Crown Resorts Deemed Unsuitable To Operate Sydney Casino By ILGA
Australian based casino operator Crown Resorts has been at the center of a long investigation carried out by a special commission approved by the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA).
One of the main objectives of the report was to analyse whether Crown Resorts was suitable to hold a gaming license and operate its new A$2.2 billion Barangaroo Casino resort in Sydney.
The special commission was led by Patricia Bergin who carried out an 18 month investigation. The commission submitted an 800 page report this week to the NSW Parliament and the same report has also been released in the public domain.
Commissioner Bergin and her team concluded that Crown Resorts was not suitable to operate Barangaroo Casino. The casino resort has already opened its non-gaming facilities to the public but has been eagerly waiting for a positive report from the Commission, so that its gaming floor would finally be opened for business.
ABC News (Australia)
The 800 page report is very detailed and has put forward a total of 19 suggestions which include making amendments to the Casino Control Act. The ILGA will not have to decide if it is going to recommend some or all of the recommendations put forward by Commissioner Bergin and her team.
The report highlighted the fact that Crown’s main issues were poor risk management policies and bad corporate governance. The report showed that even though its former chairman James Packer stepped down from the board, he was still playing the role as a de factor director.
The ILGA could strip Crown Resorts of its Barangaroo casino license or force the casino operator to make significant changes and prove that it has addressed all of its shortcomings before giving it permission to open the casino floor at its Barangaroo casino.
Recommendations Made In The Report
Some of the recommendations made in the lengthy report include the establishment of an Independent Casino Commission (ICC) that will function as an individual watchdog of the gaming sector. The ICC should have all of the powers of a standing Royal Commission.
The ICC will be responsible for issuing casino licenses, monitoring gambling compliance and taking necessary disciplinary action on licensed gaming operators who breach gaming regulations. Another key suggestion made by the ICC is to ban licensed casino operators from tying up with junket operators.
The report also pushed for Crown Resorts to make significant cultural changes that will emphasize the importance of compliance to all Crown executives and employees.