Crown Resorts has been granted conditional approval by the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) to launch casino operations at Crown Sydney.
In a statement issued Wednesday morning, ILGA chair Philip Crawford said the conditional license would give the regulator time to monitor the final phase of its restricted gaming licence suitability assessment after Crown was found unsuitable to hold a NSW license following the Bergin Inquiry in 2021.
“Under the Authority’s supervision, Crown has rebuilt its gaming model from the ground up, which has meant deep structural change around governance, anti-money laundering measures and corporate culture,” Crawford said.
“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.
“Given the need to observe the changes in operation as well as ensure changes are embedded in the business, the Authority will consider approval of Crown’s suitability until the end of the conditional gaming period, which could run between 18 months and two years.
“The new systems and internal control measures have been set up and will be in place from day one.”
Addressing Crown’s efforts to return to suitability, Crawford added, “Crown has been required to implement a raft of stringent controls to prevent money laundering and criminal infiltration in its NSW business model. What was happening in Crown’s interstate operations will not be repeated in NSW.
“With a complete clean-out of the board and senior executives, Crown has made significant progress and has agreed to ongoing work to regain its casino licence.”
In an ASX filing, Crown revealed that it will open under the supervision of an independent monitor, Kroll Associates, until the conditional license expires on 31 December 2023. The company did not, however, confirm an exact opening date for the casino at Crown Sydney.
“Today is an important day for Crown, our customers and our people, who have been eagerly awaiting this announcement for some time and cannot wait to share the full Crown Sydney experience with the world,” said Crown CEO and Managing Director, Steve McCann.
“Our vision is to become one of the most respected operators of integrated resorts anywhere in the world. Since it opened, Crown Sydney has provided the city with an unrivalled level of luxury accommodation, restaurants and bars and now with the opening of gaming, we can offer our full suite of world-class facilities.
“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 program, to showcase our suitability as a casino operator and demonstrate our ability to deliver exceptional experiences in a safe and responsible environment.
“We will now finalize our opening plans and look forward to shortly announcing the details and timing of our launch.”