© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australian top casino operator Crown Resorts adorns a fence surrounding the Crown Perth hotel and casino complex in Western Australia, Oct. 20, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Bunch/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo
(Reuters) – Australia’s largest casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd said on Friday regulators in the state of Western Australia had cleared its $6.3 billion buyout by private equity giant Blackstone (NYSE:) Inc, subject to several strict conditions.
The approval follows nods from New South Wales and Victoria this week and clears another hurdle in Blackstone’s path to closing its deal for the company 37% owned by billionaire James Packer.
Western Australia’s independent casino regulator and the state’s racing and gaming minister Tony Buti approved the deal subject to “tough” conditions, including additional auditing and a commitment to invest in and maintain Crown’s Perth casino, the regulator said.
Crown has been under pressure for years since damaging inquiries found it enabled money laundering, while COVID-19 lockdowns and border closures battered its profit and shares.
The deal now awaits approval from Australia’s federal court at a hearing on June 15.