Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd says its Crown Sydney resort (pictured) has been approved for a gaming licence – on a “conditional” basis – by the New South Wales regulator, the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA). The casino group gave the news in a Wednesday filing to the Australian Securities Exchange.
It stated: “The approval will enable Crown to open its members-only gaming facilities located at Crown Sydney with an initial conditional gaming period scheduled to expire on 31 December 2023.”
The firm added: “During this period Crown will work closely with ILGA and the independent monitor of Crown Sydney, Kroll Associates, to demonstrate its suitability and that it is implementing an agreed remediation action plan.”
The conditional gaming licence could run for a period of up to two years, according to ILGA. In a separate statement, the regulator’s chairperson, Philip Crawford, said that Crown Resorts “has rebuilt its gaming model from the ground up, which has meant deep structural change around governance, anti-money laundering measures and corporate culture.”
He added: “After more than one year’s work with Crown, the authority is pleased to have reached a stage where Crown can open its casino operations on a conditional basis.”
The time frame will allow the authority to monitor changes made at Crown Sydney and ensure they are “embedded” in the business, Mr Crawford stated.
In February last year, Crown Resorts was found unsuitable for a Sydney gaming licence by the New South Wales regulator, following an inquiry into how the casino group ran its existing Australian business.
The property has been permitted since late 2020 to offer non-gaming services to customers, including hotel stays and dining.
According to Wednesday’s announcement, the property will offer circa 160 gaming tables and approximately 70 electronic table games to what it termed “VIP members and guests only”.
It added: “Crown Sydney’s gaming operations comprise two private gaming rooms across two floors of the podium as well as 18 private gaming salons located within the tower of the building.”
Steve McCann, Crown Resorts’ chief executive and managing director, was quoted in Wednesday’s announcement as saying: “Over the past 15 months, we have worked closely with ILGA to ensure we have the right measures in place for the commencement of gaming in Sydney and we will continue to work with them on our reform programme, to showcase our suitability as a casino operator and demonstrate our ability to deliver exceptional experiences in a safe and responsible environment.”
Last week, Crown Resorts had said the Federal Court of Australia had approved the proposed AUD8.9-billion (US$6.18-billion at current exchange rates) acquisition of Crown Resorts by investment firm Blackstone Inc.
That followed nods from the three Australian states where the firm has properties: New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia.
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