Crown Resorts Boss Ready to Present “Best Gambling Environment in the World”

Crown Resorts could see New South Wales (NSW) lift its license suspension this month. If it does, the casino operator’s CEO has high hopes for its Crown Sydney casino amid a complete corporate transformation.

Steve McCann
Steve McCann
Crown Resorts CEO Steve McCann. He is confident the company will be able to receive its license in NSW to launch the Crown Sydney casino this month. (Image: The West Australian)

Steve McCann, CEO of Crown Resorts, believes that the company has created the most enjoyable gaming environment anywhere. It only took a major money-laundering scandal and tens of millions of dollars in fines and lawsuits for it to happen.

McCann’s remarks, reported by media outlet WA Today, come as Crown prepares to launch gaming operations at Crown Sydney. NSW could lift its suspension later this month after the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) gave its thumbs-up last month.

Crown Ready to Act Responsibly

The executive said that Crown is close to resolving its difference with the ILGA. The company is completing remediation so it can launch Crown Sydney’s casino operations. NSW revoked the license for the new Barangaroo property was revoked at the end of 2020, just as Crown was preparing for its inauguration.

We are very close [to getting approval]. But what I think is more important is that we can really assure the government, the regulators, but also the community in general, that this will be the best gambling environment – certainly in the country – and probably in the world,” said Crown Resorts CEO Steve McCann.

McCann recognized that the company made huge mistakes in its business model while, at the same time, deflecting responsibility to the global casino industry as a whole. He asserted that casinos globally go after the “low-hanging fruit” of Chinese gamblers, without taking into consideration the risks associated with that potential market.

He added that, as a nation, Australia had a “poor grasp” of what the financial crime rules and regulations were. The evidence that the Bergin Inquiry heard, however, indicated that many Crown executives had expert knowledge of those rules and regulations.

Crown Ramps Up Staffing Levels

Initially, the proposed license in NSW is for two years. Crown will need to work diligently to ensure it doesn’t break any rules, as the state is dedicating a regulator to watch over its activities on virtually a non-stop basis.

Crown Resorts placed job ads Friday for its gaming staff in anticipation of the approval of the license. In addition, it also published a job opening for a GM for Crown Sydney.

McCann stated that Crown has approximately 1,900 vacancies across all its operations in Australia. Of those, there are 500 vacancies at the Barangaroo casino. After Crown receives its casino license, it will look to fill 200 additional positions.

The lifting of the suspension will also benefit private equity firm The Blackstone Group. It will clear a path for the company to complete its AU$8.9-billion (US$6.6 billion) acquisition of the casino operator.

This will also allow James Packer to depart the company with deeper pockets. The founder and former CEO and chairman of Crown,stepped down amid the scandal, but remained as its largest single shareholder.

The scandal led to the creation of the Independent Casino Commission in NSW. This is a dedicated and independent casino regulator that can address the existing and future risks to gaming and casinos. The NSW cabinet approved the new casino body last August. Now, legislation is being developed to implement it.

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