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Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX:CWN) passes casino licence review

Shareholders of Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) will be breathing a sigh of relief today after the company provided the market with an update on the review of its Crown Melbourne casino licence.

This afternoon the final report of the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) relating to the sixth review of the casino operator and licence held by Crown Melbourne Limited was released.

According to the release, the report concludes that Crown Melbourne remains a suitable person to continue to hold its licence to operate the Melbourne Casino, that it is complying with relevant legislation and agreements, and that it is in the public interest that the licence should continue in force.

The report did, however, make 20 recommendations in relation to the operations of Crown Melbourne which the company accepts. The majority of these recommendations relate to responsible gambling.

These recommendations include:

Recommendation 3: “The VCGLR recommends that, by 1 July 2019, Crown assess the robustness and effectiveness of its risk framework and systems, including reporting lines in the chain of command, and upgrade them where required.”

Recommendation 6: “The VCGLR recommends that, by 1 January 2020, Crown Melbourne review its allocation of staffing resources to increase the number of work hours actually available to responsible gambling and intervention with patrons.”

Recommendation 7: “The VCGLR recommends that Crown Melbourne use observable signs in conjunction with other harm minimisation measures such as data analytics to identify patrons at risk of being harmed from gambling.”

Recommendation 14: “The VCGLR recommends that, by 1 July 2019, Crown Melbourne develop and implement a responsible gambling strategy focusing on the minimisation of gambling related harm to persons attending the casino.”

Recommendation 17: “The VCGLR recommends that, by 1 July 2019, Crown undertake a robust review (with external assistance) of relevant internal control statements, including input from AUSTRAC, to ensure that anti-money laundering risks are appropriately addressed.”

What now?

I think this was a successful review and that the recommendations that have been made are both sensible and unlikely to impact its business negatively.

Because of this, I continue to see Crown as a good option for investors looking to gain exposure to the tourism boom. I would choose it ahead of industry peers Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) and SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited (ASX: SKC).

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Crown Resorts Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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