Casinos operator Crown warns it is still facing uncertainly due to regulatory issues and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, after one of the worst years in its history.
The gaming group is facing an ongoing royal commission in Western Australia and awaiting the release of the final report of another royal commission in Victoria.
“The 2021 financial year ranks as one of the most challenging in Crown's history,” interim chair Jane Halton said on Thursday in a speech to shareholders at its virtual annual meeting.
“Crown continues to face additional uncertainty from ongoing regulatory investigations.
“Crown has acknowledged that the various regulatory processes to which it is subject have identified numerous failings, and we have apologised for these.”
Major shareholder and billionaire James Packer is due to appear before the WA inquiry examining whether Crown should retain its Perth casino licence on October 29.
The Victorian inquiry was examining whether Crown should be able to keep its Melbourne casino licence, and while its report has been handed to the state government it has not been publicly released.
An earlier NSW inquiry found Crown was unsuitable to run its newly-built casino at Sydney's Barangaroo.
“Despite the uncertainty facing the business, we remain focused on transformation and remediation efforts to address the shortcomings of the past,” Ms Halton said.
“We will not be distracted from this task.”
Heads have already rolled at Crown in the wake of the inquiries.
Crown Melbourne's chief executive Xavier Walsh stepped down in August and former Howard government minister Helen Coonan has left as company chair. There have been multiple changes to board members.
Crown this week confirmed Steve McCann as its new CEO and managing director. Mr McCann will move to Melbourne and take on the additional role of CEO of Crown Melbourne.
Mr McCann acknowledged Crown's disappointing $260 million net loss for 2020/21, saying COVID-19 issues were continuing to hamper its 2021/22 performance.
“I am realistic about the pressures we are facing in the short term,” he said on Thursday.Internet Explorer Channel Network