Crown recruits hotelier for casino rescue

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The troubled Crown Resorts in Australia has recruited a top hotelier to oversee the group’s Sydney operations.

Simon McGrath is from the Accor hotel group. He manages 397 hotels on behalf of Accor Pacific and has worked in the hotels and tourism business for more than 30 years.

McGrath is CEO for the Pacific region on behalf of Accor and his appointment at Crown is seen as a bid to bring in executive expertise from outside of the casino industry to help clean up Crown’s image, following the highly damaging Royal Commission into Crown’s money-laundering activities.

One of the properties under the spotlight at Crown is its luxury tower on the Sydney waterfront at Barangaroo that was seeking a casino licence. 

The Royal Commission had ruled that Crown was not fit to hold a licence at the A$2.2bn property in 2020. That ruling prevented the opening of the property as the company was told it must reorganise in order to obtain a licence.

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McGrath, as CEO of Crown Sydney and group head of hospitality, will report to group CEO Steven McCann. He is set to take up his new responsibilities in February.

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