60 Minutes’ bombshell story revealed
The bombshell 60 Minutes story that Channel 9 has been teasing all week has been revealed.
In a promo released a few days ago, 60 Minutes said Sunday night's episode would feature "a story so important it can't be missed" that was "set to rock the foundations of Australia".
According to The Age, Crown helped bring criminals into Australia "in a way that raises serious national security concerns" and broke Chinese law by promoting gambling and paying Chinese sales staff bonuses to lure big gamblers down under.
In a statement to The Age, Crown Resorts denied any breach of Chinese law and added it has not been charged with an offence in China.
Once it was finally revealed, viewers weren't all that impressed.
Many took to social media to react to the revelation of the big scoop - there was no denying it was an important and worthy story, but many felt the promo that has been airing all week was a step too far.
"How disappointing. Thought this was going be something more interesting," one person wrote on facebook, while another said: "Silly to think that this was not happening. Money is after all what makes the world tick. Enjoy the show."
"Read the article and this really won't "rock Australia", was a sentiment shared by many.
"Strange story for 60 minutes to do such a wild promo about," journalist Casey Briggs tweeted.
The Crown Casino/ Chinese crooks story is a good yarn but #60Minutes has devalued the currency with its "rock the foundations of the country" hype.— Terry Sweetman (@Terrytoo69) July 26, 2019
Well, 60 Minutes was right. James Packer, Crown Casino and Chinese organised crime IS a huge story. Not a “must see”, but I’ll be watching.— Derryn Hinch (@HumanHeadline) July 27, 2019
Another person sarcastically tweeted: "Really? Well I'll be damned. Criminals involved in gambling. Would never have picked that."
But former senator Derryn Hinch tweeted that the investigation is worthy of the hype.
"Well, 60 Minutes was right. James Packer, Crown Casino and Chinese organised crime IS a huge story. Not a 'must see', but I'll be watching," he wrote.
Strange story for 60 minutes to do such a wild promo about— casey briggs (@CaseyBriggs) July 27, 2019
Several people also pointed out that Four Corners on the ABC ran a similar story in 2017 called "Crown Confidential" which included allegations that Crown had "developed a business model based on luring rich Chinese, known as VIP high rollers, to its casinos ... in a country where gambling and promoting gambling are illegal".
James Packer, who was not a Crown executive or director at the time and who sold half his stake in the company for $1.76 billion earlier this year, "adamantly" denied knowledge of Crown's activities in China with his lawyer telling The Age the businessman had a "passive role" in events.
The mysterious promo sparked a guessing game on social media about what the "major investigation, six months in the making" is about, with more than a few tongue-in-cheek theories.
The investigation will allege that Crown Resorts, which has casinos in Melbourne and Perth, was prepared to "get into bed with junket operators backed by Asian organised crime syndicates … including the most powerful drug-trafficking syndicate in the world", to help lure wealthy gamblers to Australia.
"We've spent months investigating the story - verifying the details, collating snippets of information, cross-checking sources, bullet-proofing our scoop," Deputy Investigations editor Nick McKenzie said.
"There's the brave former insider, the corruption and the cover-ups."
Channel 9 today released a second promo about the 60 Minutes story with more information about the "web of scandal".
You can watch the full investigation on 60 Minutes this Sunday night at 8.40pm on Channel 9