WA ponders Crown Resorts judicial inquiry

Western Australia's government will consider launching its own judicial inquiry into Crown Resorts over allegations it facilitated money laundering at its casinos.

It comes as the state's casino regulator stood aside after questions about his friendships with Crown staff.

Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries deputy director-general Michael Connolly has stood down from his role as chief casino officer.

In a statement on Monday, the department's director-general Duncan Ord said Mr Connolly had fully declared any potential or perceived conflict of interest arising from having taken Crown employees fishing on his trailer boat.

"The people Mr Connolly took fishing did not fit into the senior management category, they were not and are not part of the executive or senior level of management," Mr Ord said.

"The nature of the relationship is one of being friends for an extended period."

Premier Mark McGowan said he was disappointed that the department had allowed the social relationship to continue.

WA's state solicitor will provide feedback on the NSW inquiry to the Gaming and Wagering Commission at a meeting on Tuesday evening.

Mr McGowan said his government would consider following the lead of NSW and pursuing its own judicial inquiry if re-elected at the March 13 poll.

"If I get evidence that requires that, we certainly will if the government is re-elected," he told reporters.

"Unlawful behaviour at a casino is clearly unacceptable. If we need to take stern action, we will."

In a report to the NSW gaming authority, Independent Commissioner Patricia Bergin found Crown - which allegedly facilitated money laundering for at least five years - was not fit to run its Sydney casino.

Mr McGowan said he hoped for a cooperative response between the states involved.

"If there can be a national approach to this, I think it's far better," he said.

"Crown employs in the vicinity of 20,000 Australians. We need to ensure that we stamp out illegality but we keep people employed."

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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