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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Another Crown Gambling License in Jeopardy

Crown Resorts/Design: Alex Brooks

Once considered a global gambling empire, Crown Resorts is now facing a revoked license for its flagship casino.

A public inquiry into Crown’s suitability to operate a casino in its home city of Melbourne has revealed a number of alleged illegal acts by the company, including unpaid taxes and enabling money laundering. 

Crown was deemed unsuitable to operate its $1.7 billion Sydney casino in February — just months after it opened — because of similar accusations. That verdict hasn’t affected its jersey sleeve sponsorship with the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby club.

However, multiple M&A discussions surrounding Crown have collapsed since the Sydney report, as an additional investigation into its Perth casino moves forward.

  • Star Entertainment pulled its $9 billion merger proposal in July.
  • Blackstone‘s $6.2 billion offer was rejected in March.
  • Talks with Oaktree Capital have fallen apart, as well.

Crown briefly held a more aggressive position in sports betting after it took over BetEasy in December 2014 and rebranded it as CrownBet three months later — only to sell it for $117 million in 2017 to cut debt.

A suitability report on the casino’s Melbourne location was presented to the Victorian government Friday, but the findings will remain private for now.

Victoria’s minister for gaming said the government will release its final decision on Crown’s operations in the Australian state by November 1.

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