Crown given green light to open Barangaroo casino

Courtney GouldNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: Supplied

Crown has been given the green light to open its Barangaroo casino after being granted a license to operate.

But the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority said the approval remained conditional for at least 18 months.

ILGA chair Philip Crawford said the company had since rebuilt its gaming model but warned the regulator would be closely monitoring the casino’s operation.

“They know we’re going to be keeping a close eye on them. And they have to perform now ... they’ve got to implement the plans and the agreements we have,” he told reporters in Sydney.

Tall Buildings
Camera IconCrown has been given the green light to commence operations. Richard Dobson Credit: News Corp Australia

“We want to see how they go and they run their business to make sure what they say they’re going to do, they actually do, particularly around the culture and the way they train their staff to do the right thing and comply with the law.

“They can’t have a complete, unfettered licence until we find them suitable and we haven’t found them suitable. We’ll look at that at the end of the conditional period.”

The regulator will then consider giving full approval for the casino to operate.

In a statement to the ASX, chief executive Steve McCann said Crown had spent the last 15 months showing the regulator it had “the right measures in place” to open its gaming facilities in Sydney.

“We will now finalise our opening plans and look forward to shortly announcing the details and timing of our launch,” he said.

Camera IconPhilip Crawford said he will be keeping a watchful eye on Crown. NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett Credit: News Corp Australia

Crown’s casino license for Barangaroo was suspended in 2020 after a damning public inquiry into its operators, which found it unfit to operate.

It meant the casino section of the luxury skyscraper was blocked from operating, but the hotel and restaurants were free to operate.

The approval comes just before US private equity group Blackstone settles its $8.9bn takeover of Crown.

Founder James Packer will receive a $3.3 billion payday for his 37 per cent stake.

Last year, Crown agreed to a number of commitments with the ILGA in order to open the casino, such as paying a supervision levy, ceasing international junket partnerships, adopting a cashless gaming model and phasing out indoor smoking.

Originally published as Crown given green light to open Barangaroo casino

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