Crown asked to delay gaming operations at New Sydney casino

NSW gaming regulator tells Crown to delay Sydney casino opening

Crown Resorts has announced it will comply with the NSW gaming regulator's request to postpone the opening of gaming operations at their new Sydney casino.

Philip Crawford, Chairman for the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, reportedly proclaimed that his body was also now unable to consider a range of essential regulatory applications for the coming Sydney facility regarding such matters as gaming area boundaries, VIP membership policies, minimum bet limits and 'close associates' of Crown Resorts Limited.

Crown is now subject to a lengthy inquiry, after it was reported that criminal gangs had laundered cash at its casinos, with Chinese authorities also convicting members of its staff of illegally promoting gambling back in 2016.

"The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has deferred its consideration of a number of applications required for the commencement of gaming operations at Crown Sydney until Febaruay 2021".

The New South Wales gaming regulator ruled today that the consumer discretionary giant was unfit to hold a gaming licence until a review is completed in February.

"The authority has found ongoing evidence before the Bergin inquiry to be extremely concerning, and that any gaming activity at the casino, before the inquiry's findings are released in 2021 and considered by the authority, would pose unacceptable risks on the community against the public interest", Mr Crawford was cited as saying in the ILGA's Wednesday release.

Mr Packer also said he knew of at least four junket operators during his tenure - Suncity, Song, Meg-Star and Qin Si Xin - some of which were reportedly linked to organised crime.

"That is a concern, when we talk about money laundering, what does that really mean?"

In denying Crown's request to introduce gaming to the new property in Barangaroo, a decision that was made during an emergency meeting by the ILGA today, Crawford explained that he was disappointed that Crown didn't proactively volunteer to put off the venue's opening in light of the ongoing investigation and added that there were too many question marks surrounding the company's activities. "We're talking about - potentially - drugs, we're talking about child sexual exploitation, we're talking about people trafficking and we're talking about financing terrorism".

"In summary, we submit that the evidence presented to this inquiry demonstrates that the licensee is not a suitable person to continue to give effect to the licence and that Crown Resorts is not a suitable person to be a close associate of the licensee", he said.

The ILGA has now blocked the casino from opening on schedule. "That is what we are looking at, whether they are fit and proper to retain the licence given to them in 2014", he said. 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.

The proposed opening date for the $2.2 billion Barangaroo casino has been slated for December 14, but Crown is awaiting on approval by the NSW gaming regulator. "They are not picking up the vibe", he said before Crown announce the delay.



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