Crown CEO: Company Looking to Widen Customer Appeal

Crown Resorts is looking to emerge from its previous regulatory struggles as a company that appeals to all bettors and entertainment lovers rather than a VIP hub, CEO Ciarán Carruthers (l.) said in a recent interview.

Crown CEO: Company Looking to Widen Customer Appeal

Ciarán Carruthers, CEO of Australian operator Crown Resorts, was candid in a recent interview with Sky News about the company’s need to diversify its customer base as it looks to survive in a stricter regulatory environment.

Carruthers asserted that Crown has “done a lot of work in and around rehabilitating our brand,” alluding to the company’s regulatory struggles that resulted in multiple license revocations and huge fines over the last three years.

Those struggles were aided tremendously by the company’s 2022 sale to Blackstone Group. Its board and executive staff have been recycled and its licenses restored, but business challenges continue as the VIP sector has all but disappeared.

“We’ve clearly had a bad couple of years in terms of peoples’ perceptions of who we are and what we represent, so [we are] making it much clearer that we’re so much more than just the casino,” Carruthers told Sky News. “We are restaurants, we’re bars, we’re entertainment, live music, shows, wonderful spa and wellness [experiences] and great hotel stays across all of our states.”

The CEO contended that the “totality” of Crown’s entertainment amenities “broadens the share of market that we have available to us” and infers that “we can and should be reaching out to a much wider audience.”

He cited Crown’s recent slew of non-gaming event partnerships, including deals with Taylor Swift, the Australian Open tennis tournament, Formula One and UFC.

When asked about the company’s recent decisions to cut approximately 1,000 positions and reduce the operating hours of its casino in Sydney, Carruthers told Sky News that those moves were about “managing our cost structure to ensure that we can meet our compliance and regulatory obligations and at the same time provide the kind of fun and entertainment our guests expect.”

He also cautioned that stricter regulatory requirements are impacting the overall guest experience—this includes things such as having to sign up for mandatory players’ cards and having to set pre-commitments for slot play.

“What’s important, and I know the regulators are very focused on this, is working on that balance to ensure that the regulated industry is regulated appropriately but not to the point of potentially forcing guests – not necessarily villainous guests but just guests who don’t want those hurdles and that friction in the guest experience – to move elsewhere to an unregulated environment,” he told Sky News.