Crown Resorts’ lawyers will on Tuesday continue their bid to persuade the NSW gaming regulator that the public company is fit to run a new $2.2 billion casino.
After months of damning testimony, the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s inquiry into Crown’s suitability to hold the Barangaroo casino licence has entered its final week of hearings.
On Tuesday, Crown’s counsel will address evidence it did business with Chinese junket operators who had links to the underworld of organised crime.
Counsel assisting the inquiry have suggested Crown did not apply high enough probity standards when evaluating its business partners.
The inquiry was partly brought about because of an agreement by James Packer’s private company to sell 19.99 per cent of Crown stock to Melco Resorts, which is owned by businessman Lawrence Ho.
The regulator had banned Crown from letting Mr Ho’s father, Stanley, acquire an interest because of the father’s underworld links.
Crown’s lawyers argued on Monday that its business in China complied with legal advice the company had received by external lawyers, despite the fact that 16 of its staff were arrested by Chinese authorities in 2016 on accusations they had violated Chinese anti-gambling laws.
Counsel assisting the inquiry have recommended findings that Crown and Mr Packer are not presently fit to be associated with the new casino.
The inquiry commissioner is expected to issue a report in February 2021.