Australian casino operator Crown Resorts has received the third and final state regulatory approval it requires with the Western Australian Minister for Racing and Gaming and the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia approving the acquisition of Crown by US private equity firm The Blackstone Group.
The decision follows similar approvals being announced by the NSW and Victorian regulators last week, with the matter now to face its final hurdle via the Federal Court of Australia.
In granting approval, Western Australian authorities said Blackstone would still be subject to a series of “tough conditions” stemming from the recent Perth Casino Royal Commission into Crown Perth. These are to include enhanced reporting of anti-money laundering and responsible gambling activities, non-interference requirements to prevent Blackstone’s institutional investors from involvement in the day-to-day operations of Crown Perth, an obligation to report any investigations by any Australian or overseas regulators, and that Blackstone cannot change its corporate structure and funding arrangements without providing prior notice and gaining relevant approvals.
“As the prospective new owner of the Perth Casino, Blackstone will be required to meet a number of stringent conditions, said Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti. “These conditions align with a number of the recommendations stemming from the recent Perth Casino Royal Commission.
“The State Government has already made significant improvements to the regulatory regime and remains committed to establishing an even tougher regulatory and governance framework to ensure whoever owns or runs Perth’s casino is held to account.
“The conditions on Blackstone, combined with upcoming reforms, will ensure appropriate standards are upheld at Perth’s Casino.”
Wagering Commission Chair Lanie Chopping added, “Blackstone has been subject to an extensive probity assessment by the Gaming and Wagering Commission.
“This detailed and complex process undertaken since the application was submitted last year involved the comprehensive independent assessment of relevant Blackstone entities in accordance with the legislative requirements.
“The Gaming and Wagering Commission’s probity approval has been granted subject to a number of conditions designed to ensure that the Commission has oversight and the capacity to monitor any change in licensee management or ownership.”