Crown’s Barangaroo Casino Set To Open To The Public

Crown Sydney, also known as One Barangaroo, opened in December 2020 but its casino remains shut. That is all set to change in the near future

The wait to open the Crown Resorts Sydney casino at Barangaroo is almost over. The $2.2 billion resort at Barangaroo opened in December 2020 but the doors of its lavish casino remain shut. This is because an inquiry deemed Crown unsuitable to hold a gaming licence in Sydney.

The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) inquiry ran for 48 days. It found Crown Resorts unfit for a casino licence in Sydney. ILGA launched the investigation after James Packer began selling a significant holding of Crown stock to Melco Resorts Lawrence Ho. Mr Ho was a director of a company the Sydney regulators banned Packer from dealing with.

Packer did not come out of the inquiry in a good light. Adam Bell, SC, was quite damning of Packer in his summation.

“A common theme in everything negative surrounding Crown can be attributed to Packer. The deleterious impact on the governance of Crown Resorts caused by its dominant shareholder, Consolidated Press Holdings, and ultimately Mr Packer.”

Crown Barangaroo opened the doors to its 6-Star hotel but the casino remains under lock and key. A steady stream of well-heeled customers continually stream through the hotel’s doors. One can imagine how much money Crown is leaving on the table by not having a casino there.

Expect Casino Operations in Barangaroo Imminently

ILGA issued a statement in the Australian press detailing casino activity at Barangaroo.

“It is anticipated that the Authority may permit Crown to commence gaming on a conditional basis in the next few weeks. While the Authority has not changed in its assessment that Crown is unsuitable to hold a restricted gaming licence until it has addressed the significant issues arising from the Bergin Inquiry, commencement of gaming on a conditional basis will contribute to assisting the Authority to assess Crown’s progress towards suitability.”

Crown’s board of directors and executives bears no resemblance to the board of 2020. A major overhaul took place, with several key personnel falling on their swords and leaving the company. Furthermore, Crown accepted an $8.9 billion bid from American investment giant Blackstone Group. The much-maligned Packer will no longer be part of Crown if and when that takeover goes through.

Open the casino at Barangaroo could not come at a better time for Crown. The casino giant posted a $196.3 million loss during the past six months. COVID-19 related closures cost Crown Resorts $79.2 million. Opening the Sydney casino will help Crown turn around its flagging fortunes.

The $2.2 Billion Crown Sydney Complex

Construction of Crown Sydney, also refereed to as One Barangaroo, began in October 2016. Builders topped off the massive skyscraper in March 2020 with the building opening in December 2020.

The skyscraper stands at 271.3 meters (890 feet) and has 75 floors. This makes the Barangaroo tower the tallest building in Sydney and the fourth-tallest building in Australia.

A six-star hotel occupies the lower levels of the tower from levels six through 32. Some 349 impeccable rooms fill the living spaces. There are luxury private apartments from levels 33 to 63, with duplex penthouses on 64 to 66. Some of the penthouses and sky villas changed hands for several million dollars.

The casino floor, located in the podium of the tower, is massive and has stunning bay views. High rollers from Sydney and further afield are in for a treat when it finally opens. Punters have a choice of 160 gaming tables spread across three gaming areas. In addition, 70 electronic gaming terminals are in place. Crown Melbourne’s pokies face strict restrictions. Those at Barangaroo are likely to be the same.

Crown aimed to make its Baranagroo complex an all-encompasing resort. There are 11 restaurants and bars, including Nobu, a’Mare, and Yoshii’s Omakase. Woodcut is a popular haunt because it uses only Australian produce. Furthermore, it cooks the food using only charcoal, steam, or wood.