International edition
June 21, 2021

Gaming board members said they need to know who makes up the new ownership group

Three groups ask to pull out as Meadows casino owners

(US).- Three groups want to withdraw from a partnership that is buying The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington County because group members don’t want to publicly disclose their names. "It’s all about confidentiality," Robert P. Krauss, a lawyer from Philadelphia who is representing the three privacy seekers, told the state Gaming Control Board.

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aming board members said they need to know who makes up the new ownership group, called Crown Ltd. of Australia, and what percentage of the new Meadows ownership each partner would have. That could determine whether the withdrawal of the three groups would be a significant change in the new ownership. "We believe we have the right to withdraw," Krauss said. "Privacy is more important to our clients than anything that might happen because they withdraw."

The gaming board declined his request to discuss the matter in closed session and also tabled the withdrawal petition, saying it needed more time to consider the matter. Board member Jeffrey Coy said the matter should be discussed "in the light of day. I think they gave up their right of privacy when they made the application" for a casino license.

Krauss refused to give any information about his clients or why they don’t want to be part of the group buying The Meadows. His law firm, Ballard Spahr, is a prominent Philadelphia firm that Gov. Ed Rendell once worked for. Rendell named three of the current seven board members.

The three groups that want to withdraw were identified only by vague-sounding names: Custodians Settlement Number 6, Custodians Settlement Number 8 and Genetout Number 6. They have been part of Crown Ltd., which owns Australia’s largest casino and has agreed to pay us$ 1.8 billion for Cannery Casino Resorts, the Nevada company that owns The Meadows and operates three casinos in the Las Vegas area.

Gaming board approval in Pennsylvania is needed for transferring the casino license and licensing the principal owners of the new group. The Nevada Gaming Commission approved the ownership change pertaining to the casinos there on January 22.

In addition to the three groups’ desire to withdraw, board documents identified Gretel Packer as backing out of her application for a license. She is the sister of Crown Ltd. Chairman James Douglas Packer. The two inherited fortunes left behind by their late father, billionaire Australian media mogul Kerry Packer, and James Packer has developed Crown as an international gambling enterprise with additional properties in Canada, the United Kingdom and Macau.

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