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Crown (ASX:CWN) shares on watch with AUSTRAC investigation

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) has announced this morning that AUSTRAC has launched an investigation.

What has happened?

The casino operator announced this morning that it has been informed by AUSTRAC’s regulatory operations branch that it has identified potential non-compliance by Crown Melbourne relating to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

Crown disclosed that the potential non-compliance includes concerns relating to ongoing customer due diligence, and adopting, maintaining and complying with an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program.

The above concerns were identified in the course of a compliance assessment that commenced in September 2019 and focused on Crown Melbourne’s management of customers identified as high risk and politically exposed people.

The matter has been referred to AUSTRAC’s enforcement team, which has initiated a formal enforcement investigation into Crown Melbourne’s compliance.

Crown said it will fully co-operate with AUSTRAC with this investigation.

Summary

This is a difficult period for Crown. COVID-19 impacts caused the closure of its casinos and has blocked many international VIPs coming to gamble at its casinos. The borders may not reopen for some time. Crown is also sweating getting granted a casino licence for Crown Sydney.

Sometimes it can be a buying opportunity to consider businesses that are suffering. But I don’t think Crown offers attractive long term growth, there are plenty of other ASX growth shares I’d buy first including Pushpay Holdings Ltd (ASX: PPH).

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At the time of publishing, the author of this article does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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