The CEO of the Australian casino group Crown Resorts has quit after a scandal regarding money laundering allegations within its casinos.
Mr Barton’s departure follows that of several other of the company directors.
Since an inquiry found Crown is not fit to hold a gaming licence in New South Wales, due to which they cannot start its newly built casino in Sydney.
The report has also shown some doubt over Crown’s casinos in different cities.
Crown company is majority-owned by an Australian billionaire James Packer. Moreover, it has previously avoided allegations of illegal activity for years at their casinos in Melbourne and Perth.
In her report, inquiry commissioner Patricia Bergin found that Crown had been facilitating money laundering. Also, exposing all the staff to the risk of detention in a foreign jurisdiction while pursuing commercial relationships with individuals connected to criminal groups.
She has recommended an overhaul of its governance, beginning with most of the board’s sacking.
‘Breath-taking lack of care.’
For over a decade, Mr Barton has been with the company, previously as a chief financial officer before becoming chief executive in 2020.
He has also been found in charge of two accounts which were embroiled in money laundering claims.
Commissioner Patricia Bergin found he had demonstrated a “breath-taking lack of care” when dealing with those allegations. Moreover, she advised New South Wales state regulators that he was not suitable for the role.
Crown announced Mr Barton’s departure on Monday in a statement to the Australian share market.
Executive chairman Helen Coonan said the company was taking “significant steps to improve our governance, compliance and culture”.
However, the inquiry’s bombshell findings have raised questions over the company’s future. On Monday, local media reported that WA’s chief casino regulator had resigned. Moreover, it was also revealed that he was friends with senior members of the Crown’s legal team.