Crown Resorts has opened its new venue in Sydney – without the VIP casino that was to be its centrepiece.
A luxury hotel and fine dining restaurants are open to the public from Monday at the new Crown Sydney at Barangaroo.
Notably absent from its offerings is the ritzy casino for VIPs and high-rollers Crown had planned since the state government gave it the green light in 2013.
The 275m tall complex has been under construction for four years.
The NSW gaming regulator announced last month it was withholding approval for the casino.
The decision came after an explosive inquiry into Crown’s suitability to hold Sydney’s second casino licence.
The inquiry aired allegations of money laundering through Crown accounts, corporate governance stuff-ups and involvement with organised crime.
The hearings ended in disaster for Crown when the gaming giant faced claims it had concealed vital information from the inquiry.
The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) says it will consider the gaming licence issue when inquiry commissioner Patricia Bergin reports back in February 2020.
In the meantime, the regulator has issued temporary liquor licences for Crown Sydney’s restaurants and other venues from December to April 30.
Crown will be required to re-apply from May 1 so that ILGA can consider any suitability concerns arising from the inquiry before granting an extension.
A review of Crown’s Victorian gaming licence has been brought forward after the revelations of the NSW inquiry.
A dedicated commissioner will be appointed to run the Victorian-based review and findings will be reported to the Victorian government sometime next year.