Crown Sydney to start gaming operations in 2022

ILGA suspended Crown's casino licence before the opening of Crown Sydney last year.
ILGA suspended Crown's casino licence before the opening of Crown Sydney last year.

Crown Sydney has announced its gaming areas are ready to open on a staged basis pending a determination of suitability by ILGA.

Australia.- Crown Resorts has revealed it hopes to open the gaming areas of Crown Sydney in early 2022. Opening of the casino at the complex was delayed due to the results of New South Wales’ inquiry into Crown, which found it unsuitable to hold its casino licence for the venue. Crown did receive a provisional liquor licence to operate part of the new venue from December 28 last year.

In a report delivered during the company’s investors day, Crown said: “Good progress has been made in implementing the reforms outlined in our remediation plan, including those outlined in the Bergin Report, and continue to work constructively with the independent monitor.”

Since then Crown has also faced Royal Commissions in Victoria and Western Australia. The Victorian inquiry recommended that Crown Melbourne continue to operate with a Special Manager appointed to oversee all aspects of the casino’s operations for the next two years.

It made 33 recommendations but recognised that Crown Resorts has started a significant reform programme. Its report also suggested increasing the maximum possible penalty under the Casino Control Act 1991 from AU$1m to AU$100m to “make sure there are meaningful consequences for breaches of the law.”

The Western Australia Royal Commission has delivered its Interim Report on the state’s Regulatory Framework to the Western Australian Government. Written submissions from Crown and other parties are due on January 20, and closing oral presentations from counsel assisting and interested parties are scheduled for early February 2022. The Royal Commission is scheduled to deliver its final report by March 4.

Crown Resorts turns down Blackstone offer

Last month, Crown Resorts has rejected a third acquisition offer from The Blackstone Group, which had offered to acquire all of the shares in Crown at a price of AU$12.50 (US$9.11) cash per share. Crown Resorts said its board is of the view that the proposal does not represent compelling value for Crown shareholders. 

However, the Crown Board offered Blackstone the opportunity to “access non-public information to allow Blackstone to undertake initial due diligence inquiries on a non-exclusive basis so that it can formulate a revised proposal that adequately reflects the value of Crown.”

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Crown Resorts land-based casino