Crown Resorts cancels Sydney casino inauguration

A decision on Crown's casino licence will be delivered in February 2021.
A decision on Crown's casino licence will be delivered in February 2021.

The operator will only open non-gaming areas in December.

Australia.- Crown Resorts has cancelled the inauguration of its US$2.2bn Barangaroo hotel and casino scheduled for December 14 as it awaits the results of the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) hearing into its suitability to hold a licence.

The ILGA has formally requested Crown delay the opening “in light of ongoing concerns over the company’s suitability to run the casino.”

ILGA chair Philip Crawford said that ILGA was not in a position to consider a range of essential regulatory applications on matters such as minimum bet limits, VIP membership policy and gaming area boundaries.

He said that the inquiry had heard evidence of behaviour the regulator regarded as “extremely concerning”.

Non-gaming areas of the property will begin operations as planned, in consultation with ILGA, the company said.

The ILGA is due to reach a decision in February on whether to allow Crown to keep its licence for the Sydney property following its enquiry into an incident in 2016, which saw Crown executives arrested in China for promoting gambling.

Its inquiry heard that Crown had sponsored visas for Chinese high rollers without investigating their backgrounds in relation to money laundering and allowed them to use unsupervised bank accounts.

The operator recently decided to end all junket operations unless the companies were approved by state regulators.

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