Crown Resorts bans 250 VIP players in bid to keep gaming licences

Crown is making further changes in an attempt to satisfy Royal Commissions.
Crown is making further changes in an attempt to satisfy Royal Commissions.

Crown Resorts has announced it has banned 250 high rollers who couldn’t explain where their money came from or raised other probity concerns.

Australia.- In an attempt to hold on to its gaming licences, Crown Resorts has begun implementing a series of changes, including banning 250 VIP players who couldn’t explain the source of their money.

The company carried out an investigation into over 1,800 high rollers. According to The Brisbane Times, Allan McGregor, Crown’s chief financial officer, said the ongoing reviews were “far more significant and comprehensive than we’ve done before.”

Steven McCann, Crown Resorts CEO, said the company was preparing for different outcomes of the ongoing Royal Commissions that are investigating the company.

He said: “We will consider all options to maximise shareholder value in the context of however the regulatory environment plays out. Crown has three of the best integrated resorts in the world. I’m sure there will be people looking with interest at how things play out.”

In May, Crown rejected an offer from Blackstone to acquire the casino operator. The company had upped its original bid from AU$11.85 cash per share to AU$12.35

Star Entertainment also made an offer of AU$12bn (US$9.4bn) for the casino operator. However, the company withdrew it following suggestions that the operator should lose its casino licence for Crown Melbourne.

Crown’s revenue down 31 per cent in the fiscal year 2021

Crown Resorts Limited has shared its financial results for the fiscal year 2021, reporting revenue down 31 per cent year-on-year to AU$1.5bn (US$1.1bn). Reported EBITDA was down 77 per cent to AU$114.1m. Crown reported an NPAT loss of AU$261.6m.

The company attributed the losses to the Covid-19 restrictions and multiple countermeasures ordered by the government as well as the temporary closures of Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth.

Jane Halton, Crown’s interim Chairman, said: “2021 has been a challenging year for Crown, with intense regulatory scrutiny and unprecedented impacts on business operations from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Crown Melbourne VIP revenue plummeted 98 per cent to AU$4.4m as gaming operations were closed for 160 days of the financial year.

As for Crown Perth, the venue reported revenue of AU$742.8m, up 21 per cent. Main floor gaming revenue was AU$478.3m, up 38.9 per cent. That comprises table games revenue of AU$171.7m, up 24.8 per cent, and gaming machine revenue of AU$306.6m, up 48.2 per cent. VIP revenue was AU$0.4m, down 99.1 per cent.

The company said Crown Sydney‘s non-gaming operations had progressively commenced operation throughout the year, with all areas of the hotel resort now complete. The gaming areas are ready for opening on a staged basis pending a determination of suitability by the regulator, ILGA.

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