Troubles don’t seem to be ending soon for Australian gambling giant Crown resorts.
The New South Wales (NSW) Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has confirmed that it would be investigating Melco’s purchase of Crown’s stakes.
Recently, Melco Resorts & Entertainment announced an Aud $1.76 bn deal to purchase a 19.99 percent stake in Australia’s Crown Resorts from billionaire James Packer.
According to the deal’s terms and conditions, a Melco subsidiary would be conducting the transaction and payments due on June 6 and either on or before September 30, 2019.
The NSW authority has announced that it would investigate the deal in the backdrop of the NSW Casino Control Act.
The Casino Control Act ensures that the “management and operation of a casino remains free from criminal influence or exploitation, that gaming in a casino is conducted honestly and controlling the potential of a casino to cause harm to the public interest and to individuals and families”.
Australia has also launched an investigation into fast track visa processing of Chinese high-rollers visiting Crown’s properties.
The authorities are investigating the allegations of immigration authorities giving preferential treatment to Crown Resorts’ Chinese customers. The investigations were announced after reports emerged that the casino operator was partnering with drug traffickers to attract wealthy Chinese gamblers to its casinos.
However, the Australian casino giant Crown Resorts has categorically denied the allegations of money laundering and their involvement in facilitating fast-track visas for VIP Chinese guests at their gambling facilities and said that they are facing a ‘deceitful campaign.’