Crown Resorts may retain licences with conditions, analysts say

Crown Resorts is facing two Royal Commissions in Australia.
Crown Resorts is facing two Royal Commissions in Australia.

J.P. Morgan believes Crown Resorts could retain its gaming licences in Sydney and Western Australia but with conditions.

Australia.- While the Victorian and Western Australian Royal Commissions have yet to deliver their verdicts on Crown Resorts J.P. Morgan believes the casino operator will keep its licences in Western Australia and New South Wales, but possibly with new conditions.

Royal Commissions held in other industries such as banking and financial services which inquired into money laundering, terrorism financing, and statutory reporting responsibilities, made large numbers of recommendations, including on the restructuring of some fees. 

Royal Commission into trade union governance and slush funds in 2014/2015 resulted in a recommendation for the creation ofa new national regulator. 

Finkelstein, the judge leading the state of Victoria’s inquiry, was originally due to release his report by August 1 but has extended the inquiry to October 15.

Western Australian’s Royal Commission is expected to deliver a final report by November 14. It will analyse Crown Resorts’ suitability to continue holding a casino gaming licence for Crown Perth.

Crown warned of “severe consequences” if it loses licences

Crown Resorts’ lawyer Leon Zwier wrote a letter to the Victorian gaming minister Melissa Horne warning that 12,000 jobs would be at risk if Crown were unable to retain its gaming licence.

The letter, which was made public on the last day of public hearings held by Victoria’s Royal Commission, also noted that the casino operator wouldn’t comply with its lending covenants which total $700m if it loses the licence.

Zwier wrote: “This will impact Crown’s shareholders, employees, unions, trade creditors, patrons, the hotel precinct, and the Melbourne tourism industry.”

Former Federal Court judge Raymond Finkelstein, who’s leading the Victoria’s Royal Commission, said the letter made it seem Crown Resorts wanted to “make sure that the commission doesn’t make a particular finding.”

Helen Coonan, Crown Resorts’ executive chairman, denied that the operator had attempted to lean on the state government.

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