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Australian Government To Review Crown Casino's Gaming License After Money Laundering Admissions

The Melbourne Casino And Home Of Aussie Millions Closed Its Poker Room About A Week Before The Review Was Announced


One of Australia’s largest casinos is at risk of losing its license, according to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Company.

The Crown Casino in Melbourne is about to go under the guise of the Victorian Government as officials are preparing to crack down on the casino after it admitted that some of its accounts were likely used to launder money. The Victorian Government is appointing a special commissioner to review the allegations and whether or not the establishment is fit to hold a gambling license.

The reviews are scheduled for every five years, but the Crown Casino was just audited two years ago in 2018. The special commissioner will report his findings in February.

“Crown will continue to work cooperatively with the VCGLR (Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation) to support this review,” said Crown Resorts in a statement.

The Crown Casino was one of the most popular destinations for poker players in Australia as it was home to Aussie Millions, the most famous poker series on the continent held every January.

Past winners of the $10,600 AUD no-limit hold’em main event include Bryn Kenney, Toby Lewis and Ari Engel. Vincent Wan won the most recent installment this past January.

In November, Crown announced that the 2021 Aussie Millions was put on hold. Last weekend, poker dealer and tournament director Landon Blackhall confirmed on Twitter that the casino was, at least temporarily, closing its poker room.

The initial impulse as to why it’s closed would be the COVID-19 pandemic, which is hurting poker rooms all over the world. Several Las Vegas poker rooms have yet to reopen since the virus began spreading throughout the U.S. in March. It’s rumored that most of those still closed will stay that way.

But Australia doesn’t have the same problems as the U.S. The Australian government implemented strict lockdown and immigration measures to mitigate the virus, which has become nearly nonexistent in that region of the world, making it much less likely that that the poker room closure has anything to do with COVID-19.

In fact, just an eight-hour drive northeast in Sydney, the Star Casino is allowing seven-handed poker without masks or plexiglass, measures that have become the norm in the rest of the world. A week ago, World Poker Tour host and Australia-raised Lynn Gilmartin tweeted photos from the poker room showing a bunch of maskless Aussies grinding away.