Coonan working to restore Crown casino licence; ILGA wants her to stay

By Violeta Prockyte

The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA), New South Wales' (NSW) gaming regulator, supports Helen Coonan as the chairman of Crown Resorts, stating she should remain in the leading role. 

"I need her to stick around," said ILGA chairman Philip Crawford. "Crown's in crisis management and I'm delighted I've got someone to talk to. If she was gone, I don't know who we'd have to talk to." He also added that another director with the group, Harold Mitchell, should “move on”. 

After an independent report was published by former judge Patricia Bergin, who led the inquiry into alleged money laundering in Crown casinos, the group had to suspend its plans to open its new AU$2.2bn (US$1.7bn) Sydney casino. During the conference call discussing H1 2021 earnings, Coonan admitted she can’t give any concrete dates for the opening of the Barangaroo casino, but added, “that towards the end of April, we might have a clearer idea on timing.” 

Coonan reassured she’s working with the NSW gambling regulator to earn Crown’s licence back. She said there is “no crystal ball on it, but obviously we will move very quickly.” 

“The Commissioner identified me as someone suitable to be able to take Crown on the path to suitability,” said Coonan. “I am totally committed to seeing through the reform agenda that we have outlined.” But she stated the group is already searching for a new CEO, so her time as a chairman is limited. 

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