Barton Adds Crown Director Role

Last week, Australian gaming operator Crown Resorts announced that group CEO and Managing Director Ken Barton has been appointed a director of the company.

Barton Adds Crown Director Role

On March 4, Australian gaming and hospitality firm Crown Resorts announced that group CEO and Managing Director Ken Barton has been given an additional role as a director of the company.

Barton was appointed chief executive officer and managing director on January 24 as part of an overall management shakeup in which former executive chairman John Alexander was replaced by non-executive chairman Helen Coonan, a nine-year board member.

Barton previously served as Crown’s chief financial officer, a role he assumed in March 2010, and became CEO of Crown Digital in February 2017.

Barton takes the reins at a pivotal moment for Crown Resorts, which is facing a suitability probe to gauge whether it can hold a New South Wales gaming license for its multibillion-dollar Crown Sydney resort, now under construction in Sydney’s Barangaroo district.

That inquiry was suspended February 28 pending an appeal by the NSW attorney general over a court ruling. According to the Guardian newspaper, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd., an investor in Crown Resorts, contended that the inquiry has no power to see documents ordinarily regarded as legally privileged. Melco—which recently backed off its plan to buy almost 20 percent of Crown—successfully argued that New South Wales’ Casino Control Act does not make it clear that the state’s Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority had the same powers as a Royal Commission.

Former judge Patricia Bergin, who is presiding over the hearings, said the court will likely decide on the matter “around March 16.”

“It is appropriate not to anticipate anything and only to fix a nominal date after the appeal is heard,” Bergin said, “and the witnesses will be notified in due course.” Those witnesses could include billionaire James Packer, Crown founder and the company’s largest shareholder, and Lawrence Ho, chairman and chief executive of Melco Resorts.