The Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia (GWC) today issued a directive to Crown Perth to cease all junket and premium player activity.
According to a filing from Crown Resorts on the Australian Stock Exchange, the ban on high roller activity includes any conduct of junkets, or “table games activity with patrons who are non-residents of Australia with whom Crown Perth has the arrangement to pay the patron a commission, or provide transport, accommodation, food, drink or entertainment, based on the patron’s turnover or otherwise calculated by reference to such pay.”
It comes only a week after the regulator formally called for an independent inquiry into Crown’s suitability to hold a license in Western Australia, after a scathing report in NSW earlier this month detailed years of money laundering through Crown Perth.
Earlier this week, Victoria’s gaming regulator announced the establishment of a royal commission in Victoria, aimed at determining whether Crown Resorts is suitable to hold a license for its flagship property in Melbourne.
Crown Resorts said a group of funds advised by Oaktree Capital Management has offered to help the company by buying back up to $3 billion worth of shares held by James Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings.
The world is bouncing back, or at least coming to grips with the fact that going forward not much will be the same as before. Commendably, this industry quickly understood the need to adapt to a new normal, and that the days of targeting the low hanging fruit of the VIP sector are gone.
Over the years, many of the answers have been remarkably prescient in their forecasts for the near-term direction of Asia’s gaming industry. However, we can safely say that no one came anywhere close to guessing what 2020 may have had in store.