Blackstone gets Western Australia’s approval to acquire Crown Resorts

Blackstone gets Western Australia’s approval to acquire Crown Resorts

Multinational private equity & investment giant Blackstone Group has confirmed that it has secured its final regional approval to acquire Crown Resorts – a leading owner & operator of integrated casino resorts in Australia.

The third and last regional approval Crown Resorts’ acquisition by Blackstone Group came from Western Australia, and the plan is now heading to a federal court.

The Gaming and Wagering Commission (GWA) of Western Australia approved the acquisition deal immediately after the state’s Racing & Gaming Minister Tony Buti gave green signal to the plan.

Blackstone needs to get its acquisition plan approved from authorities in Victoria, New South Wales as well because the casino operator is active in all these states. Like Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales have also approved the plan. It is quite interesting to note here that approval from all these states have come within this week. A final hearing in a federal court, the last step in the lengthy process, is scheduled for 15th of June.

Clearance from regional authorities is a sign that the American private equity firm could take over ownership of Crown Perth sooner than later. However, Western Australia’s Minister Buti has published a list of expectations that the state has from the American firm’s management.

One of the expectations is that Blackstone Group will manage the operations of the casino operator in accordance with the “highest standards” of governance and operations in the country. The minister also expects the equity firm to invest a significant amount of money in the property to improve it and create new job opportunities.

Speaking on the topic, Buti said in a statement, “The State Government has already made significant improvements to the regulatory regime and remains committed … 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.”

It may be noted here that Crown Resorts came under fire around a couple of years ago after an inquiry revealed that the management of the casino company facilitated money laundering. Last year, the Perth Casino Royal Commission declared that Crown Resorts wasn’t suitable to operate the casino. However, it decided not to recommend the revocation of the operator’s gaming license. Instead, it recommended an array of drastic changes for the operator to implement.