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Crown Sydney to Start Gaming Operations in 2022

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Australian casino giant Crown Resorts said it aims to offer gambling at a new Sydney resort early in 2022, more than a year after it opened, as it works with a regulator to address governance failures.

The casino, part of a 75-floor tower complex which opened in December last year, had its licence suspended by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) just before opening in late 2020 following media reports of its alleged dealings with organised crime groups.

After an overhaul of its leadership and board, Crown is now “targeting a gaming floor opening early in the new year”, the company said in notes accompanying an analyst presentation at the A$2.2 billion ($1.6 billion) Sydney waterfront facility.

The New South Wales state Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, which oversees Crown’s Sydney licence, said Crown had made good progress on a series of governance reforms and the two were “working towards a gaming floor opening early in the new year”.

A series of media reports in 2019 triggered bruising public inquiries which found Crown unfit to hold gambling licences in Sydney and Melbourne, and called for sweeping changes to its board and culture. A third inquiry, into Crown’s casino in Perth, is yet to deliver findings.

“I firmly believe the business has turned the corner and it’s been significantly de-risked,” new CEO Steve McCann said at the briefing.

Australia

Supercars Partners with Dabble

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Supercars has entered into a partnership with Dabble, an Australian betting operator with a social-first sports betting app. Dabble will become the Official and Exclusive Wagering Partner of the Repco Supercars Championship.

The new partnership solidifies Dabble’s commitment to the sports betting landscape, offering a unique platform that combines the thrill of sports wagering with social interaction.

Jamie Black, General Manager of Commercial at Supercars, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Dabble to the Supercars family as our Official and Exclusive Sports Wagering Partner.

“Dabble’s innovative approach to sports betting aligns perfectly with our vision of engaging fans and creating memorable experiences.

“Together, we look forward to delivering exciting content and enhancing the fan experience across what promises to be a thrilling 2024 championship.”

Dabble allows users to view and copy bets made by friends, ex-athletes and other users, and the “Banter” chat feature allows the community to engage on a particular sport or event in real-time.

Tom Rundle, CEO of Dabble, said: “Joining forces with Supercars represents an incredible opportunity for Dabble to connect with a passionate fanbase and further establish ourselves as a leading player in the sports wagering industry.

“We’re excited to introduce Supercars fans to the Dabble community and provide them with a unique and immersive betting experience.

“Along with industry-leading social capabilities, Dabble prides itself on its fast withdrawals feature and being one of the fastest apps on the sports betting market. It is only natural for us to partner with the fastest sport in Australia, making the perfect match for the adrenaline-fueled world of Supercars.”

The Supercars and Dabble partnership has already kicked off, with markets now open for the Thrifty Bathurst 500.

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Australia

Star Entertainment Announces Jobs Guarantee & Cashless Gaming Trial Agreements in NSW

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The Star Entertainment Group Limited (The Star) announced that it has entered into binding documentation to give effect to the previously announced aspects of the arrangements agreed in principle with the NSW Treasurer, The Honourable Daniel Mookhey MLC, in connection with the revised duty arrangements in NSW, namely a jobs commitment and the cashless and carded play trial in respect of The Star Sydney casino.

NSW Jobs Guarantee

Consistent with the in-principle agreement first announced on 11 August 2023, The Star has entered into a Jobs Guarantee Agreement with the State of NSW and the United Workers Union whereby The Star has agreed to maintain a minimum headcount, and certain ratios of full-time, part-time and casual employees, in respect of The Star Sydney casino until 30 June 2030. The jobs commitment is subject to certain permitted adjustments in certain circumstances (including for force majeure and material adverse change events) following consultation with the NSW government and the United Workers Union.

Following amendments to the Casino Control Act 1992 (NSW) in December 2023, certain penalties can apply to The Star for failing to comply with the jobs commitment. A copy of the Jobs Guarantee Agreement must be tabled in NSW Parliament within 10 business days following entry into the agreement.

Cashless and Carded Play Trial

The Star has also entered into documentation to give effect to a formal trial of cashless and carded play at The Star Sydney casino.

The trial is a precursor to reforms to the NSW regulatory framework which will see cashless gaming and carded play introduced to NSW casinos from August 2024.

Subject to the receipt of final regulatory approvals, the trial will apply to 51 poker machines and 8 table games within the “Sovereign Room” at The Star Sydney casino until the regulatory framework comes into effect.

The Star’s Group CEO and Managing Director, Robbie Cooke, said: “The Star appreciates the constructive engagement with the current NSW Government that has led to finalisation of an agreement that provides employment certainty for our dedicated and hard-working team members in Sydney. As we continue to focus on earning back the trust of the community and implementing the reforms required to restore The Star to suitability, we are also committed to the continuation of our role as a valuable contributor to the NSW economy.”

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Australia

ACMA Blocks More Illegal Gambling Websites

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested the Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block 12 more illegal gambling websites, after investigations found these services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

The latest sites blocked are Playzilla, Wazamba, Zet Casino, Slots Palace, Nomini, Casinia, SG Casino, Fez Bet, Buran Casino, Spin Better, Golden Bet and Clash.gg.

Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal gambling services. This action can be taken if a service is:

  • providing prohibited interactive gambling services to customers in Australia (such as online casinos, online slot machines and services that allow in-play online sports betting)
  • providing an unlicensed regulated interactive gambling service to customers in Australia (such as online betting services that don’t have a valid Australian licence)
  • publishing ads for prohibited interactive gambling services or unlicensed regulated interactive gambling services in Australia.

Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 926 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. Over 220 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing illegal offshore gambling rules.

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