Crown Shares To Come Under Pressure After Barangaroo Blocked From Opening

Marco Green
November 21, 2020

Crown made the statement during a break in hearings at an inquiry in New South Wales, Australia, where it has this week been defending itself against allegations it is not fit to hold the licence for a new casino in Sydney that is due to open in December, The Guardian reports.

The gaming authority stated on Wednesday that it still has concerns about Crown's suitability to run the casino facility, and that evidence from the probe into the company is "extremely concerning".

Crown Resorts is delaying the opening of its new casino in Barangaroo, Sydney as the New South Wales (NSW) Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) announced it would withhold operating licenses amid an ongoing inquiry.

"Crown will continue to focus on opening the non-gaming operations at Crown Sydney, in consultation with ILGA, in the absence of the commencement of gaming operations", the statement concluded.

The chairman of the ILGA said that given the major shortcomings of Crown Resorts, they were not convinced nor comfortable of allowing Crown Barangaroo to open until the inquiry is completed and a full report is submitted.

"It looks like there is the possibility that money laundering transactions have been identified", ILGA chair Philip Crawford told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. The months-long inquiry has exposed broad dysfunction and governance failings and the Australian firm has scrambled to renew the board and tighten anti-money laundering controls to win back trust. "It basically means proceeds of crime", he said. He further noted that the authorities were seriously concerned because not only money laundering was involved but also, potentially, people trafficking, drugs, financing terrorism and even about child sexual exploitation.

Ms Bergin replied that the inquiry's terms of references demanded she consider whether money laundering happened.

Crown Casino Money Laundering
Crown Shares To Come Under Pressure After Barangaroo Blocked From Opening

As a result, the regulator purportedly declared that it was now requesting that the operator 'agree to our request to postpone opening of all gaming activities' until the official inquiry presents its conclusive findings, which is scheduled to take place in February.

As Casino Guardian previously, the gambling company planned to open its Barangaroo casino in the middle of December 2020. The authority is prepared to work with Crown to explore options that may enable the opening of non-gaming areas including accommodation, restaurants, bars and entertainment areas next month.

"That is certainly available to us".

EARLIER: Crown Resorts shares have been placed into a trading halt, as the gaming giant eagerly awaits to find out whether or not it will be allowed to open its new Sydney casino.

The gaming giant requested the trading halt after receiving a letter from the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority this morning.

An ILGA spokesman said it was "not possible for ILGA or Liquor & Gaming NSW to licence junkets under existing laws and regulations".

Mr Packer said the junket operators were "good for business" but admitted he had no understanding of Crown's oversight of them.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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