Crown Sydney’s Non-Gaming Bars Get Liquor Licence Extension

barangaroo Tower

Crown Resorts’ new venue at Barangaroo has been granted a six-month extension to its interim liquor licence.

The Australian Financial Review reports that the extension comes as the $2.2 billion Barangaroo tower and its embattled casino operator work to overhaul the business in the wake of the Bergin inquiry.

Crown was deemed unsuitable to open its casino, but the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority renewed three interim liquor licences that will expire on October 31, 2021, for the non-gaming bar areas and two ground floor restaurants, which include Nobu and a’Mare.

The licences were issued last December, just before the Bergin report, which found the casino giant unfit to hold a casino licence in the state because it had facilitated money laundering, partnered with organised crime to run junkets, and failed to protect its 19 China-based staff from arrest in 2016 for illegally promoting gambling trips.

“Late last year, ILGA agreed to work with Crown Resorts to enable the opening of accommodation, restaurants, bars, and entertainment areas,” ILGA chairman Philip Crawford said.

But ILGA’s position on Crown Sydney’s gaming operations has not changed.

The regulator is still considering and assessing Crown’s response to the issues arising from the Bergin Report.

“These issues are detailed and complex and Crown is required to undertake significant change to satisfy the authority that it is on a pathway to regaining suitability to hold a gaming licence,” Mr. Crawford said.

“It will take time for Crown to fully implement that change and for the authority to give it proper consideration before determining the most appropriate course of action.”

Nigel Morrison appointed to Crown Resorts board

skycity entertainment 3 new execs
The former chief executive officer of SkyCity Entertainment Group Nigel Morrison has been appointed to Crown Resorts’ board of directors.

Inside Asian Gaming reported in April that Mr. Morrison’s appointment is the first since the damning Bergin Report was handed down last February.

According to an announcement, Mr. Morrison has received all of the necessary regulatory approvals to join Crown’s board as a non-executive director, effective immediately, after the appointment was first revealed last January.

More appointments are expected in the coming months, following the departure of five former Crown directors, in response to recommendations contained within the Bergin report and a finding by the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority that Crown was unsuitable to hold a state casino licence.

Guy Jalland, Michael Johnston, Andrew Demetriou, Harold Mitchell and John Poynton, plus chief executive officer Ken Barton and General Counsel Mary Manos have all stepped down since the report was made public.

Mr. Morrison is seen as a key appointment to the Crown board, which has been accused in the past of lacking any real casino operations experience.

Best known as chief executive of SkyCity from 2008 to 2016, he also served as Group Chief Financial Officer of Galaxy Entertainment Group in Macau, chief executive of the Federal Group, which owns and operates Tasmania’s Wrest Point casino, and previously as a chief operating officer at Crown Melbourne.

Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority chair Philip Crawford said he considered it vital for Crown to add more gaming experience to its board of directors.

“It’s really at two levels. One is operating casinos and then the other is simply as a listed company with obligations under the Corporations Act,” he said.

“They got most of that wrong so fixing those things up to our satisfaction is very important.

“I would hope to see people with some degree of experience in casinos, plus numerous people with board experience, a good understanding of the Corporations Act and their obligations as directors.

“I think they need well-rounded people with specific experience around the concerns that we have and in running businesses that are casinos.”

William Brown

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