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Why Neil Mitchell says Melbourne ‘cannot lose Crown’

Article image for Why Neil Mitchell says Melbourne ‘cannot lose Crown’

On Monday, the state government announced it will launch a royal commission into Crown Casino in Victoria, after a damning NSW inquiry found Crown had facilitated money laundering and brought in high-rollers with links to organised crime.

Neil Mitchell says while he supports the royal commission, Melbourne “cannot lose Crown”.

“We need a royal commission and we may need a cleanout at Crown, but we can’t afford to threaten its viability,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“I think Crown is one of the best things to happen in Melbourne in the past 20 years.

“I don’t gamble, I hate the casino part, but the restaurants, the hotel, the superb function rooms, all of this built on what was a mud flat on the Yarra.”

The casino is Victoria’s largest single employer, with 12,500 employees, and Neil Mitchell says that’s another reason why it cannot be allowed to become “run down”.

“There’s got to be an air of uncertainty around their jobs now,” he said.

“The danger is if the licence is revoked and … a new owner comes along is it could be foreign ownership that doesn’t understand Melbourne, or some type of equity fund that runs it down.

“Both could be bad for Melbourne.

“We can’t end up with tacky on the Yarra, we can’t let it become a cost-cutting white elephant.”

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