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NSW Regulator says Australia’s Crown Resorts could regain its Sydney licence in ‘months’

Licence had been suspended following reports indicating evidence that the company’s facilities and accounts were used for money laundering

According to New South Wales’ chief gaming regulator, Crown Resorts – Australia’s biggest land-based casino operator - is likely to obtain a Sydney licence to operate its gambling venue in ‘months’.

Chairman of the state’s Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA), Philip Crawford, told  The Australian newspaper that the reinstatement of the Crown Resort’s gambling license in the second half of this year is a “realistic prospect,” but only if the operator manages to put the proper “structures in place.”

Crawford suspended Crown Resorts’ gambling license in February, after the report from Patricia Bergin, a Supreme Court Judge in the state, was published.

crown resorts australiaBergin concluded that the Crown Resorts was unsuitable to operate its new $2.2 billion development in Sydney, Barangaroo, as the reports indicated evidence that the company’s facilities and accounts were used for money laundering, and pursues commercial relationships with individuals with links to triads and other organized crime groups.

On 15 February, Crown’s Chief Executive Officer, Ken Barton, and five other directors, namely; directors Andrew Demetriou, Guy Jalland and Michael Johnston – including those with the closest ties to the company’s biggest shareholder, James Packer – have all decided to resign following the release of the Bergin report.

The suspension of Crown’s licence has severely impacted the operator’s $1.7 billion Crown Sydney project, which opened in December as a high-end casino without casino operations.

In February, Crawford stated the company would have to “blow itself up to save itself.” But he told The Australian this week that Crown was committed to change and “making progress.”

“Let’s be under no illusion, if I’m not satisfied, if the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s not satisfied that they have rehabilitated themselves, they won’t be found suitable,” Crawford said.

“It’s not that we can’t move them out. But we have a process,” he added.

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