Crown Resorts has been given permission to open its flagship Sydney casino, almost two years after it was banned.  

The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) has granted Crown and its new owner, Blackstone, a provisional permit to open gaming floors for the first time, almost 18 months since the company was banned by regulators from operating the casino amid a review in late 2020.

Crown must adhere to conditions including tight rules on its internal control mechanisms, such as limits on the cash that patrons can gamble with at certain table games.

It must also establish an independent monitor to oversee cultural reforms.

ILGA chairman Phillip Crawford said the regulator is waiting to see “how [Crown] goes when they run their business, to make sure they do what they say they are going to do, particularly around their culture and how they train staff to do the right the thing and comply with laws” over the next two years”.

“You’ve seen plenty of instances previously where they weren’t doing that. We want to make sure they do it, and we will be watching them – we will be meeting them regularly and our independent monitor will work with them,” he said. 

The casino was planned as a high-roller-only facility focusing on overseas VIPs, but Crown has changed plans for the Barangaroo site due to the weight of scrutiny on problematic junket operators and links to organised crime in Asia.

The Barangaroo casino will still be membership-only, but local punters can apply for membership, which requires them to prove the source of their funds and pass other background checks. 

Mr Crawford said Crown is not out of the woods yet. 

“We can still find them unsuitable,” if ILGA is not satisfied with Crown’s progress in the next 24 months, he said.

“We can still go into a process that would ultimately mean they forfeit their licence.”

More details are accessible here.