A “heightened risk of severe regulatory action” has prompted Fitch Ratings to put Crown Resorts on credit watch negative for a potential ratings downgrade.
At least two operators in the Asia Pacific region this week have to be thinking thank goodness it’s Friday. The ongoing sagas at both Imperial Pacific and Crown Resorts only got more tawdry, doing little to improve the brand image of the region’s gambling industry.
Crown Resorts' lawyers told a regulatory inquiry in Sydney that the best way for the company to prove its fit to hold a license is to open its Barangaroo property under strict supervision as a working test. The New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority effectively barred Crown from opening the casino in December as planned, until the results of the probe are presented in February.
Crown Resorts will not be opening its A$2.2 billion Sydney casino in December and will need to wait until February before it hears whether it will retain its license, which was thrown into further doubt after a last-minute admission of money laundering.
Crown Resorts, seeking to save its Sydney license, said it will permanently cut ties with junket operators and will only resume business with them if the firm is licensed, or approved, by gaming regulators in the states in which it operates.
Giving its side of the story in a trial into its suitability to run a casino in Sydney, counsel for Crown Resorts said its "honest" mistakes with regards to China didn't mean it was unsuitable to hold a casino license.
Patricia Bergin, the presiding commissioner over an inquiry into Crown Resorts suitability to hold a Sydney license, has said the company's behaviour was inexplicable, unbelievable and absurd.
The New South Wales regulator will hold a meeting next week to discuss whether Crown Resorts can open its new Sydney casino in December as planned, raising concern as the company will not have concluded its defence.
New South Wales' Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has scheduled a meeting for 18 November to decide whether Crown Resorts can proceed with a planned opening of its resort in Sydney in December.
The New South Wales government should consider banning James Packer from being involved with Crown Resorts' new Sydney casino after revelations he sent a threatening email to a businessman, a suitability hearing heard.
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