Crown concedes small tax bill
Crown has agreed to pay $61 million worth of unpaid taxes in Victoria.
The casino operator has issued a statement to the ASX saying that it underpaid taxes in the 2012 financial year to the tune of about $37 million, which has now accumulated penalty interest, increasing it by $24 million.
However, prosecutors at the ongoing Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence say the casino actually owes as much as $480 million to the state.
In hearings so far, it has been revealed that Crown Melbourne chief executive Xavier Walsh knew about a potential multi-million-dollar tax underpayment in 2018, but only started investigating after the royal commission into the company had been announced.
“The rest of us who pay our tax, who are law abiding, all practise a different morality,” Alliance for Gambling Reform chief advocate Reverend Tim Costello has told reporters.
“There is no morality with Crown … again they've been found out, again they're paddling fast to offer something too little too late. They can't be trusted.”
Reverend Costello said the true figure should be much higher.
“[It should be] far more than what Crown has offered, about five, six times what Crown has already offered with this piddling, desperate small offer.”
In his closing submission to the royal commission, counsel assisting the inquiry Adrian Finanzio SC said Crown Melbourne is not suitable to hold its licence and may not be able to properly reform its culture.
“The evidence reveals serious misconduct, illegal conduct and highly inappropriate conduct which has been encouraged or facilitated by a culture which has consistently put profit before all other considerations,” he said.
Crown's lawyers will make their final submission to the royal commission in coming weeks.