Crown Resorts will be swapping hands to The Blackstone Group after the third, and the last remaining regulator decided favorably on the deal. As a result, The Blackstone Group may continue with the acquisition of Crown Resorts, as previous approvals by other states in Australia were already handed down.
Last week, we reported that both New South Wales and Victoria have reviewed and agreed to allow the deal to happen. This is against the broader backdrop of Crown Resorts facing multiple regulatory actions against it, a fact that has not disturbed the US private equity group.
However, Western Australia reminded The Blackstone Group that it would have to carry the burden for Crown Resorts and ensure that the recommendations of the Perth Casino Royal Commission concerning the namesake property are upheld in full.
The Blackstone Group is inheriting a company with an immersive financial potential and position in the Australian market, but also a litany of regulatory challenges. Regardless, investors from the group have expressed confidence that they can get Crown Resorts through this choppy chapter in the company’s history and see it through successfully to the other shore. Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti outlined the obligations that The Blackstone Group would have to meet in Australia:
"As the prospective new owner of the Perth Casino, Blackstone will be required to meet a number of stringent conditions. These conditions align with a number of the recommendations stemming from the recent Perth Casino Royal Commission."
Western Australia is one of the states which have taken a good look at not just Crown Resorts, but also its own gambling framework – partially acknowledging that a lackadaisical regulation was part of the reason why Crown Resorts went down a slippery slope in the first place.
Wagering Commission Chair Lanie Chopping offered some reason for optimism, though, arguing that the commission has subjected The Blackstone Group to extensive review, establishing its probity and good intentions regarding the Crown Resorts acquisition. She continued:
"The Gaming and Wagering Commission’s probity approval has been granted subject to a number of conditions designed to ensure that the Commission has oversight and the capacity to monitor any change in licensee management or ownership."
This process continued for a close to a year and it factored in The Blackstone Group's response to the regulatory and legal challenges Crown Resorts faced, Chopping explained in an official statement.
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