May 18, 2024

Crown Resorts says it could default on its debt if Victoria’s royal commission makes negative findings against its Melbourne casino licence.

The operator’s executive chairman Helen Coonan denied any interference with the inquiry despite a letter being sent from Crown to Victoria’s gaming minister Melissa Horne last week.

A redacted version of that letter is now public, which shows that the company told the minister that 12,000 people who work at the operator’s Southbank venue could lose their jobs if there was a negative finding against Crown.

If an event of default does occur, “it may have severe consequences for Crown and all its stakeholders,” read the letter from Crown’s lawyer, Arnold Bloch Leibler partner Leon Zwier.

“This will impact Crown’s shareholders, employees, unions, trade creditors, patrons, the hotel precinct and the Melbourne tourism industry.”

Such a situation may also “provide potential overseas suitors with an opportunity to take advantage of the situation,” the letter continued.

Regarding Crown’s employees, the letter noted that most are “disconnected from, and have not directly or indirectly contributed to the failures of Old Crown,” and says that they will “suffer greater uncertainties if there is an event of default,” having already suffered significant uncertainties through Covid-19.

The royal commission comes after a recent inquiry in New South Wales found Crown unsuitable to run its new casino in Barangaroo, Sydney.