The High Court of Australia has ruled in favour of NSW authorities and Melco may have to hand over documents it wanted to protect.
Australia.- Hong Kong casino group Melco has suffered a legal setback in its attempt to hold back nine documents requested by New South Wales (NSW) authorities in its investigation of the company’s acquisition of its stake in James Packer’s Crown Resorts.
The High Court of Australia has backed a decision by the NSW Court of Appeal to overule the ruling that exempted Melco from providing the papers.
The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) is investigating whether a licensing breach was committed in the sale of a 20 per cent stake in Crown Resorts to Melco last year.
The investigation began last January and was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Hong Kong firm had managed to get a favourable ruling from the Supreme Court for its claim that the documents requested were covered by legal professional privilege, but the ruling was overturned by the NSW Court of Appeal.
The case advanced to the High Court, which now has backed the NSW Court’s decision.
Crown Resorts currently owns resorts in Perth, Western Australia and Melbourne, Victoria. It is close to completing a $2.4 billion casino, hotel and luxury apartment tower at Sydney’s Barangaroo, which is due to open its doors early next year.