Counsel says Crown Resorts “unsuitable” for licence

The inquiry is set to make a decision in February.
The inquiry is set to make a decision in February.

The counsel assisting the NSW inquiry said the influence of shareholder James Packer was “harmful to the public interest.” 

Australia.- The New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) hearing is taking opinion from experts before making a decision on whether to allow Crown Resorts to keep its licence for its AU$2.4bn (US$1.7bn) project in Sydney.

Counsel assisting the inquiry, Adam Bell, said on Wednesday that evidence presented during the investigation meant Crown was “not suitable” to hold a licence for the new Barangaroo casino.  

Bell said Crown’s conduct surrounding the arrest of staff members in China in 2016 showed failures that persisted and that Crown and its main shareholder James Packer had a “high appetite” for risk.

Bell saidÑ “Compounding the problem is no one who presided over the disastrous failures can provide a coherent explanation about how or why they occurred.

“It’s submitted that the impact of that influence put Crown Resorts in breach of its regulatory agreements with the authority.”

The counsel said Packer’s involvement was “ultimately harmful to the public interest, which is a primary object of the Casino Control Act to protect.” 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, leading ILGA’s inquiry, is expected to deliver a decision on whether Crown Resorts can keep its casino licence on February1, 2021. Crown plans to go ahead with inaugurating the venue in December.  

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