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Mayfair casino Aspinall’s warns on ability to stay afloat amid questions over parent company

Mayfair’s Crown London Aspinall’s casino has warned that there is “materially uncertainty” over its ability to keep trading, as its Australian parent company faces questions over whether it should keep some of its gambling licences(Alamy/PA)
Mayfair’s Crown London Aspinall’s casino has warned that there is “materially uncertainty” over its ability to keep trading, as its Australian parent company faces questions over whether it should keep some of its gambling licences(Alamy/PA)

Mayfair’s Crown London Aspinall’s casino has warned that there is “materially uncertainty” over its ability to keep trading, as its Australian parent company faces questions over whether it should keep some of its gambling licences.

Accounts today with the Company’s House show the Mayfair club cut its losses by two thirds to £2.0 million in the year to 30 June, 2023, as revenue grew to £12.2 million. It said it was boosted by the easing of travel restrictions, with many of its customers coming from abroad.

But the business warned on its future ability to stay afloat, as its ability to do so depends on Australian parent Crown Resorts, which would need to inject funds to cover liabilities for the loss-making London club.

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Aspinall’s directors said that the casino would most likely be able to count on that support, but there was “material uncertainty” on this, as Crown Resorts deals with the fallout of major scandals about its operations in Australia.

The parent firm faces a review of its operations in New South Wales and Western Australia. In Victoria, where a watchdog review is already complete, the business was allowed to keep its licence to run the Crown Melbourne casino in a decision made last month, but will have to enact a number of changes. The report was written before the Victoria decision, so the risks to the future of Aspinall’s are likely to be lower following the decision that Crown will keep its licence.

It comes after regulators found a number of failings at Crown’s casinos, mostly dealing with Chinese high-rollers. A 2021 report found evidence of money laundering at its casinos, with processes in place so that transactions were not recorded as gambling. It also found that the business failed to perform proper due diligence on junket operators that brought wealthy Asian gamblers to Australia, even when these groups had links to organise crime groups.

Crown ownership and management have drastically changed since the initial report, with private equity giant Blackstone now owning the group.

Aspinall’s said “the outcomes of the regulator’s decisions and the financial implications of the group give rise to the existence of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern and therefore that it may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal order of business”.

Aspinall’s was founded by John Aspinall in the 1960s. It was bought by Crown in 2011.