Nigel Morrison granted approval to join Crown Resorts board

By Tom Rush

Crown Resorts has confirmed that Nigel Morrison will join as a non-executive director, having now received all necessary regulatory approvals. The former SkyCity Entertainment Group CEO will join the board of directors effective immediately.

Morrison is the company’s first high-profile appointment since its recent regulatory issues. Crown Resorts was found unsuitable to hold a state casino licence by the Bergin report in February, and as a result five directors left the group.

The new appointment – which was first announced back in January – will see the company add crucial casino-operating experience to its board. Morrison previously held roles as CEO of the SkyCity Entertainment Group, CFO of Galaxy Entertainment Group and COO of Crown Melbourne Limited.

Both the Bergin report and an investigation by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) considered the addition of gaming experience to Crown’s board as crucial to its continued operations.

ILGA chair Philip Crawford remarked in a recent interview: “I would hope to see people with some degree of experience in casinos, plus numerate people with board experience, a good understanding of the Corporations Act and their obligations as directors. I think they need well rounded people with specific experience around the concerns that we have and in running businesses that are casinos.”

Crown Resorts recently received a $6bn acquisition proposal from Blackstone Group and is currently believed to be assessing future sale options. The reformatting of the operator’s directorial board could prove an important first step in its new – hopefully more compliant – future.

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