While the Australian authorities are still investigating a host of allegations against the country’s casino and gambling giant Crown Resorts, Melco has decided to halt their plans of purchasing Crown shares.
In a recent announcement, Melco officials confirmed that they have put the deal on hold. They also indicated that if the ongoing investigations lead to finding discrepancies in the way the deal was finalized or if the allegations levied are true they would also be ready to cancel the deal altogether.
Earlier in May, Melco Resorts and Entertainment had struck a deal with Billionaire James Packer to purchase approximately 20 percent stake in one of Australia’s biggest casino company Crown Resorts.
Melco had sealed the $1.22 billion deal by purchasing 135.4 million Crown Resorts shares at a price of Aud A$13 (US$9) per share.
The payment for the shares acquired is to be made in two equal installments – one by 6 June and the following by 30 September.
However, The New South Wales (NSW) Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority launched an investigation into
Melco’s purchase of Crown’s stakes.
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”.
Crown Resorts has denied the allegations and said that they are facing a deceitful campaign launched against them.