(Adds approval details, context)
June 9 (Reuters) – Gambling regulators in the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales have approved the takeover of Crown Resorts Ltd by U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Inc., for 6.3 billion dollars, the casino operator announced on Thursday.
Approval from regulators in Western Australia, where Crown operates its Perth casino, is still pending.
Melbourne’s Crown Casino has been operating with a government-appointed supervisor since last year and will continue to do so, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission said.
The license for Crown’s flagship A$2.2 billion ($1.58 billion) skyscraper-casino in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW) remains suspended, more one year after its opening.
“The Authority has worked closely with Crown on plans to conditionally open gaming at Crown Sydney,” said Philip Crawford, chairman of the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority.
A successful deal with the US private equity giant could give Crown’s billionaire founder James Packer a way out of a company hit by scandals and regulatory setbacks and pull the curtain back on one of the business dynasties Australia’s most legendary.
Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia have all at different times found Crown unfit to hold gambling licenses.
($1 = AU$1.3918) (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Christopher Cushing)