September 30, 2023
Crown Sydney to close one of its VIP gaming floors, cut 95 jobs in response to lower-than-expected visitor numbers

Crown Sydney to close one of its VIP gaming floors, cut 95 jobs in response to lower-than-expected visitor numbers

Crown Resorts' Sydney casino at the One Barangaroo Tower is shutting down one of its VIP floors, known as the ‘Mahogany' suite. The Blackstone-owned property first its luxurious VIP gaming rooms merely a year ago. The move comes in the wake of lower-than-expected visitor numbers and is of the casino's strategic response to current economic challenges.

The Mahogany suite, an exclusive members-only gaming area within Crown Sydney, was accessible to patrons with a minimum spend of AUD 45,000 across the various amenities offered by Crown Resorts, including bars, restaurants, and resorts.

A Crown spokesperson confirmed the move to local media. “Crown has made a decision to consolidate its two VIP casino floors in Sydney in response to the current macroeconomic challenges facing our industry alongside other Australian businesses,” the person told The Sydney Morning Herald.

With the VIP room facing closure, Crown is expected to 95 jobs. The casino's management said it is actively working in collaboration with the employees and their union to explore other options and roles within the company. The operator told staff that it will commence a voluntary redundancy , with affected workers expected to be from the casino and casino divisions.

As a result of this consolidation, patrons and -rollers who previously accessed the Mahogany suite will now be directed to the Crystal Room. The Crystal Room offers an array of 160 tables and 66 electronic tables, maintaining the VIP experience and featuring a minimum bet requirement of AUD 20. 

Crown Sydney was the brainchild of former Crown Resort chairman and majority shareholder James Packer, who sought to develop a property catering to the needs of international high-rollers. The Mahogany floor, with its 30 private salons, was a key part of this ambition.

While the closure of this floor represents a major shift only one year after the casino's opening, the company noted that the Mahogany suite will likely be reopened during peak periods, such as Chinese New Year, when the influx of high-spending Chinese tourists is anticipated.

The history of Crown Sydney has been marked by challenges and adjustments. Originally slated for a late 2020 opening, the casino's launch was delayed due to licensing-related issues.

Crown Sydney's move to close one of its VIP floors comes amid a strategy shift, with new CEO Ciaran Carruthers placing emphasis on its integrated hospitality comprised of its luxury hotel and many restaurants. Crown Resorts was acquired by private equity giant Blackstone in a deal in June 2022.

The company recently agreed to pay a record-breaking fine of AUD 450 ($289.9 million) for substantial of anti-money laundering laws.

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