Crown Resorts’ shareholders express concerns amid employee protests

By William Brown Updated
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Workers of gaming giant Crown Melbourne are set to walk off their job positions for at least two hours this Friday, in relation to the company’s Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) negotiations. reports that company employees who are members of the United Voice group, including security guards, hotel workers, dealers in addition to bar and restaurant staff will walk off their job for 2 hours.

The two-hour strike may extend up to 24 hours which will represent the very first strike at the venue in 16 years. Workers will decide on Friday on whether to continue with their strike campaign or to go back to work. The United Voice group, which includes workers of Crown Melbourne have been involved in a series of negotiations with the operator for almost six months in order to come to terms on the EBA.

Crown Resorts Limited is one of Australia’s biggest entertainment and gaming groups, where in April 2018 had a market capitalization of over than A$8.7 billion. The gaming giant owns and manages two of Australia-based leading entertainment and gambling complexes in Crown Perth and Crown Melbourne.

In 2007, Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) sold all of its gaming assets to Crown Resorts Limited. In 2008, the company attempted to enter the ever-growing Las Vegas-based market in their purchase of a 19% stake in Fontainebleau Resorts, which resulted in a massive loss the next year.

In subsequent years, the company invested in Crown Sri Lanka and partnered with Betfair Australia along with acquiring several smaller businesses.

Major shareholders raised concerns at AGM

At the company’s annual general meeting last week some of the organisation’s major shareholders expressed their concerns.

The Guardian reports that at the meeting, several of its major shareholders voted against the company’s yearly remuneration report. It was also reported that many of the major company’s investors questioned the firm’s senior executive in relation to recent scandals.The annual meeting saw around 17% of the company’s investors voting against its yearly remuneration even though this was mainly supported by James Packer, owner of around 37% of the company.

Local laws dictate that firms, which include Crown Resorts Limited, must change their boards in the case of their major shareholders turning down a yearly remuneration two times by votes of 25% or more.

The company’s investors also interrogated the firm’s leadership regarding the recently proposed business deal which would see James Pecker selling almost 20% of his stake in the company to Asian casino giant Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited.

It was also confirmed this week that Crown Perth employees will hold a similar strike to Crown Melbourne, for two hours this Friday night. The strikes at both casino locations will coincide with the popular Spring Racing Carnival which will therefore have a significant impact on casino patrons.

In other Crown related news, its public examination of potential corrupt conduct involving Crown Resorts and the Department of Home Affairs has been put on hold in light of the unavailability of key witnesses. Originally scheduled for Tuesday of this week, a new date is expected to be soon announced for the hearing.

Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth are two of Australia’s most prominent integrated resorts. In Crown’s development project pipeline include the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort at Barangaroo in Sydney and the One Queensbridge development site in Melbourne.

Overseas, Crown owns and operates Crown Aspinalls in London, which is one of the high-end licensed casinos in the West End entertainment district. Crown also holds a 50% equity interest in the UK-based Aspers Group as well as a 20% interest in Nobu.

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