Sydney's Crown casino opening blocked

NSW gaming regulator tells Crown to delay Sydney casino opening

NSW gaming regulator tells Crown to delay Sydney casino opening

The chairman of the ILGA said that given the major shortcomings of Crown Resorts, they were not convinced nor comfortable of allowing Crown Barangaroo to open until the inquiry is completed and a full report is submitted.

The company explained in a statement, "Crown will focus on opening the non-gaming operations at Crown Sydney, in consultation with ILGA, in the absence of the commencement of gaming operations".

Crown had originally planned to open its gaming operations at the $2.2 billion Barangaroo casino in Sydney next month, but that was quashed today after the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority made a decision to withhold approval for gaming at the venue over concerns of money laundering.

The ILGA inquiry has heard allegations that junket operators working in Crown's casinos have links to organised crime and viewed footage of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash doled out of shopping bags in a room run by one of the junket operators, Suncity, at the Melbourne casino. It still plans on opening the new Barangaroo property next month, but will do so without any gaming options. After being targeted for the past several years for not living up to its legal and moral responsibilities, all hopes of launching gaming operations at its new $2.2-billion casino in Sydney, Australia, next month have now been crushed. "That gives us great concern because we're talking about money laundering", Mr. Crawford said at a press conference.

Banks repeatedly closed the accounts because of money laundering fears, but those fears were not escalated to the board.

"We're talking about - potentially - drugs, we're talking about child exploitation, we're talking about people trafficking and we're talking about financing terrorism." .

"The Authority has found ongoing evidence before the Bergin Inquiry to be extremely concerning, that any gaming activity at the casino before the inquiry's findings are released in February 2021 and considered by the authority would pose unacceptable risks on the community against the public interest".

Philip Crawford, who chairs the gaming authority, said it couldn't consider a range of matters such as minimum bet limits and VIP membership policy while the inquiry is ongoing.

Source of details in Meghan Markle biography proves to be Meghan Markle
In a ruling on aspects of the case on Wednesday, Warby said Thomas Markle had not been told the reason for the delay. The document did not name the members of the royal family consulted by Meghan .

"We are hopeful that Crown Resorts will agree to our request to postpone opening of all gaming activities", he said, adding it was disappointing the company had not taken it upon itself to delay the opening.

The ILGA has now blocked the casino from opening on schedule.

"That is certainly available to us".

Earlier this afternoon, Crown shares entered a trading halt.

The gaming giant requested the trading halt after receiving a letter from the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority this morning. However, in the light of the strong evidence received by the ILGA regarding Crown's operations, an emergency meeting was held by the NSW liquor and gambling regulatory body.

Earlier this month, Mr Bell told the inquiry he believed Crown should not be allowed to open their Barangaroo casino.

The ILGA Chair went on to express his disappointment in the fact Crown had not proactively delayed the casino's opening, stating "they are not picking up the vibe".

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