Crown Resorts said it’s suspending junket operations until June of next year while it reviews its compliance and governance operations.
The Australia-listed operator said VIP program play business in Melbourne and Perth has contributed about 7 percent of its normalized EBITDA over the past five years.
Crown executives have this week been testifying at an inquiry in Sydney into its suitability for a license at its Barangaroo property. CEO Ken Barton was questioned about the company’s AML and other compliance practices after a documentary last year revealed evidence of malpractices.
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday, Crown said it expects to open the VIP-focused Crown Sydney Hotel Resort on or around December 14.
Once fully operational, it is intended that gaming operations at Crown Sydney will comprise
a total of 30 table games across 12 private gaming salons within the tower and 129 table games and 66 electronic table game terminals within two distinct gaming rooms within the podium, which also contains six gaming salons
Crown also said it has begun the recruitment process for a newly created role of Head of Compliance and Financial Crimes.
Gaming suppliers, like all areas of the industry, have felt the pinch from the Covid-19 crisis, though their growing digital businesses have proved a bright spot and helped offset the impact of the crisis.
Consolidation of the bases and advancement in adversity was the thrust of Macau Chief Executive’s policy address for 2021, though it gave little away when it came to the current pillar of the economy - the gaming industry.
While nowhere in the world has escaped the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Macau has been hit harder than most, with forecasts for gross domestic product to shrink more than 50 percent this year.