The ILGA granted Crown Resorts a highly-conditional licence. If the conditions are met and maintained for up to two years, the casino operator will get a regular licence.
Australia.- More than a year after the final report from the New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority’s (ILGA) inquiry into Crown Resorts found the operator to be “quite unsuitable” to hold a licence for its new casino in Barangaroo, it seems the company is close to open its long-awaited casino venue.
According to local media reports, Crown will be granted a conditional licence for a specific period, with the potential for full certification. The state cabinet will meet on Monday to decide whether to approve the plan.
After the inquiry, Commissioner Patricia Bergin said deep cultural changes were needed if the company was to be seen as a suitable operator in the future. But now Crown appears so confident the casino will eventually open that it is looking for staff.
A new independent and expanded regulator is expected to oversee the operation of Sydney casinos under strict conditions to prevent money laundering as happened in Crown’s other casinos in Melbourne and Perth.
The decision, however, was criticized by some sectors. Macau-based casino analyst Ben Lee told ABC if the plan was given the green light, it would make gaming licencing a “total farce”.
In March, in a decision similar to what happened in Melbourne, Crown Resorts was deemed unsuitable to hold a licence for its Perth casino. However, the company was allowed to keep its licence under stricter conditions.
On Tuesday, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) announced disciplinary action against Crown Melbourne for its China Union Pay process to avoid Chinese currency restrictions. It’s imposed a fine of AU$80m (US$57.4m).
Between 2012 and 2016, Crown Melbourne allowed its customers to use a credit or debit card to access funds to play games at Melbourne casinos. It earned an estimated AU$32m in revenue from AU$164m in transactions.
Final hearing on Blackstone’s acquisition of Crown expected in June
The acquisition of Crown Resorts by Blackstone is nearly complete with only a few administrative procedures to go ahead. The company must present a series of documents before the Federal Court of Australia to validate the purchase.
92.05 per cent of Crown Resorts’ shareholders voted in favour of the deal. The court then set a hearing for May 24 to analyse the documents and approve the transfer, but the hearing was suspended. Crown Resorts said it will publish the new hearing date on its website but hopes it will take place in the week beginning June 6.