For months, James Packer and Crown Casinos have been wooing local politicians with plans to build a new high-roller casino in Bangaroo. The plan is close to being given the green light but, unfortunately, for Packer, legal problems in Taiwan could have adverse effects on the plan.
Last week, Melco Crown, a joint-venture casino in the gambling capital of Macau, was implicated in a financial scandal. Authorities discovered that the casino operator was transferring and exchanging money for high roller players, which is against local laws. The punishment for the crime is quite serious and Crown Casino could even face repercussions in Australia.
‘’The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is aware of media reports of an investigation by Taiwanese authorities into MCE International Ltd and is actively monitoring the situation,’’ reads a statement issued by the commission.
With Australian gambling regulators keeping an eye on the investigation, Crown Casinos’ plans for a new casino in Bangaroo could be compromised. This would be good news for Echo Entertainment, which is trying to protect the exclusivity it has in Sydney’s gambling market. Since Crown’s Bangaroo casino would be direct competition, Echo has proposed a plan for the Star to expand into a casino resort. Should Crown’s overseas scandal have adverse effects on its Australian licenses, Echo Entertainment’s plan will be a sure thing.