Bergin report update Re Crown’s Barangaroo casino

Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has reached agreement with Crown Resorts on several matters regarding operation of the Barangaroo casino.

Crown has agreed with the Authority to:

  • pay a proportion of the costs of the Bergin Inquiry,
  • immediately commence payment of the Casino Supervisory Levy,
  • not operate any international junket operations,
  • make all gaming in its casinos cashless with card technology linked to identity and a recognised financial institution, and
  • phase out indoor smoking at its Australian resorts by December 2022.

The agreement was reached following discussions between the regulator and Crown Resorts about issues identified in the Bergin Report concerning the future management and operation of Crown’s Barangaroo casino.

In separate discussions, The Star has also agreed to cease all international junket operations and work with the Authority in moving towards cashless gaming, using a card linked to identity and to a recognised financial institution.

In seeking to establish that it is suitable to hold a casino licence in NSW:

  • Crown has undergone significant Board renewal,
  • All senior executives, against whom concerns were raised by Bergin, have left,
  • All senior executive positions are being filled by candidates with relevant expertise and experience, and
  • Independent audits are well under way on several aspects of Crown’s operations.

ILGA chair Philip Crawford said Crown was making significant progress in addressing the serious 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,” Mr 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.”

Mr Crawford said an Independent Monitor is being appointed to report back to the Authority on several of Crown’s structural changes, with particular focus on its corporate governance, anti-money laundering measures and culture.

“The Authority will await the report from the Independent Monitor, and the result of the financial accounts audit, before making a final decision on suitability,” he said.

“Any changes to Crown’s ownership structure, including takeover or merger proposals, require the Authority to consider a range of issues including undertaking full probity assessments of any new entrants, how a merged entity would operate, and the extent to which any existing agreements with Crown would need to be reviewed.

“Any concerns around monopolies would be a matter for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission,” Mr Crawford said.

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