Crown granted three interim liquor licences for Sydney venues

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
Independent report shines light on Victoria’s gambling regulator

Crown’s Barangaroo resort has had three interim liquor licences renewed after they were set to expire on 31 October.

Mirage News reports Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority chair Phillip Crawford said the liquor licences had again been issued on an interim basis and would expire on 30 June 2022.

“In December 2020, ILGA agreed to work with Crown Resorts to enable the opening of non-gaming areas such as accommodation, restaurants, bars and entertainment areas,” Mr Crawford said.

“The three interim liquor licences permit alcohol to continue to be sold within the resort at a number of non-gaming bar areas and two gruond floor restaurants within the facility.

“ILGA’s position on Crown Sydney’s gaming operations has not changed, with the Authority still monitoring and assessing Crown’s responses to the issues arising from the Bergin report.

“These issues are complex and Crown is required to undertake significant change to satisfy the Authority that it is on a pathway to become suitable to hold a gaming licence.

“It will take further time for Crown to fully implement that change and for the Authority to give it proper consideration before making its determination.”

Crown Sydney makes steady process to reopening its casino

The much anticipated opening of Crown’s casino in Sydney could be one step closer, with the casino operator agreeing to a host of new measures with the New South Wales gaming regulator.

The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority instigated a year-long inquiry into Crown Resorts, which found the gambling giant unfit to hold a gaming licence for its casino at Barangaroo.

Crown Resorts has made new commitments with the ILGA in a bid to finally open the casino inside its $2.2 billion Barangaroo tower.

The commitments include plans to pay a portion of the costs of Commissioner Patricia Bergin’s inquiry, paying a casino supervision levy, ceasing all international junket partnerships, adopting a cashless gaming model and phasing out indoor smoking.

ILGA chair Philip Crawford said Crown could satisfy the regulator by the end of the year, pending several audits.

“How long these audits will take I don’t know, it could be, probably ambitious to say, the end of June but probably it’ll go just into the third quarter of the year,” he said.

“But if you look back to February, there’s no doubt that Crown working with us has achieved a lot.”

Mr Crawford said current work included a forensic inspection of Crown’s bank accounts.

“I’m not here today totell you that they’re suitable, there is work to be done,” he said.

“There is an audit being done of their bank accounts – one of the primary focuses there is to make sure organised crime has not infiltrated the bank accounts of the Crown group.

“We need to be certain that organised crime hasn’t managed somehow, in whichever state it might be, to infiltrate their other bank accounts.

“Until we get sign-off that those accounts haven’t been infiltrated then that’s a key issue for us about suitability.”

The inquiry found Crown operated two subsidiary bank accounts as part of its VUP gaming operation which were later found to have facilitated money laundering.

The accounts known as Riverbank and Southbank have since been closed.

Mr Crawford said an independent monitor was also analysing three aspects of Crown Resorts, including its culture, anti-money laundering structures and corporate governance.

He said the company’s new management team was willing to make the changes to satisfy regulations.

“The old management, I reckon, wanted a fight,” he said.

“I suspect they wanted to take us on with further litigation and I just think it’s a nil sum game for somebody to take on a regulator, that’s just silly.

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