Crown Resorts Installs New Brand Identity as Casino Giant Begins Next Reign

Posted on: September 26, 2023, 09:59h. 

Last updated on: September 26, 2023, 02:39h.

It certainly hasn’t been an easy few years for Crown Resorts, the Australian casino giant that’s been hit with significant fines for an array of regulatory shortcomings.

Crown Resorts Australia casino
Crown Resorts is embarking on what it hopes is a smoother chapter after the company was recently subjected to costly fines for regulatory failures. The Australian casino operator is the largest gaming operator in the country. (Image: Crown Resorts)

Founded by billionaire James Packer, Crown owns and operates three casino resorts Down Under: Crown Melbourne, Crown Perth, and Crown Sydney. The company additionally owns Crown London Aspinalls and holds a stake in the Nobu restaurant and hotel brand.

Crown has been cited for a myriad of regulatory failures by regulators in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia.

The company has agreed to pay A$680 million (US$436 million) in fines after state inquiries determined it regularly failed to protect its casinos from being used to launder money since 2020. Inquiries also concluded that Crown associated with known criminal groups throughout Asia that brought high rollers to its casinos, actively targeted players and advertised gambling on mainland China, and violated protocols of Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.

Despite the grave findings, state officials allowed Crown to retain its coveted gaming licenses. But that was on the condition that government-appointed monitors would closely scrutinize the company’s ongoing operations.

Crown Resorts is the largest gaming operator in Australia, ahead of rival competitor Star Entertainment. Star owns and operates The Star Brisbane, Star Gold Coast, Star Sydney, and Treasury Brisbane. Star has faced its own regulatory penalties for also failing to protect against money laundering.

New Chapter

Crown Resorts received a lifeline from the state inquiries, which didn’t strip the company of its gaming concessions. The company was also propped up by U.S.-based private equity giant Blackstone, which acquired the firm from Packers’ control in early 2022 for A$8.9 billion (US$6.6 billion).

Blackstone’s acquisition eased concerns that Packer had too much control over the organization and that his dominance played a role in the casino operators’ regulatory failures. With Blackstone in control and the inquiries wrapped up, Crown Resorts embarked on its next chapter with a new brand identity this week.

“Here’s Where Things Get Interesting,” as Crown is calling the campaign, was formed through “extensive research and stakeholder engagement.” The messaging “addresses overwhelming national feedback for Crown to bring joy, energy, and life into its cities, and to reinvigorate the experiences guests and visitors have.”

The overarching theme seems to be Crown focusing more of its energy on nongaming attractions, nightlife, and hospitality.

“The first phase of ‘Here’s Where Things Get Interesting’ begins with an integrated advertising campaign supported by a program of joyfully elevated events across Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth across sport, music, art, dining, and entertainment,” a Crown release explained.

Gaming Afterthought

Crown Resorts CEO Ciarán Carruthers, whom Blackstone appointed a year ago this month, made no mention of gaming in the brand release.

Our reimagined Crown brand presents an opportunity to build a culture and character that enriches our cities through tourism, employment, world-class entertainment, hospitality, retail, and dining experiences,” Carruthers said.

The first 60-second commercial unveiled in the “Here’s Where Things Get Interesting” campaign shows an entertainer who plays the drums arriving at a Crown property. The man is then seen beating his drums on stage, and the beats resonate throughout the resort.

While Crown’s dining, entertainment, pools and spa services, bars, and luxury accommodations are highlighted, casino gaming is nowhere in the 60-second spot.