Crown Resorts inquiry suspended due to Coronavirus

New South Wales authorities confirm the inquiry into Crown’s licence suitability has been postponed.

Australia.- The inquiry into Crown Resorts has been suspended indefinitely due to Coronavirus.

New South Wales (NSW) officials had been conducting an ongoing investigation as to whether the company founded by billionaire James Packer was suitable to hold a gaming license. 

The inquiry was previously delayed in mid-March but has now been suspended indefinitely.

The Australian casino operator is building a $1.5 billion resort in Sydney but officials are concerned about its alleged exposure to organised crime associated with junket groups, as well as potential links to money laundering.

“The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has decided that most of the work of the Casino Inquiry will be deferred in the current context of the Covid-19 epidemic until it is considered safe and practicable for all public aspects of the work to resume,” the ILGA said in a statement explained.

The ILGA added: “This decision follows careful consideration of the current Covid-19 situation, Commonwealth and State Government advice and restrictions. The Inquiry and its public hearings will resume promptly as soon as circumstances allow.”

Crown Resorts currently owns resorts in Perth, Western Australia and Melbourne, Victoria. Both casinos have closed their doors due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, their hotel operations continue to remain open, albeit in a reduced capacity and occupancy.

Packer currently maintains a 36.8 per cent majority share in Crown but no longer sits on the board of directors and is not involved in day-to-day operations.

When the inquiry is held, Packer is expected to testify.