The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) says it has renewed liquor licenses for Crown Sydney, but that no decision had been made as to Crown’s suitability to regain its casino license.
Crown Resorts was deemed unsuitable by the ILGA in February based on recommendations contained in the Bergin Report, although the report also outlined certain actions the company could take to return to suitability.
They included significant changes to its boardroom and executive teams, reducing the influence of major shareholder James Packer on operations and overhauling its internal compliance measures.
While many of those conditions have since been met – 10 of the 11 board members in place this time last year have since departed – ILGA chair Philip Crawford said Monday that more work needs to be done, with Crown still limited to non-gaming operations for the time being.
“In December last year, ILGA agreed to work with Crown Resorts to enable the opening of non-gaming areas such as accommodation, restaurants, bars and entertainment areas,” said Crawford, who has extended three Crown Sydney liquor licenses for another eight months until 30 June 2022. “The three interim liquor licences permit alcohol to continue to be sold within the resort at a number of non-gaming bar areas and two ground floor restaurants within the facility.
“ILGA’s position on Crown Sydney’s gaming operations has not changed, with the Authority still monitoring and assessing Crown’s responses to the issues arising from the Bergin Report. These issues are complex, and Crown is required to undertake significant change to satisfy the Authority that it is on a pathway to become suitable to hold a gaming licence.
“It will take further time for Crown to fully implement that change and for the Authority to give it proper consideration before making its determination.”
The extension of Crown Sydney’s liquor licenses was announced on the same day Sydney emerged from lockdown for the first time in 107 days after reaching the milestone of having 70% of its adult population fully vaccinated.