Crown's Sydney casino is at risk, but is it worth keeping?
Friday 1st January 2021
On Monday this week Sydney witnessed the opening of what might be the 21st Century approximation of Slim Dusty's famous pub with no beer: James Packer's casino with no gambling.
Restaurants, bars and the "six-star" hotel opened their doors at Crown Resorts' new $2.2 billion complex in Barangaroo for the first time, but with none of the pomp or fanfare imagined when the 275-metre tower was first proposed eight years ago.
And not just because of COVID-19. The high-roller gaming rooms that underpinned the project's viability remain firmly shut, with serious questions about if and when they will open.
The NSW gambling regulator blocked the $6.5 billion ASX-listed giant from commencing gaming operations in December after its failures to prevent money laundering at its Melbourne and Perth casinos and other probity issues were revealed during a public inquiry into the group.