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Blackstone Notches Win as Crown Allowed to Open Sydney Casino

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(Bloomberg) -- Crown Resorts Ltd. finally gained permission to open its flagship Sydney casino, a win for Blackstone Inc. days before the buyout firm takes over the company.

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Crown can conditionally begin supervised casino operations, the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority in Australia’s New South Wales state said Wednesday. Its suitability as a licensee will be formally assessed after 18 months or two years.

The Sydney casino’s opening has been on hold since late 2020. In February 2021, Crown was found unsuitable to hold the license after a public inquiry uncovered broad governance failings and money laundering at other Crown properties. Blackstone is buying the company for A$8.9 billion ($6.2 billion), starting it afresh as an unlisted Australian entity.

“Crown has rebuilt its gaming model from the ground up, which has meant deep structural change around governance, anti-money laundering measures and corporate culture,” ILGA Chairperson Philip Crawford said in a statement.

Having also gained approvals from gaming regulators in the states of Victoria and Western Australia, where Crown owns casinos, Blackstone will assume ownership of Crown on June 24, the ILGA said.

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