Crown Sydney Casino Plans Early 2022 Opening, Works on Government Grievances

Posted on: December 13, 2021, 07:27h. 

Last updated on: December 13, 2021, 11:03h.

Crown Sydney hopes to open its stalled casino spaces sometime in early 2022.

Crown Sydney casino NSW Australia
Crown Sydney guests frolic in one of the resort’s rooftop pools. Crown Resorts hopes to commence casino gaming operations at the property in early 2022. (Image:

In an investors’ update today on the resort’s operations, Crown brass said its Sydney casino is expected to be up and running as early as January.

The $1.6 billion integrated resort opened a year ago this month, but without gaming. That’s after a government probe in New South Wales (NSW) determined that the owner of the Barangaroo complex — Crown Resorts — was not suitable to conduct casino gambling operations.

A review conducted by the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority voiced concerns regarding Crown’s close ties to junket groups throughout Asia and alleged criminal organizations. It concluded that troubled Crown founder James Packer had unjust influence over the organization, despite resigning as an executive and board member in March of 2018.

Crown’s Major Corporate Overhaul

Crown Sydney is currently operating as a luxurious hotel resort and high-end private residential condo tower. But Crown Resorts’ $1.6 billion investment is highly conditioned on the resort running a VIP casino.

In part of Crown’s remediation plan with NSW regulators, the company is overhauling numerous business operations. The company explained that its focus areas are anti-money laundering controls, responsible gaming, how junkets and VIP groups bring high-rollers to Australia, and managing Crown’s relationships with its largest shareholders.

Crown has greatly revamped its corporate governance. Only six Crown Resorts executives that served prior to the NSW suitability determination remain with the company. Since the NSW outcome, Crown has brought on 11 new senior management/executive team members, most notably CEO Steve McCann.

Crown claims the changes are leading to a “comprehensive culture transformation,” with “new purpose and values.” The goal is to “position Crown as the leader in the industry in its approach to governance, compliance, responsible gaming, and the management of financial crime risk.”

Luxury Casino Progress

Crown Resorts is the first six-star luxury hotel in Sydney. The 75-story resort features 349 hotel guestrooms, 76 luxury residences, and 13 restaurants and bars. Crown says it has sold approximately $780 million worth of the residential units as of November 30, 2021.

As for the forthcoming casinos, the VIP spaces will collectively feature 160 table games and around 70 electronic table games. Crown Sydney is barred from housing slot machines until 2041, as rival Star Entertainment owns a monopoly on such gaming terminals in NSW until that year.

Instead of a large casino floor that one would find at Crown’s two other Australian casinos in Melbourne and Perth, Crown Sydney will feature three intimate high-roller gaming spaces. The venues are to be called the Crystal Room, Mahogany Room, and Sky Gaming.

The Crystal and Mahogany rooms are on the lowest levels of Crown Sydney. Sky Gaming will operate near the 30th floor.

Crown explains that once NSW gaming regulators deem the company suitable to run a casino in the Aussie state, operations will begin gradually across the three areas.

As for the continued efforts by Blackstone Group to acquire Crown Resorts, McCann said the casino company’s investors have “been through quite a lot” and “deserve to be rewarded.” Crown Resorts earlier this month rejected Blackstone’s latest offer of $6.2 billion for the entire firm.