Agreement has been reached between Crown Sydney and the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) on a range of measures to help the city’s new casino and entertainment precinct scale up to full operational capacity.
In an effort to secure its gaming licence and following discussions with the regulator, Crown Sydney has agreed to a number of steps including beginning annual AUD$5 million payments to the Casino Supervisory Levy and phasing out indoor smoking at all of its Australian properties by the end of 2022.
In addition, Crown has reiterated a previous commitment not to operate any international junkets which aim to bring high-rolling gamblers on luxury all-expenses-paid trips to play in its casinos.
Further, Crown says it will introduce cashless payment technology in its casinos, with all cards linked to identity’s and recognised financial institutions. Its cross-harbour rival, The Star Entertainment Group, followed suit with its own pledge to introduce cashless gaming and cease all international junket operations as part of its own discussions with the ILGA.
While the hotel, restaurants and entertainment facilities are already in use, the property has not yet been granted its casino licence, in large part due to last year’s Bergin inquiry which uncovered evidence of various improprieties and dealings with international business syndicates with alleged connections to underworld figures. Crown has also now agreed to spend AUD$12.5 million to cover part of the costs of the Bergin inquiry as part of its concessions.
Crown Resorts Executive Chairman, Helen Coonan, said the company recognises it has more work to do but it welcomed the indication from the ILGA that its internal reforms would go some way toward securing its casino licence in the near future.
“It’s important to know we are well on track but I have assured the regulator there will be no complacency as we continue to embed the changes to improve our governance and compliance processes across the organisation.”
ILGA Chair, Philip Crawford, said Crown was making significant progress to address the concerns raised in the Bergin Report.
“Crown, through its Executive Chair Helen Coonan, is addressing many of the issues which caused Commissioner Bergin to find that it was unsuitable to hold a casino licence in NSW,” Crawford said.
“The Authority has also entered into an agreement with CPH to address issues around its influence and control over the management of Crown.”
An Independent Monitor has now been appointed to keep track of Crown’s internal structural changes and to report back to the ILGA as it relates to its corporate governance, anti-money laundering measures and culture.
Once the Monitor’s final report is received, the ILGA will make a decision on the suitability of Crown Sydney to hold and operate a casino gaming licence.