. Carruthers was one of numerous executive appointments orchestrated by Blackstone.
The acquisition of Crown by the American equity firm was made possible due to the previous company’s vulnerable position following extensive regulatory scrutiny. Crown faced allegations of numerous regulatory lapses and questionable dealings with high-profile clients, leading to its placement under the supervision of a special manager tasked with overseeing its efforts to address these issues.
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), which had initiated its own investigation, expressed satisfaction with Crown’s handling of the complaints and stated it would closely monitor the implementation of recommendations. The VGCCC is expected to make a determination regarding the suitability of Crown Melbourne’s casino license in April.
The VGCCC’s scrutiny follows a series of regulatory challenges faced by Crown Resorts, including a royal commission in Victoria regarding money-laundering charges. Since 2021, the company has undergone significant leadership changes as part of efforts to demonstrate to authorities its commitment to rebuilding governance systems.
The conclusion of the investigation into Carruthers comes amid ongoing efforts by Crown Resorts to address regulatory concerns and regain trust in its operations. With the assurance from both internal and external investigations, the focus now shifts to the VGCCC’s upcoming decision regarding the Melbourne casino’s license, which will play a crucial role in determining the future of Crown Resorts’ operations in Victoria.