Crown Resorts have been found to have potentially contravened the rules of its casino license by not informing regulators of its Melco deal. The New South Wales (NSW) counsel has been working in the investigation of the well-known gambling facility, Crown Resorts. The counsel has disclosed to the media that the gambling facility’s failure to disclose to the authorities about their 20% share sale to Melco International. Failing to inform authorities about the deal before it happened could have been a violation of their gambling license. It was further noted that this breach could raise questions about whether Crown Resorts could continue as a casino operator.
The New South Wales investigation began last week. James Packer, the owner of Crown Resorts, is expected to be called to testify in the Inquiry hearing. The Chairman of Melco International, Lawrence HO, is also expected to testify. The counsel will also call various Crown and Melco International executives to testify in the hearing. The investigation is aimed at finding out whether these two companies are suitable to have control over the casino license that was granted to Crown Resorts in 2014.
Melco International Plans to Buy 19.9% of Crown Resorts
The Inquiry was launched when it was announced that Melco International would buy 19.9% of Crown Resorts. It was then revealed that Lawrence Ho, the owner of Melco International, was involved in businesses that concerned his father. Stanley Ho. Stanley has been blocked from any involvement with Crown Resorts due to allegations of organised crime connections.
The Investigation by the NSW will begin on the 24th of February; however, an open hearing was held by the former supreme court Judge, Patricia Bergin SC. The first phase of the investigation will also start on the 24th of February. The first stage of the Inquiry will focus on how vulnerable casinos are to organised crime and money laundering.
The second part of the investigation, which will begin in March, will focus on the deal between Crown Resorts and Melco International. The Inquiry will look at the 19.9% sale and whether it has violated any casino licensing regulations.
Under the new NSW Casino Control Act, casino operators that have a casino license are obligated to inform authorities before making any deals that involve bringing new associated on board. Crown Resorts has reportedly claimed that it was not aware of the sale between CPH Holding and Melco International until it was revealed in public.