Next for Crown Sydney: The License

Regulators in New South Wales say it will take three months to decide if Crown Resorts and Chairman James Packer (l.) is fit for a license to operate the billion-dollar casino the company plans to build on Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Given Crown’s far-flung holdings it’s an investigation that will span the globe.

Next for Crown Sydney: The License

New South Wales’ Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority is soliciting public comment on the suitability of Crown Resorts, its Chairman James Packer and their associates for a license to operate a second casino in Sydney.

The regulator says it will take three months to make a decision on allowing the planned A$1.3 billion luxury resort and its tables-only high-roller casino on Darling Harbour to go ahead.

The project already has been endorsed by the government of Premier Barry O’Farrell and has bipartisan support in the state Parliament and is slated to open in 2019 when Echo Entertainment’s exclusive license in New South Wales expires. Echo operates the state’s only casino, The Star, which is located near the Crown Sydney site on the harbor.

The ILGA says the scope of Crown’s holdings will require information-sharing with a large number of regulatory and enforcement agencies both nationally and internationally. Crown operates two resort casinos in Australia and holds a 33 percent interest in Macau operator Melco Crown Entertainment and 50 percent of UK operator Aspers. The company also holds a stake in a regional casino company in the United States and plans to develop a resort casino in Sri Lanka.