The new CEO of Australian casino giant Crown Resorts has told Inside Asian Gaming that the company is still a long way from welcoming back international VIPs to its properties, although it hopes to do so at some stage in the future.
In an exclusive and in-depth interview to feature on the cover of IAG’s October issue, to be published on Friday, Ciarán Carruthers reiterated his stance that Crown will not revisit the junket business that caused it so much difficulty during recent regulatory hearings in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia – home to Crown Sydney, Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth – but said the company did see a future for bringing international players to its properties.
“We’re not in the junket business … that’s not part of the plan going forward,” Carruthers explains. “We will at some point, as the borders are opening again, welcome back international guests to all of our three properties and Crown Sydney is one of them.
“With the very strict controls we have in terms of KYC and AML, we’ll be able to let qualified international players back in again. That will happen sometime in the future but we’re a long way off from that right now.”
Asked about the current performance of Crown Sydney since its 8 August opening given it has long been promoted a VIP-focused property, Carruthers says, “It’s a soft opening right now so we’re working through the processes. We obviously have very strict requirements on entering the casino in line with the regulations in NSW. We’re continuing to improve and refine that.
“I was there last weekend and there is an incredible buzz on the casino floor. It really is an outstanding facility but in terms of the performance we’re being very slow, very methodical to ensure we have everything in place that we need to have.”
Nevertheless, Carruthers – who only stepped into the top job at Crown a month ago after 20 years in Macau – insists he has high hopes for Crown Sydney given the sheer quality of the product on offer.
“It’s the closest I’ve seen to a Wynn-like model in terms of the hardware,” he explains. “The rooms are magnificent, the food and beverage magnificent, and the whole facility is exceptional in the Australian landscape. Certainly, up against the very best in Macau, it can more than hold its own.”
To read the full interview with Carruthers, be sure to check out the October issue of IAG at www.asgam.com.au from this Friday 30 September.