The Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX:CWN) share price will be on watch on Thursday after it was told to delay the opening of Crown Sydney…
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The Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price will be on watch tomorrow if it returns from its trading halt.
Why is the Crown share price in a trading halt?
The casino and resorts operator requested a trading halt this afternoon pending the release of a response to a letter received from the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).
This letter is in relation to the long-awaited opening date of Crown Sydney in Barangaroo.
What is happening?
This afternoon the New South Wales ILGA held a press conference which revealed that it will prevent the casino and resorts operator from opening Crown Sydney in December as previously planned.
According to the ABC, the gambling regulator has said that it is “not comfortable” with Crown operating the $2.2 billion development at Barangaroo due to comments at an ongoing inquiry.
At the inquiry, the company admitted that it was likely that money laundering had occurred through accounts it set up for its VIP players.
What now for Crown?
NSW ILGA’s chairman, Philip Crawford, said the regulator was not comfortable with the company operating its gaming operations until it received the findings from the ongoing inquiry.
This could mean a reasonably lengthy and costly delay for the company. Commissioner Patricia Bergin, SC, is looking into Crown’s appropriateness to hold the licence, but her final report is not due to be released until February 2021.
Commenting on the money laundering concerns, Mr Crawford said: “We had no notice that was being done, I don’t think the Bergin inquiry or counsel assisting were aware of it and it’s come at the eleventh hour, literally — apparently 11:00 last night.”
“Because when we talk about money laundering … we’re talking about potential drugs, child sexual exploitation, people trafficking and financing terrorism … you can see why we have concern,” he added.
“In light of this, we did not consider it appropriate to determine the applications before the Authority until the findings of the Bergin Inquiry,” he concluded.
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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Crown Resorts Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.