WA chief casino officer stood aside after questioning from 6PR
WA’s chief casino officer has stood aside after it was revealed he’d maintained social contacts, including regular fishing trips on his boat, with two legal and compliance executives at Crown Perth.
Michael Connolly’s role included granting or refusing licenses, and approving key casino staff members.
It’s understood Department director general Duncan Ord and chair of the Gaming and Wagering Commission, only recently became aware of the relationship.
Mr Connolly stood down on Friday after questions were raised by 6PR’s Gareth Parker about the relationships last week.
In a statement Mr Ord said the Crown employees were not part of Crown’s executive or senior level of management, nor did they occupy decision-making positions.
“Mr Connolly does not refute socialising with employees of Crown Perth, including taking them fishing on his trailer boat,” Mr Ord said.
“The nature of the relationship is one of being friends for an extended period.
“This friendship, and any potential or perceived conflict has been declared formally and has been discussed and declared to myself and the former director general Barry Sargeant, as well as the Gaming and Wagering Commission, who have noted the declaration of interest in the minutes of meetings.
“In consideration that there should be no perception of a conflict of interest, Mr Connolly is stepping aside from his role as chief casino officer effective immediately.
“Mark Beecroft has now assumed the role to assist the Commission with its response to the inquiry report.”
Mr Connolly is the latest head to roll in the wake of the Crown inquiry, which has seen the gaming company’s CEO and Director both stand down in recent days.
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