Crown Resorts gets conditional nod to open gaming operations in Sydney By Reuters

© Reuters. The Crown Sydney skyscraper at sunset in Sydney, Australia, July 12, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

(Reuters) -New South Wales’ gaming regulator said on Wednesday it has given Crown Resorts conditional approval to open its gaming operations at its casino in Sydney, days after its $6.3 billion acquisition by Blackstone (NYSE:) Inc received court approval.

The Sydney casino, part of a 75-floor tower complex which opened in December 2020, had its license suspended by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) just before opening in late 2020 following media reports of its alleged dealings with organised crime groups.

The ILGA, which oversees Crown’s Sydney license, said it is now “pleased to have reached a stage where Crown can open its casino operations on a conditional basis.”

Crown’s CEO Steve McCann said, “We will now finalise our opening plans and look forward to shortly announcing the details and timing of our launch.”

Crown added that it will continue to work with the ILGA on the reform program to showcase their suitability as a casino operator.

A representative of Blackstone declined to comment.

“Given the need to observe the changes in operation as well as ensuring changes are embedded in the business, the Authority will consider approval of Crown’s suitability until the end of the conditional gaming period, which could run between 18 months and two years,” ILGA chairperson Philip Crawford said.

He added that Crown was required to implement stringent measures to prevent money laundering and criminal infiltration in its business model.

Crown’s Melbourne resort remains under government supervision.

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