Crown Resorts is cleaning the gaming tables and dusting off the slots at its Sydney casino. The property will open the casino floor next month, a year and a half after New South Wales (NSW) suspended its casino license.
Two gaming floors are coming to the resort – the Crystal Floor and the Mahogany Room, according to ABC News. The former will open as of August 8, while the latter still doesn’t have a firm launch date. However, it will likely be ready sometime in August as well.
Crown Sydney will remain under heightened scrutiny by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) as it reopens. At the same time, the property will initially only receive VIP members. Eventually, it will extend its operations if it proves itself worthy.
Crown Sydney will offer 160 gaming tables and 70 electronic table games with both rooms open. In addition, the property will add 12 exclusive “Sky Salons” on the 28th and 29th floors.
In June, the casino operator struck a deal with NSW that will allow it to launch gaming operations at Crown Sydney in August.
But Crown’s inability to play by the rules across Australia has already cost it tens of millions of dollars. Its egregious mismanagement led to changes in gambling regulations across the country and temporarily cost it its license in NSW.
Crown, which The Blackstone Group recently bought out, opened the $1.7-billion property in December 2020. However, it couldn’t include the casino operations because of repeated anti-money laundering protocol failures and other issues.
The troubles Crown caused led to NSW assigning an independent supervisor to monitor its activity. The ILGA will closely monitor the casino to ensure it complies with the rules and regulations. Now, the Crown says it’s ready to correct the past issues.
“We are committed to delivering a safe and responsible gaming environment for all, and Crown Sydney’s restricted gaming facility has been designed with the highest levels of governance and compliance,” said Crown Sydney CEO Simon McGrath.
Star Entertainment Facing Scrutiny, As Well
Crown isn’t the only casino operator to find itself in trouble in Australia. Star Entertainment has been responding to similar accusations in NSW, as well as in other states.
The investigation in NSW determined that Star, like Crown, doesn’t deserve to hold a casino license for its Star Sydney property. However, that is only a recommendation, with the final decision expected to be handed down in August.
The initial conclusion was that Star demonstrated much of the same irregularities as Crown. As a result, Naomi Sharp, SC, the attorney who oversaw much of the inquiry for NSW, believes the operator should receive the same treatment as Crown.
The scandal led to the departure of Star CEO Matt Bekier, Chairman John O’Neill and other executives. However, Sharp doesn’t believe that is enough. She said when concluding her investigation that there is “more to the question of suitability than particular individuals within the corporation.” Sharp added that Star is “a long way” from being a suitable casino operator.
Star recently tapped Scott Wharton to be the CEO of Star Sydney and the company’s group head of transformation. The former Commonwealth Bank of Australia executive reports to Robert Cooke, Star’s new CEO and managing director. However, if NSW decides to suspend the casino’s license, Wharton will have a job much larger and more different than he may have initially expected.
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