Paul Steel has been appointed as an independent monitor by the Western Australia government to oversee remediation work by Crown Resorts at the group’s Perth casino venue.
The current Assistant Commissioner with the WA Police Force will commence in the role from October 31, with all associated costs related to Steel and his staff to be recouped from the operator.
It is said that Steel will bring decades of experience in organised crime investigation, organisational transformation, delivery of cross-government strategic outcomes and senior leadership to the new role.
In his current position, he has responsibility for counter terrorism and emergency response, state traffic, water police, mounted police, canine and the tactical response group.
The Casino Legislation Amendment (Burswood Casino) Act 2022, which gives the monitor the appropriate legislative powers to monitor and assess Crown’s remediation processes, recently passed parliament and received royal assent.
Tony Buti, Racing and Gaming Minister, explained: “This is the latest step in the WA government’s response to the Royal Commission, and represents a new era of integrity, accountability, and transparency at Perth’s Casino.
“Paul Steel has a proven record of delivering great outcomes across a career of almost 30 years in law enforcement and criminal investigation, including in key leadership roles.
“The purpose of the recent legislation and Independent Monitor is to restore integrity to the casino operator in Perth to ensure that it is operating in a first-class manner. That is what we require as a government and that is what the community expects.
“Appropriately, the taxpayer will not pay for this – the cost of the Independent Monitor will be recouped from the casino operator.”
In March, a royal commission found that Crown was unsuitable to continue holding a gaming licence in Western Australia, but the company was afforded a two year remediation plan, to be overseen by an independent monitor, to clean up its act.
Echoing previous outcomes in New South Wales and Victoria, a series of findings outlined following the inquiry found that the group failed to minimise gambling related harm; permitted junkets with criminal links to operate at the casino; and was not open, accountable, or competent in communications with the state regulator.
The appointment of an independent monitor was one of 59 recommendations by the royal commission to approve, monitor and report on the remediation plan of the casino operator.