Vic royal commission accuses Crown’s Coonan of undermining it

Original article by Elouise Fowler, Hannah Wootton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 12 : 9-Jul-21

Victoria’s royal commission into Crown Resorts has been told that the casino group’s executive chair Helen Coonan appeared to be seeking to undermine the inquiry. Adrian Finanzio, SC, the counsel assisting the inquiry, has read out a letter from Coonan to Victoria’s Gaming Minister Melissa Horne that was sent on 2 July, in which Coonan sought an urgent meeting with Horne and in which she spoke of "catastrophic consequences" if the royal commission were to make adverse findings against Crown’s Melbourne casino licence; Crown contributes 12 per cent of Victoria’s tax take. Royal commissioner Ray Finkelstein said the letter suggested to him that Crown was trying to interfere with the inquiry.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN

Crown slugged with $1m fine over junkets

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 2 : 28-Apr-21

The Victorian Commission for Gambling & Liquor Regulation has ordered Crown Resorts to pay a fine of $1m over its dealings with so-called ‘junket’ operators that have links to organised crime groups. It is the maximum penalty under Victoria’s Casino Control Act. However, Crown will not face an outright ban on future dealings with junket operators. Instead, it will not be permitted to resume partnerships with such operators at its Melbourne casino until the regulator is satisfied that its processes have been improved.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, VICTORIAN COMMISSION FOR GAMBLING AND LIQUOR REGULATION

Crown board to front WA royal commission

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 15 : 21-Apr-21

Crown Resorts’ chair Helen Coonan and directors Jane Halton and Antonia Korsanos will appear before the Western Australian government’s royal commission into the company’s Perth casino. Just one former Crown director, John Horvath, has been granted leave to appear before the inquiry, although commissioner Neville Owen has indicated that others may have the opportunity to give evidence in the future. Many directors left Crown’s board in the wake of the Bergin inquiry in New South Wales, whose findings prompted the royal commissions in WA and Victoria.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN

Packer taps Moelis to weigh up Crown sale

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 7-Apr-21

Consolidated Press Holdings has appointed investment bank Moelis Australia to advise on a possible sale of its 37 per cent stake in Crown Resorts. The private investment vehicle of businessman James Packer has stated that it is open to any "suitable transaction" for Crown shares, including the $8bn indicative bid from US private equity firm Blackstone. The offer of $11.85 per share values Packer’s stake in Crown at around $2.95bn. The casino group’s shares fell 0.84 per cent to $11.81 on 6 April.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, CONSOLIDATED PRESS HOLDINGS LIMITED, MOELIS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD – ASX MOE, THE BLACKSTONE GROUP LP

Victoria, WA circle Crown over new reports on shady deals

Original article by Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 & 26 : 20-Nov-20

The Victorian Commission for Gambling & Liquor Regulation has directed Crown Resorts to produce two reports that it presented to the New South Wales inquiry into its Sydney casino. The reports indicate that money laundering occurred in ‘shell accounts’ linked to Crown’s Perth and Melbourne casinos, while the VCGLR has indicated that it has received a response from Crown about the ‘show cause’ notice issued in October regarding Crown’s links with questionable junket operators with alleged links to organised crime. Evidence regarding the shell accounts will also be considered by Western Australia’s Gaming and Wagering Commission on 24 November.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, VICTORIAN COMMISSION FOR GAMBLING AND LIQUOR REGULATION, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. GAMING AND WAGERING COMMISSION

Crown under pressure to delay casino opening

Original article by Damon Kitney, Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 5-Nov-20

Crown Resorts is scheduled to open its Barangaroo casino in Sydney on 14 December, although New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has raised the possibility that the opening could be delayed. The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority’s inquiry has been told that Crown is not suitable to hold the licence for the gaming venue. Adam Bell, the counsel assisting the inquiry, also said that the shareholding of businessman James Packer has had a "deleterious impact" on Crown’s corporate governance. Crown shares fell 1.75 per cent to $8.42 on 4 November.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, NEW SOUTH WALES. INDEPENDENT LIQUOR AND GAMING AUTHORITY, NEW SOUTH WALES. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

White elephant fears for Crown Sydney casino as China warns citizens not to travel to Australia

Original article by Elias Visontay
The Guardian – Page: Online : 12-Jun-20

Crown Resorts is spending $2.2 billion on the construction of a casino complex at Barangaroo in Sydney. High-roller gamblers from China are seen as central to the casino’s business model, but the Chinese government’s recent warning that its citizens should not travel to Australia has seen industry experts claim that the business model is no longer viable. Academic Mike Harris says Crown may seek to secure a poker machine licence for the casino, although Star City recently signed a 21-year exclusivity deal with the New South Wales government for it to operate the only casino in Sydney with poker machines.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, THE STAR ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LIMITED – ASX SGR

Crown property assets spin-off on the cards

Original article by James Thomson, Larry Schlesinger
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 1-May-20

Citi analyst Bryan Raymond contends having Blackstone as a new shareholder increases the likelihood that casino operator Crown Resorts could spin-off its property assets. Crown contemplated the idea in June 2016, but abandoned the idea some months later. It is estimated Crown’s property assets could be worth up to $5.6 billion, while Dean Dransfield from consultants Dransfield Hotels and Resorts says Crown should only sell its accommodation assets.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, CITI AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BLACKSTONE, DRANSFIELD HOTELS AND RESORTS PTY LTD

Crown pays out $205m as staff languish

Original article by John Stensholt
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 17-Apr-20

Crown Resorts CEO Ken Barton says a new $1bn debt financing deal will assist the group to ride out the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and complete work on its Barangaroo casino in Sydney. Crown has stood down some 11,500 employees since closing down its Melbourne and Perth casinos in late March, while it has confirmed that shareholders will receive the previously-declared interim dividend of $0.30 per share. Rival casino operator The Star Entertainment Group has stood down 8,500 employees and deferred its interim dividend. Both companies have registered for the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, THE STAR ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LIMITED – ASX SGR

Crown casino inquiry put on ice

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 : 6-Apr-20

The New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has advised that its inquiry into casino operator Crown Resorts has been put on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It says the inquiry will resume when it is considered "safe and practicable" to do so. The focus of the inquiry is the proposed sale of shares in Crown to Lawrence Ho’s Hong Kong-based casino operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment by James Packer’s CPH Crown Holdings.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, MELCO RESORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED, CPH CROWN HOLDINGS, NEW SOUTH WALES. INDEPENDENT LIQUOR AND GAMING AUTHORITY, THE STAR ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LIMITED – ASX SGR