Crown Resorts investigation to restart with new line of inquiry

By Violeta Prockyte

The inquiry into Crown Resorts, an Australian casino operator, will continue.

NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) had to delay its investigation for three months due to COVID-19. But the public inquiry will shift its priority and will no longer focus on the Melco Resort’s acquisition of almost 20% of the Crown’s stakes, which took place in 2019.

The adjusted inquiry will investigate Crown Resorts’ right to hold the NSW casino license after Melco sold its entire holding. Investigators stated that “following changes in the ownership of shares in Crown Resorts by Melco Resorts, the inquiry’s Terms of Reference have been updated.” The group announced it will “continue to fully co-operate in relation to the inquiry.” 

The inquiry will look into whether the group is suitable to operate a new venue in Barangaroo that’s due to open in 2021. The investigation stems from the allegation that Crown was involved in money laundering, has breached gambling laws, and partnered with organised crime groups.

ILGA is also set to investigate if the original sale to Melco breached the gaming license, as well as other related matters. The license agreement, signed in 2014, prohibits Crown Resorts from associating with Stanley Ho, one of the people who kickstarted Macau’s casino industry and is heavily linked with Melco. 


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