Shares in casino operator Crown Resorts have plunged as much as 10 per cent after the financial crimes regulator AUSTRAC launched an investigation into compliance with anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing laws.
New South Wales authorities are also probing allegations of money laundering at Crown’s casinos by criminals with links to junket operators in China.
Victorian gaming authorities have asked Crown to show cause as to why it shouldn’t face penalties over the allegations.
Crown shares fell to a low of $8.06, the lowest in around six months.
At 1:45pm AEDT, they were down 9 per cent to $8.18.
ASX rises on relaxed coronavirus restrictions in Victoria
The Australian share market rose to the highest level since early March as Victoria eased its coronavirus lockdown.
There are also renewed hopes of a new US stimulus package ahead of next month’s presidential election and a coronavirus vaccine by year’s end.
At 12:50pm, the ASX 200 index was up 1.1 per cent to 6,247. By 1:45pm, the benchmark index had come off its highs and was up by 1 per cent to 6,238.
The All Ordinaries index was up 0.9 per cent to 6,444.
Nearly all sectors gained on the benchmark index with education stocks, healthcare, technology firms and miners leading the way. Only the real estate sector has dropped.
Big banks were higher with Commonwealth Bank up (+1.3pc), Westpac (+1.1pc), National Australia Bank (+1.4pc) and ANZ (+1.2pc).
Rio Tinto had lost its gains and was down 0.1 per cent, BHP put on 0.6 per cent and Fortescue Metals gained 1.2 per cent on a rise in iron ore prices to $US117.36 a tonne.