Crown Sydney’s VIP-only Crystal Room opens today at the A$2.2 billion (US$1.6 billion) Barangaroo resort facility that has had rooms, dining, shops, and bars open for about a year and a half now.
The recently reformed company was given permission to commence gambling operations in late June after a tumultuous time with NSW gambling regulators and a complete reworking of the C-Suite and a sale that took James Packer and other former owners and leaders out of the picture. Blackstone announced the completion of its acquisition of Crown Resorts on June 24, 2022.
In the near future, another VIP room, the Mahogony will open as well as 12 Salons Privé on the 28th and 29th floors of the 75-floor luxury skyscraper that took 50 months of construction to complete. Overall, the facilities will offer about 160 gaming tables and 70 electronic gaming machines. No date certain has been announced for future VIP openings nor for member-only outdoor terraces and premium dining options.
Two VIP Rooms, a Dozen Salons Privé
The gaming component of the property was delayed after a commission inquiry into money laundering allegations concluded Crown Sydney was not suitable for an NSW casino license with other facilities beginning operations in December 2020.
The timing of Blackstone’s closing on the Crown acquisition and the granting of a provisional casino license may be related. However, the consummation of the entity did not clear the air for other Crown gambling properties that are still engaged with regulators in their jurisdictions.
A late June statement issued by ILGA chair, Philip Crawford noted that the conditional license period would allow regulators the time and conditions they needed to monitor its license suitability assessment.
“The new systems and internal control measures have been set up and will be in place from day one,” Crawford said. He added, “Crown has been required to implement a raft of stringent controls to prevent money laundering and criminal infiltration in its NSW business model. What was happening in Crown’s interstate operations will not be repeated in NSW.
“With a complete clean-out of the board and senior executives, Crown has made significant progress and has agreed to ongoing work to regain its casino license.”
In a June filing with the Australian Stock Exchange, Crown Resorts stated that the independent auditor, Kroll Associates will supervise operations throughout the course of the provisional license’s term which will expire at the end of 2023.
Simon McGrath, the new CEO at Crown Sydney said of the gambling facilities, “[This] sets a new standard in luxury and elegance – from the design of the room to the overall member experience. The salon floors are flooded with natural light to highlight our unparalleled waterfront views, while the finishes and furnishings are of the highest quality and standard.
“It is the only casino of its kind in Australia, with all patrons required to be a member or guest of a member and undergo comprehensive checks.”
Source: Crown Sydney opens doors to VIP-only casino, Channel 9 News, August 8, 2022