This week, Crown implemented the oldest business tactics in the book before the royal inquiry examining its ability to maintain a casino license in Victoria. It utilized its employees as human shields.
Michael Borsky, the company lawyer, said Crown employs almost 20,000 employees throughout its properties. More than 11,600 of them are employed in Melbourne. Most of them were not complicit in this official misconduct.
Crown’s employees would face “huge financial loss” if the firm’s license was revoked at a time when many were already “suffering through considerable tough financial time.”
And it’s not just Crown workers. There were thousands of tiny stockholders and, perhaps, huge funds” among Crown’s shareholders.
Crown was responsible for 10% of hotel rooms in Melbourne before COVID-19; Victoria’s economy benefited by $1.2 billion each year.
It’s the same type of logically faulty defense-first heard from Alan Bond’s Bond Corporation during the 1980s; he was sentenced to prison for fraud a few years back.
The firm claimed that Bond had 20,000 workers to fight off an effort to put his breweries into receiver end. It’s possible that they won’t “have a job to go to on Tuesday.”
The logical problem was that the breweries would not have been present if Bond did not own them. Breweries’ beers — XXX, Tooheys, and Swan — are still produced today. If the council revokes Crown’s license, its hotel rooms in Melbourne will remain open, although under new management. Its casino will remain open but will be managed by someone else.
Clive Palmer Tried it before
The tax, despite its name, was intended to be a profit-sharing agreement. The government will take responsibility for the total cost of 40% of each project and would keep 40% of the earnings.
If a mining firm makes a profit on a project, it will earn about 60%; therefore, the tax should not affect its desire to invest.
Mining businessmen like Andrew Forrest and Clive Palmer have vowed to leave Australia and take their money to China or Africa.
Their warnings to Australian mining were no more credible than Alan Bond’s threats to Australian breweries.
Someone else would have come in if Forrest and Palmer had backed out. The arrangement may not suit them, but it would suit someone else who was willing to accept the profit in their place.
Crown is lucrative, as Ray Finkelstein, the Royal Commissioner, pointed out on 3rd August. Its casino business is quite successful. Although it is facing some loss, there is still some inflow of revenue.