Australia – It is reported that a failure to inform authorities before a sale was announced publicly between Melco International and Crown Resorts could be in breach of license.
Crown Resorts, who’s largest shareholder is CPH Holdings, proposed a sale of almost 20% of its shares to Melco International Development Limited, one of the oldest established companies in Hong Kong with operations in Macau.
Crown Resorts Limited is one of the largest gambling establishments in Australia, which owns and operates casino and gaming resorts Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, in 2015 it had a reported revenue of around 2.9 billion Euro.
However, it is reported that Crown Resorts did not inform the casino authorities about the sale before it was publicly announced, which meant that there was not adequate time to allow for vetting and suitability assessments of the new shareholder.
The casino authority; NSW Casino Control Act states that a gambling license holder must inform them during the process of a proposed sale with adequate time to carry out suitability checks on the person or company looking to become a close associate of the license holder.
An investigation is ongoing in to the business practices and suitability of Crown Resorts and an official inquiry will begin at the end of February 2020.
In its defence, Crown Resorts has reportedly said that it was unaware of the arrangement by its largest shareholder CPH Holdings and the first it was aware was when the deal was released to the public.
Barrister Naomi Sharp Senior Counsel Sydney, Australia commented:
“If it be the case that the present structures and arrangements in place do not facilitate and enable effective control of the risks of casinos, then you will expect a robust and cutting-edge approach will need to be adopted to control those risks”.