Just in time for the Australiasian Gaming Expo, Crown Casino’s Sydney Resort has been granted temporary permission to reopen. On June 22, 2022, the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) announced the sanction.
Phillip Crawford, the gaming authority’s chair, confirmed that the Sydney casino was free to reopen following the US$6.6 billion acquisition. He was also pleased that the casino group had rebuilt its gaming model in preparation for structural change, as well as refined its corporate culture and governance.
The approval is a significant step toward re-establishing the casino’s excellence. This case has been ongoing since the NSW authorities restricted Crown Casino to a two-year suspension for failing to meet the stipulated legal operation requirements and jeopardizing the security of its patrons’ funds.
Authorities cited the casino’s involvement in money laundering, abetting criminal activities, and sanctifying junkets as reasons for the suspension. The casino was given two years to clean up the mess by the NSW authorities.
As a result, the Crown Casino group began the cleanup process. It started by improving its security and rethinking its strategy to be more responsible. The Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia, in collaboration with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, made 59 recommendations on how the casino group should proceed with the plan.
Over time, the company made significant investments in services, employees, security, and policy implementation, allowing the government to re-authorize its operations.
Reopening Crown under New Reforms
One of the visible fruits of the efforts to clean up the past messes is the announcement of temporary permission to reopen. It allows the well-known Australian casino group to resume operations at the resort as long as it follows a set of newly developed guidelines.
The measures were based on the Bergin Inquiry Report’s 19 recommendations for regulating casinos in NSW. The New South Wales government accepted and implemented all 19 of Justice Bergin’s recommendations.
The government recently made public the measures designed primarily to reform the gaming industry in the east coast state. It required gambling-related businesses to strictly adhere to the new operating conditions. Crown Casino must comply for the sanction to stand.
The NSW government, according to Victor Domello, Minister for Digital and Customer Service, will establish an independent casino regulator and use legal means to enforce the recommendations.
In his opinion, the recommendations were part of an effort to eliminate criminal influence and exploitation in the casino industry. He thought that supporting the recommendations was a good first step toward transforming the casino industry. The casino regulator would be funded by the casino supervisory levy, and its operations would be contingent on the completion of the design work.
Mr. Domello went on to say that the new commission would have an independent auditor and would monitor all casino license holders. Following its formation, the commission will aid in the suppression of targeted criminal activities by conducting research and writing a report in the event of any suspicious activity among the casinos.
The New Normal
Under the new status, casinos will be required to report to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the federal financial transactions oversight body. They will also be expected to monitor their customers’ accounts and investigate any suspicious activity. Before allowing the gamblers to continue, the authorities expect them to figure out where the money is coming from.
When implemented, the plan to establish a new commission and enforce strict rules will give NSW residents confidence that casino operations in the state are free of criminal activity. Meanwhile, the casino’s operations will be overseen by the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. Concerns have already been expressed about ensuring the casino follows the rules.
The opposition treasury spokesman, Daniel Mookhey, stated that he expects the ILGA to conduct a thorough investigation into Crown Casino before allowing it to resume operations. He believes that the authorities’ seriousness about the matter should be judged by the obvious results. The sentiments were shared by MP Justin Field of the Independent Upper House. He stated his belief that the government must enact the necessary laws before permitting the casino revamping process.
The ILGA appears to be dedicated to improving the state’s gambling industry. It recently launched a separate investigation into Star Entertainment’s compliance with existing laws. Crown Casino’s competitor is suspected of facilitating criminal activity by allowing organized crime to conduct business through it. If found guilty, the casino’s license may be revoked. Meanwhile, Crown Casino continues to celebrate its latest triumph while implementing new reforms to ensure the legality of its operations.