‘Changed’ Crown holds onto Sydney casino licence

Crown will keep the licence for its luxury Sydney casino after it was declared a 'changed business'

Crown will keep the licence for its luxury Sydney casino after it was declared a 'changed business' Photo: AAP

Gambling giant Crown will hold onto the licence for its luxury Sydney casino after being declared a “changed business” from the troubled operator that was previously barred from running the waterfront venue.

The NSW Independent Casino Commission on Tuesday found the company suitable to retain its Sydney licence after “nearly three years of intensive remediation” in its practices.

Commission head Philip Crawford said Crown had come a long way since widespread misconduct was exposed in a 2021 inquiry, which found it unsuitable for holding the second Sydney casino licence.

“There is and will always be room for improvement, but Crown is a changed business that is looking toward the future,” he said.

Crown’s Sydney casino opened its doors in August 2022 after an inquiry led by former NSW Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin initially found the company unfit to operate the facility.

The troubled gambling outfit was later given approval for its members-only gaming facilities inside the harbourside Barangaroo complex to open on a conditional basis.

The conditional period ran for up to 24 months to give regulators a chance to monitor changes at Crown to ensure they were “embedded” in the business.

The Bergin inquiry highlighted major issues at Crown, including the potential laundering of billions of dollars through its casinos.

The casino operator was subsequently sold by Australian billionaire James Packer to US private equity firm Blackstone, a deal that was approved in June 2022.

Crown also held onto its lucrative Melbourne casino licence in a March decision from the Victorian regulator after a royal commission found the company responsible for “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative” conduct.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.