The regulatory problems of Crown Resorts are finally starting to wane down, but it seems that the company’s image and reputation can’t seem to recover, especially considering this latest news.
Of course, Crown is by no means the only one, but the company has still been revealed as one of the biggest recipients of the controversial JobKeeper wage subsidy. Together with Qantas and Flight Centre, the companies have claimed more than $1.3 billion between themselves from this program.
For those unaware, JobKeeper was a temporary program for subsidising wages. It was intended for businesses significantly suffering from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program began on 30 March 2020 and ended on 28 March 2021.
The public believes that many companies have taken advantage of the program without needing it. As a result, treasurer Josh Frydenberg was criticised, and many have demanded that he forces these businesses to repay the taxpayers. However, no such requirement on companies has been placed, without indication the government will make some in the future.
Now, more than half a year later, the complete list of the recipients has been revealed, and Crown Resorts is the second-biggest beneficiary.
Qantas is the first with a staggering $856 million, while Crown garnered $291 million. Next comes Flight Centre with $248 million, the Star Entertainment Group with $157 million, Myer with $144 million, and Mosaic Brands with $125 million.
The rest on the list have taken less than $100 million.
Back in September, all publicly listed companies in Australia were ordered to disclose the amounts they’ve received through the JobKeeper program, the number of employees who have taken the money, and how much money was returned to the government.
It took a while for the data to be pulled and organised, but the spreadsheet was just released on the official website of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.
The famous casino operator Crown Resorts claimed $92.9 million during the 2020 fiscal year and $199.3 million in 2021.
Interestingly, the company has been criticised for taking the money and handing out millions in dividends to its shareholders soon after.
However, all companies that have gained more than they needed from this program, including Crown Resorts, have the chance to repay the money they don’t need. The Australian Tax Office second commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn had stated this only a day before the company list was released to the public.
He also stated that companies should use future payments as an investment in their business, not to pay executive bonuses as dividends.