November 20, 2023
The Crown Sydney casino and hotel, once the pride of the Australian gaming empire, is facing challenges as it struggles with a decline in foot traffic. This has led to a reduction in operating hours and layoffs for employees. The luxury establishment, located in the heart of Sydney, will no longer operate its gaming floor 24/7 due to insufficient foot traffic. The reduction in operating hours is the second adjustment in less than a year, following the closure of the “Mahogany” gaming floor in August.
Starting this month, Crown Sydney will operate from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Mondays to Thursdays and extend its hours to 4 a.m. on Fridays. Saturdays will see a delayed opening at 2 p.m., with closure set for 4 a.m., and Sundays will operate from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The reduction in operating hours has also led to the layoff of 180 employees across gaming, casino support, and hospitality roles, bringing the total number of employees relieved since the establishment opened to 275. Blackstone, the owner of Crown Resorts, has stated that efforts will be made to provide alternative opportunities for the affected employees, such as redeployment to other Crown venues across Australia.
The challenges faced by the Australian gaming industry are further compounded by ongoing legal issues related to charges of money laundering, deception, and fraud. Crown Resorts and other casino operators are still dealing with the fallout from these allegations.
In addition to these challenges, Crown is also facing a larger annual tax bill and has failed to convince the government to provide relief. A decade ago, Crown signed an agreement worth AUD1 billion (US$655 million) with the government in the form of license fees and gaming taxes. However, the government has rejected Crown’s request to rewrite the agreement.
The government has stated that it is open to negotiating with Crown to alleviate some of the pressure, but the future is uncertain for the embattled casino. The ongoing challenges faced by Crown Sydney highlight the continued struggles of the Australian gaming industry and the uncertain future of the once-promising establishment.