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Crown casino troubles result in Melco not buying James Packer’s shares

Niji Narayan

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Crown casino troubles result in Melco not buying James Packer’s shares
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Lawrence Ho and his Melco Resorts have decided to keep their plans to purchase shares of the Crown casino on hold, while the scandal and the investigation on the illegal activities of the casino remain under question. The Hong Kong casino magnate was supposed to purchase James Packer’s shares of the crown casino in order to start expanding their portfolio into a more international one. But, with the ongoing investigation, they have decided to put the plans on hold until further notice.

The Hong Kong side has also said that the trade could be altogether canceled if the investigation results in the decision that the trade deal between the two sides would be unacceptable.

The announcement was made on Wednesday and has been one of the many results of the investigation spearheaded by a number of media companies within Australia. The investigation uncovered that Crown casino was involved with junket companies that are backed by Asian crime gangs and Chinese foreign influence agents. This has caused the launch of an investigation by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and is releasing terms of reference. While the investigation into Crown casino and its operations continue, there is seemingly no negative effect on the industry in general. The demand for Australian casino games is growing, and the industry remains as healthy as always, despite the investigation. But there are certain deals and aspects outside of Australia that the investigation will be concerning.

Within the context of this illegal operation, the sale of the stakes has come under investigation as well. Within the context of the investigation, the father of Melco’s owner, Stanley Ho is under suspicion of having ties to Asian gangs and that the sale might be related to the illegal junket operations. Melco had agreed to the purchase of a stake that is worth around $1.7 billion, with the first 10 percent transfer happening before September 30th.

The current effects of the fallout

The Melco Resorts company has released a statement on the Nasdaq exchange. In the statement the company said that it had agreed with Consolidated Press Holdings to extend the possibility of the deal going through by another 60 days. A representative from CHP announced that they did not consider there was much a breach of an agreement or any law broken. According to them, all of the steps that they had agreed on with Melco had already been taking. But the agreement also has clauses that would result in the deal not going through at all.

Melco did not specify what they would be doing with the 10 percent that they had already purchased from Crown, but the situation might be complicated for them already.

When Crown was granted the license to create their $2 billion casinos by 2021 in Sydney, the casino was given a list of individuals and casinos that it would not be allowed to work with. Stanley Ho, the owner of Melco, was one of the individuals that were part of the original list. The list was made public recently and includes a casino that Stanley Ho owns, and Crown casino has dealt with extensively.

One more company that Crown was not allowed to interact with, the Great Respect Limited, is a 20 percent owner of Melco International. That is the company the Mr. Ho is the chair of, and which has a controlling stake in Melco Resorts, which is the one purchasing stake in Crown. This has put the entire company in a very precarious situation.

The current inquiry is thus important in determining the extent to which the company has managed to breach the terms of the agreement, beyond simply breaking the law. There is no specific time frame for the investigation.

Melco and Crown have been partners in the past, but the partnership was canceled after 19 individuals of the Crown staff were arrested on gambling-related charges.

The two companies were planning to increase their partnership further, but for now, the deal is on hold. It seems that James Packer is to remain the largest shareholder of the casino for now.

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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Australia

Western Australia Government Passes TAB Bill 2019

Niji Narayan

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Western Australia Government Passes TAB Bill 2019
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The Western Australian Government has passed TAB Bill 2019, which proposes a new framework to negotiate the sale of the TAB. The passage of bill is expected to boost the Western Australian racing industry.

The TAB Bill 2019, which will be subject to Royal Assent,  will trigger a competitive sale process, with an aim of selling the business in 2020. Following the approval of the legislation, the TAB sale process will now move into the transaction phase.

“The passing of the bill means there is now the appropriate legislative framework to negotiate the sale of the TAB and support the Western Australian racing industry, ending years of uncertainty,” the RWA said in a statement.

“Since 2003, RWA has operated the TAB with the goal of maximising returns to the racing industry, the transaction phase aims to continue this commitment by selecting a suitably qualified and capable wagering operator through an open market process.”

The legislative framework outlines a number of new amendments to the Betting Control Act 1954 which will see the introduction of a new licensing system that will replace the current TAB system.

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Australia

No more paper, Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation moving to digital

George Miller

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No more paper, Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation moving to digital
Photo Source: vcglr.vic.gov.au
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is making it easier for licensees to renew their liquor licence and save trees along the way.

Each year the VCGLR sends out over 23,000 renewal notices and liquor licences. This year, licensees can receive their 2020 renewal notice and liquor licence via email by registering a Liquor Portal account.

Once registration is complete, licensees can expect to receive their renewal notice via email from late November.

Licensees registered for the Liquor Portal will receive their liquor licence within five working days of payment – ready to print and display at licensed premises. Once registered, critical information and updates will be sent by email.

Registration to the Liquor Portal is as easy as 1, 2, 3
To register an account, you’ll need your liquor licence number and individual PIN. Licensees will soon be receiving a letter with this information included. Otherwise, this can be found on your last renewal notice or by emailing contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au.

Step 1: Create an account, see: VCGLR Liquor Portal.
Step 2: Associate your licence or permit using your licence number and individual four-digit PIN.
Step 3: Click eLicence and add the email you want your renewal notice and liquor licence sent to (this can differ from the email address used to create your Liquor Portal account).

Licensees who have already created a Liquor Portal account will need to check they have completed step three to receive their documents via email.

Benefits of a Liquor Portal account

  • print a copy of your liquor licence at any time
  • download your renewal notice at any time
  • download your venue’s red line plan
  • apply to add, replace or remove the Nominee associated with your liquor licence or permit
  • apply to add, replace or remove the Director(s) associated with your liquor licence or permit
  • apply to transfer a liquor licence or BYO permit
  • apply for a Restaurant and Café liquor licence
  • check the status of an application.

 

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Australia

Fortress to Open esports Venue in Melbourne

Niji Narayan

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Fortress to Open esports Venue in Melbourne
Photo Source: variety.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Australian venue company Fortress Esports has confirmed its plans for a gaming and esports entertainment area in Melbourne.

The venue is set to be located at the Emporium Melbourne shopping complex, with more than 2700 square meters area across two floors. There are also plans to include 160 gaming PCs, streaming areas and RPG spaces.

“Melbourne has become the epicenter for video gaming and esports culture, with major events like MEO and PAX Australia,” John Satterley, chief executive of Fortress Esports said.

“We’re excited to be opening our first flagship venue in Melbourne, and offer Australians a video gaming entertainment space that they can enjoy all year round. We want to make Fortress Melbourne the ultimate ‘home away from home’ for everyone from casual gamers, competitive gamers, and esports fanatics, to families and after-work crowds.”

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