Crown Sydney deemed suitable to retain casino licence

Crown Sydney deemed suitable to retain casino licence

NICC chief commissioner Philip Crawford said the casino operator had shown it can operate lawfully.

Australia.- The NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) has announced that Crown Sydney has been deemed suitable to retain its casino licence after nearly three years of remediation. NICC chief commissioner Philip Crawford said Crown had proved it could run the casino lawfully and remediated its business in meaningful ways, building a culture of transparency and accountability.

He said: “Hard work and transformation aside, the NICC has not forgotten the level of misconduct exposed in 2021 when Crown was found unsuitable. Crown Sydney has ongoing work to reach steady state and it must continue to lift standards and maintain its cultural transformation.

“There is and will always be room for improvement, but Crown is a changed business that is looking toward the future. Likewise, the NICC is a changed regulator with enhanced powers, a singular focus on casinos, and a mandate to address the risks of harm. This decision is a positive outcome for Crown Sydney, its staff, and the community – who can be sure the NICC will use all of its powers to keep the casino in check.” 

The decision follows a similar decision by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) on Crown Melbourne. The casino operator says it invested AU$200m to improve its business, reduce harm, prevent financial crime, follow rules and manage risks. It created new boards, including one for Crown Sydney, which John Borghetti now leads.

Crown Sydney was the first venue in NSW to use cashless gaming on all Electronic Table Games (ETGs). It also launched a new harm minimisation program, Crown PlaySafe.

Crown Sydney CEO, Mark McWhinnie commented: “Since opening the Crown Sydney casino in August 2022, we have worked tirelessly to implement wholesale reform across our business, delivering 432 remediation activities to the NICC across key areas, including harm minimisation, financial crime, compliance, risk, and culture.

“The NICC’s decision today recognises the genuine and sustainable changes we’ve made and our ongoing commitment to operating at the highest industry standards. I would like to thank the NICC, led by Chief Commissioner, Philip Crawford, for his continued leadership, professional engagement and commitment to regulatory reform.

“Crown Sydney is the safest place to gamble in the State.” “Today’s outcome would not be possible without the unwavering hard work and dedication of our team and while we take a moment to recognise this milestone today, we know that the work doesn’t stop here. Our transformation has laid the pathway for the future so we can exceed the expectations of our guests, team members, stakeholders and the community.”

Crown Resorts CEO, Ciarán Carruthers added: “Under the ownership of Blackstone, who brought in new executive leadership, management, and Boards, the Crown of today has been rebuilt from the inside out. We’ve spent the past two years pioneering a monumental transformation unlike anything seen before in corporate Australia.

“We remain committed to Crown’s ongoing cultural transformation, compliance, and ensuring that we are the safest gambling venue in Australia while providing a fun and entertaining environment for our guests. We must continue to build and maintain trust and respect while showing that success and commercial viability go hand in hand with trust, care and integrity.

“I would like to thank Philip Crawford for his leadership of the NICC and echo his sentiment that we must remain steadfast in our commitment to suitability, accountability and compliance. I am immensely proud of what our team has accomplished with two of our three properties being found suitable to retain their casino licences and we continue to focus on our ongoing remediation work in Perth.

“We know holding a casino licence is a privilege and an obligation we take extremely seriously. We will continue to build trust with our communities and stay focused on our vision to become a beacon of excellence for integrated resorts.”

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