Western Australia Approves Blackstone Acquisition of Crown
Following approval of Blackstone’s acquisition of Crown Resorts in Victoria and New South Wales, the Western Australia state regulator has added its approval. The investment company will now turn to the Federal Court of Australia for final approval.
However, a number of conditions were attached to the approval in Western Australia. Tony Buti, the state’s independent casino regulator and Racing and Gaming Minister, has made it clear that the state expects Crown, Blackstone, and the property in Perth to adhere to the highest possible standards of governance and operations.
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. The state government has already made significant improvements to the regulatory regime and remains committed to establishing an even tougher regulatory and governance framework to ensure whoever owns or runs Perth’s casino is held to account. The conditions on Blackstone, combined with upcoming reforms, will ensure appropriate standards are upheld at Perth’s Casino.
Amongst the conditions attached to approval are enhanced reporting of anti-money laundering and responsible gaming practices and extra auditing requirements. There are also non-interference requirements that will prevent Blackstone investors from becoming involved in the casino’s day-to-day operations.
They will also be required to report any investigations carried out by Australian or foreign regulators. Furthermore, Blackstone is not allowed to change its corporate structure and funding arrangements without giving prior notice and seeking relevant approvals. This means that new investors cannot be brought into the structure without approval.
Blackstone has been subject to an extensive probity assessment by the Gaming and Wagering Commission. This detailed and complex process undertaken since the application was submitted last year involved the comprehensive independent assessment of relevant Blackstone entities in accordance with the legislative requirements. 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.