Blackstone-owned Crown Resorts can keep Sydney casino licence, regulator says

By Thomson Reuters Apr 22, 2024 | 10:32 PM

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Blackstone-owned Crown Resorts was found suitable to retain its Sydney casino’s licence after nearly three years of intensive remediation, a gambling regulator said on Tuesday.

The New South Wales state Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (NICC), the state regulator which replaced the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) and which currently oversees Crown’s Sydney licence, said Crown Sydney has fundamentally reformed its business and has been building a culture of transparency and accountability.

“The NICC is confident the Crown we deemed suitable today has a strong model to keep operating into the future,” Chief Commissioner Philip Crawford said in a statement.

Last month, it was announced that the casino operator could keep its licence to operate its flagship Melbourne casino by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission, on grounds that it was in the public interest.

Crown Resorts and Crown Sydney acknowledged the regulator’s decision and said that Crown has invested A$200 million ($129.28 million) in a “comprehensive transformation” of its business to implement reforms across harm minimisation, financial crime, governance, compliance and risk.

Crown Sydney would continue to work “constructively and collaboratively” with the NICC to implement the requirements related to the casino licence and ensure ongoing compliance with industry regulations and standards, the casino operator said.

Crown Perth, on the other hand, continues the implementation of its remediation plan, which is due to be submitted to the Perth Independent Monitor by the end of January 2025, Crown Resorts said in a statement.

Last year, the casino operator agreed to pay a A$450 million fine for breaking anti-money laundering laws, in a bid to rescue the company from a string of regulatory issues it got engulfed in.

($1 = 1.5470 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Renju Jose in Sydney and Archishma Iyer and Echha Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue, Stephen Coates and Rashmi Aich)