Fitch Ratings, 19 May 2021
Fitch Ratings has maintained the Rating Watch Negative (RWN) on Australian gaming operator Crown Resorts Limited’s ‘BBB’ Long-Term Issuer Default Rating and senior unsecured rating.
Fitch placed Crown’s ratings on RWN in November 2020 to reflect an increased risk of severe regulatory action, which could have a significant impact on the company’s business or financial profile, following a delay in the approval to open its Sydney casino. These risks were highlighted when Crown was deemed unsuitable to hold a gaming licence in New South Wales (NSW) in February 2021, followed by the commencement of royal commissions in Victoria and Western Australia (WA) into Crown’s activities.
Crown is working with NSW’s Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) on its remediation, but the final impact of the regulatory action remains unclear.
The regulator said in mid-May 2021 that it has reached an agreement with the company on several matters relating to the Sydney casino and is appointing an independent monitor to review Crown’s structural changes to allow it to make a final decision on suitability. Fitch will resolve the RWN once the outcomes of the regulatory actions are known and we have assessed the impact on Crown’s operations and financial profile.