The COVID-19 pandemic is slowly subsiding in some parts of the world, including Australia, which has prompted Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) in NSW to resume its investigation into Crown Resorts.
The resort recently came under criticism after it emerged that it had underhand dealings with top individuals behind Melco Resort, causing its authorities to question its suitability to remain licensed.
Now that the ILGA is back to work, its first order of business will be to scrutinize Crown Resorts, which the regulator noted, would get back to with urgency.
Before this, the regulator was keen to follow up on the connection between persons linked to Melco, as well as their interaction with Crown Resorts once Melco had acquired 10 percent of its stake last year.
However, Melco offloaded its share of Crown Resorts, which put it out of the ILGA’s radar. Now, the regulator has shifted its focus to Crown Resorts’ worthiness as an operator.
Currently, the firm is working on Crown Sydney based in Barangaroo, scheduled to begin operation in 2021. The regulator is keen to find out whether the Crown Resorts can continue its management of the $1.5 billion investment.
Sadly, reports linking its cash flows to drug trafficking, money laundering as well as war criminals have dented its reputations. This doubt grew in magnitude after the Crown Casino was linked to Melco.
Based on a contract the Crown Casino signed with the NSW outfit, ILGA six years ago, the firm was forbidden from interacting with Melco’s CEO and chairperson Stanley Ho.
However, when Crown Resorts announced that Melco had purchased a 10 percent controlling stake, regulators become concerned.