Helen Coonan (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Helen Coonan has been presented as the fresh face of Crown as the gambling giant tries to resuscitate its public image in the wake of its money laundering scandal. As the company tries to win back its licence, having someone with deep political connections is a valuable asset.

Yet as a long-serving director of the company, the former Howard government minister could still be in the firing line. Transparency groups have warned that even though the Bergin inquiry is now over, Crown could still face action by the corporate regulator over potential breaches of the Corporations Act.

Coonan was promoted to the position of executive chairman yesterday after Crown Resorts chief executive Ken Barton inevitably stepped down.