Gambling

Crown Resorts time line


August 6, 2021

Here is a timeline of Crown Resorts.

September 21, 1993: Crown announced the winner of Victoria's casino licence and signed this agreement, which has subsequently been amended 12 times.

June 30, 1994:
temporary casino opens at the World Trade Centre.

May 24, 1996: original deadline for when the permanent casino was meant to open.

March 1996: Jeff Kennett re-elected despite lots of coverage about casino cronyism.

May 8, 1997: Crown's permanent casino opens with a $50 million extravaganza. The 6th variation to the casino agreement was also signed on this day.

July 2, 1998: seventh variation to the casino agreement signed.

1999: PBL bought Crown Melbourne for $1.8 billion worth of shares.

2003: Gambling Regulation Act 2003 consolidated several pieces of legislation creating the VCGR which came into effect on January 1, 2004, bringing the regulation of casinos and pokies under the one roof.

2004: Crown opens its second hotel, the 465 room Crown Promenade, giving it a total of 947 rooms including the original 482 at Crown Towers.

July 8, 2005: 9th variation to the casino agreement signed which included a commitment to spend at least $170 million in capital expenditure over the subsequent 5 years.

December 2005: Kerry Packer dies, delivering James Packer sole control of the family's PBL gaming and media empire.

October 2006: PBL announces the sale of a 50% stake in its old media assets to CVC at a valuation of $5.6 billion.

October 2, 2007: 11th variation to the casino agreement between Crown and Victorian

November 2007: Crown demerged from PBL after releasing this information memorandum describing Crown Melbourne as having 2500 EGMs and 350 table games, plus a 31,000sqm gaming floor and 300,000 visitors a week.

May 2011: Karl Bitar quit as a national secretary of the ALP to become a lobbyist for Crown at a time when the gambling industry was battling the Wilkie-Gillard pokies agreement.

February 2012: Mark Arbib quit Cabinet and the Senate and popped up working for James Packer's CPH 3 months later, a position he retains to this day.

December 2013: Victorian Treasurer Michael O'Brien announced a proposed poker machines levy of $22,715 per machine which would have cost Crown $56 million a year on its 2500 machines and taken away about one fifth of James Packer's Melbourne business.

August 15, 2014: Crown Melbourne reports first annual drop in gambling revenue from record $1526 million in 2012-13 to $1521 million in 2013-14.

August 22, 2014: Crown reaches this agreement with Victorian Government on expansion and new tax arrangements, just 3 months before the Victorian election. Agrees to pay $250m up front for a 17 year licence extension until 2050 plus another $250 million in 2033. Table and video games are expanded by 90 to 540 and granted an additional 128 pokies licences lifting the total to 2628. The new licence can only be amended with Crown's consent and includes compensation clauses in certain circumstances.

November 3, 2014: Lloyd Williams deliver his famous endorsement of Daniel Andrews saying James Packer is going to "kick every goal he can for you".

November 22, 2014: Herald Sun reports that Lloyd Williams turned against the Liberals after Matthew Guy knocked back his 46 level proposed tower on Sturt St.

November 2014: Rob Rankin announced as proposed co-chairman of Crown Resorts, alongside controlling shareholder and long-time chairman James Packer.

December 2014: Crown buys 50% of Queensbridge Square as part of plan to build Australia's tallest building across the road from Crown Melbourne.

August 2015: Rob Rankin appointed non-executive chairman with former non-executive chairman and controlling shareholder James Packer becoming a “senior executive director” on a remuneration package to be negotiated.

Late 2015: James Packer makes disgraceful threats against private equity executive Ben Gray after a privatisation proposal involving TPG fell over.

December 2015: James Packer resigns from Crown Resorts board after “transitioning overseas”, settling his family estate with sister Gretel and becoming comfortable with Ron Rankin as the new chair. Remuneration proposal dropped.

February 2016: Crown half year results pitches Queensbridge Square proposal as 388 hotel rooms and 650 luxury apartments.

August 2016: Crown Melbourne reports highest ever gambling revenue of $1.86 billion in 2015-16.

January 2017:
Crown announced executive deputy chairman John Alexander will success Rob Rankin as chairman on February 1, 2017 and that James Packer intends to return to the board.

February 2017: Crown Resorts CEO Rowen Craigie departs with 5 days notice for investors after 20 years with the company, the last 10 as group CEO. John Alexander becomes executive chairman.

February 9, 2017:
Daniel Andrews over-rides concerns by planning Minister Dick Wynne and approves new 90 storey Melbourne sky scraper to include 708 apartments and 388 hotel rooms.

March 6, 2017: 4 Corners broadcast "Crown Confidential" looking at the China arrests and high roller business.

May 2017:
Crown announces James Packer passes probity tests to re-join board, with formal appointment in next three months.

June 2017: Rob Rankin formally resigns as a Crown director.

August 2017: James Packer formally rejoins the Crown Resorts board.

October 2017: James Packer attends his last Crown AGM in Melbourne.

July 2019: The Age and 60 Minutes let off their Crown bomb, which ultimately trigger the Bergin inquiry.

September 26, 2019:
12th variation to the state's casino agreement signed.

October 2019: Ken Barton makes misleading AGM statement about briefings for James Packer which ultimately led to strong criticisms in the Bergin Report.

January 2020: internal coup against Crown's executive chair John Alexander with Helen Coonan taking over as independent chair and Ken Barton becoming CEO.

May 31, 2021: 4 Corners broadcasts story looking at extraordinary deal making that delivered Crown's Barangaroo sky scraper.