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Another Crown director quits amid Barangaroo fallout

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John Poynton has resigned as a director of Crown and as chairman and director of Crown’s Burswood casino in Perth.

Crown Resorts issued a statement on Monday saying his resignation would “take place with immediate effect”.

The Perth-based director of the embattled Crown empire has been under pressure to quit since the NSW Liquor and Gaming Authority released a scathing independent report in February saying the company was not suitable to hold a licence for its Sydney casino at Barangaroo.

Mr Poynton’s move came weeks after Crown said it would end his “consultancy” with him.

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It also followed the resignation of two other board members, Guy Jalland and Michael Johnston.

Crown’s executive chairman Helen Coonan said Mr Poynton had been a board member since November 2018 and a director of Crown Perth since 2004.

“During that time, he has been enormously committed as a director, chairman of Crown Perth and through his service on board committees.

“The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has advised Crown that it considers it appropriate that John step down as a director of all companies within the Crown group, due to a perceived lack of independence arising out of his past relationship with Mr James Packer and CPH, notwithstanding the recent termination of John’s consultancy arrangement with CPH,” the statement said.

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“As a result, John has agreed to resign in the best interests of Crown and our shareholders, despite no adverse findings by the Commissioner in the ILGA Inquiry in relation to his suitability, integrity or performance.

“On behalf of the board, I thank John for his contribution to Crown over many years,” Ms Coonan said.

Mr Packer’s private company Consolidated Press Holdings has a 37 per cent share in Crown.

Last week the Victorian government announced a royal commission into Crown.

Crown’s chief executive Ken Barton resigned after Patricia Bergin’s damning report into Crown and was replaced by Ms Coonan. Crown Resorts director Andrew Demetriou also resigned, although he took a swipe at the investigation on the way out.

Mr Demetriou was singled out by the investigation, and ILGA chairman, Philip Crawford, said he would need to resign if Crown wanted to hold a licence for the Barangaroo casino in the future.

Mr Demetriou said the comments directed toward him in the report were “unfair and unjust”.

“I will defend my reputation at every opportunity,” he said.

-with AAP

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