Crown Resorts Pays Undisclosed Amount To ATO And Closes Dispute
Crown Resorts is the biggest casino operator in Australia and also the most controversial operator by far. Crown has been involved in a number of legal disputes over the last few years and has been hit with multiple allegations of breaching gaming laws to further its financial interests.
The casino operator settled one of those long standing legal disputes earlier this week after it reached a settlement with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) over a A$400 million dispute involving outstanding taxes. Crown Resorts and the ATO settled the dispute after Crown agreed to pay an undisclosed amount.
The tax dispute is over Crown Resorts venture into the United States where multiple deals did not go through. The company had first tried to enter the American market in 2007 when it tried to acquire Cannery Casino Resorts which operated four casinos spread across Pennsylvania and Nevada. The acquisition was expected to cost Crown $1.75 billion but it did not go through as planned.
Crown Resorts changed its plans and decided to proceed with only a 24.5 percent share deal and had to pay a termination fee of A$50 million for backing out of the original deal. Crown Resorts abandoned its plans to enter the US market for nearly a decade and then tried to enter Las Vegas with its Alon Las Vegas resort.
This project also did not work out as Crown Resorts faced a major setback when 18 employees were arrested in China for illegal marketing activities. Crown Resorts decided to drop all expansion plans in Asia as well as the United States and ended up selling the land for its Alon Las Vegas project to Wynn Resorts for $300 million.
The ATO took all of the above deals into consideration and decided to impose A$362 million tax bill on Crown Resorts which the casino operator disputed claiming that it had paid all of its taxes and did not default on anything. The matter was taken to court as both sides were unable to reach an agreement.
Crown Resorts Eager To Move On
The out of court settlement is a plus for Crown Resorts as it can put one of the many challenges it is facing to rest and concentrate on other pressing issues.
Crown Resorts is facing a potential Royal Commission inquiry over allegations that it breached multiple laws to provide illegal services including drugs and sex to VIP gamblers.
Nine News Australia