Sunday 9th of August 2020

casino royal mess...

crown   The first of three inquiries into Crown Resorts and the conduct of its casino business kicks off on Tuesday in Sydney, when the former supreme court judge Patricia Bergin is expected to outline how she intends to tackle her task.

Witnesses are likely to be called at a later date, when the New South Wales inquiry –set up at arm’s length to the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority – begins in earnest.

Two other inquiries – by the Victorian casino authorities and the public hearings to be held by federal Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, appear to be on hold for the time being, awaiting the results of investigations.

At the same time, Crown is fighting efforts by shareholders who are suing it in a class action to take witness statements from company employees convicted in China for illegally promoting gambling.

The NSW inquiry is expected to focus on the proposed $1.75bn sale of 20% of Crown to Lawrence Ho’s Melco Resorts, and whether this sale gives rise to any issues about probity of close associates or breaches of a specific clause in Crown’s licence for the Barangaroo casino which prevents Ho’s father, Stanley Ho, and a list of specified companies being associates of Crown.

The clause was inserted into the licence when it was granted in 2014 after an adverse finding by New Jersey authorities about Stanley Ho and possible alleged connections with triads in Macau and China.


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Picture at top by Gus Leonisky (16/01/20)

it started here...






Picture by Gus Leonisky: Crown Casino

crane and crown...

Wild winds send swinging crane damaging glass of Crown Sydney in BarangarooBarangaroo: Wild winds have sent a swinging crane into the side of the Crown Sydney construction site, smashing into and badly damaging glass of a building window. 

shuffling chairs after the stock market closes...

Crown Resorts' executive chairman John Alexander will step down, just days after it was revealed he would be called to give evidence at a public hearing into the casino giant.

He will be replaced by former Liberal minister Helen Coonan, in a shock reshuffle that was announced after the share market closed on Friday.

Meanwhile, Crown's chief financial officer Ken Barton will be elevated to the role of chief executive.

These management changes were implemented ahead of a NSW Government inquiry — which will look into James Packer's sale of his stake in Crown Resorts to a Hong Kong-based casino operator.

More to come.


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saving the "essential" chance industry...


Casinos should be shut down during the coronavirus crisis, public health specialists and the Victorian opposition have said, with one expert telling Guardian Australia their continued operation were “an unnecessary risk to public health”.

Crown Melbourne and all other poker machine venues around the country should be closed to slow the coronavirus outbreak, Monash University associate professor Charles Livingstone said.

The Melbourne and Perth casinos operated by James Packer’s Crown Resorts have exemptions from each state’s health authorities to keep operating.


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betting on anything, more...

crown casino, sydney

crown casino, sydney

People who gamble regularly online are doing so just as often or more frequently during the coronavirus lockdown, despite the lack of sporting fixtures, according to the first significant survey of betting habits during the crisis.

The findings, in a Survation poll, will fuel concerns that a broader fall in part-time gambling is masking more intense betting among problem gamblers, or a move towards riskier products, such as online casino games.

Overall, respondents to the survey, of more than 1,000 people, were more likely to have reduced their gambling since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has forced the cancellation of sports such as football and horse racing.

However, regular gamblers said they were gambling more. A quarter of those who typically bet at least once a week said they were still doing so, while 28% had increased their activity, and 11% said they were gambling a lot more.

The absence of opportunities to bet on sport indicate that they are resorting to online casino games and slot machines, which carry higher rates of addiction. Even among casual gamblers, more than half of respondents said they had sustained or increased their level of gambling.

The survey also found that 41% of people who bet had opened a new online account since the pandemic took hold. And more than a third of regular gamblers believed they were either spending too much on the habit, or developing an addiction.


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like a silver suppository...

crown casino, sydney...


The Packer tower looks to me somewhat like an elongated suppository (Letters, July 6). It subtly reminds the people of NSW that if they don’t like what the state government and the big end of town are up to, they know where their objections can be put.

William Galton, Hurstville Grove


SMH (7/7/2020)


Note the other buildings soon to appear in the skyline...





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