ILGA Prevents Crown Resorts From Opening $2.2bn Casino In Sydney
Crown Resorts which is the biggest casino operator in Australia has been in the midst of a long term inquiry involving multiple accusations over money laundering, pokie machine tampering and breach of gaming regulations.
Crown Resorts multiple transgressions have cost the casino operator from opening its mega $2.2 billion Crown Barangaroo casino resort in Sydney, Australia. The new casino was expected to open its doors to the public in December 2020.
The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) in New South Wales carried out an 11 month inquiry that has exposed numerous shortcomings of the casino operator. The straw that might have just ended up breaking the camel’s back was when Crown Resorts admitted this week that they could have allowed money laundering to take place via their VIP player accounts.
Crown Barangaroo is a 75 foot towering waterfront casino with a 350 room hotel. The Barangaroo casino could very well turn out to be their biggest casino operation once it gets up and running fully. This new casino is expected to focus mainly on VIP gamblers.
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.
This means that Crown Barangaroo will likely remain shuttered until February 2021 as this is when the inquiry will be completed and submitted.
Three Possible Scenarios
There are three possible scenarios that will come into play once the inquiry is submitted. The first scenario is that Commissioner Patricia Bergin rules that Crown Resorts has put in place new protocols and done enough during this time to convince them to open Crown Barangaroo in early 2021.
The second scenario is the Commissioner puts her foot down and forces Crown Resorts to cut all ties to former chairman and director James Packer. The Australian billionaire is one of the main stakeholders in the company and was responsible for bringing on four junket operators who are alleged to have links to organized crime syndicates in Asia.
The third scenario is something that Crown Resorts will not want to happen as the Commissioner could prevent Crown Barangaroo from opening at all. This would result in Crown Resort’s 99 year license being cancelled and the new casino will most likely be taken over by another casino operator.
David is our resident 'down under' contributor, letting us know what is going on in the southern hemisphere, he is also keen blackjack player