The casino at the Crown Sydney resort (pictured) might be permitted to open in weeks, according to a statement from the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, the casino regulator in New South Wales.
“It is anticipated that the Authority may permit Crown [Resorts Ltd] to commence gaming on a conditional basis in the next few weeks,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying in Australian media reports published on Friday.
In February last year, a casino licence was initially withheld from Crown Resorts for Crown Sydney by the New South Wales regulator, following an inquiry into how the casino group ran its existing Australian business.
The permit topic related to the firm’s new Crown Sydney venue in the Barangaroo district of Sydney, which has been permitted since late 2020 to offer non-gaming services including hotel stays and dining, to customers,
In a presentation issued on Thursday for its half-year results to December 31, Crown Resorts had stated: “Whilst no official opening date has been confirmed in relation to the opening of gaming in Sydney, Crown is targeting to be in a position to announce the opening of the gaming floor shortly.”
The waterside property – that has been described by Crown Resorts as a AUD2.2-billion (US$1.6-billion) project – includes apartments available for sale.
The company said in its presentation: “Crown is focused on selling all remaining Crown Sydney apartments by 30 June 2022, with receipt of the final approximately AUD275-million in expected settlement proceeds subject to timing of the sales.”
The casino group reported a half-year net loss after tax of AUD196.3 million, widened from the AUD120.9-million net loss in the preceding calendar period.
Crown Resorts, which also runs casino complexes respectively in Melbourne, Victoria and Perth, Western Australia, is likely to be taken over – subject to regulatory approval – by investment group Blackstone Inc. The deal values the casino business at AUD8.9 billion.
A shareholder meeting to vote on the Blackstone proposal is likely in the second quarter.
Crown is a former business partner of the Melco brand in the Macau casino market.
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