Crown Resorts, Sydney

Crown Resorts has disclosed that Mark McWhinnie is to take the Chief Executive Officer reins of its Sydney property from October 4, 2022, subject to regulatory approval.

He will be replacing current incumbent Simon McGrath who will be departing the business at the end of September following a near 11 eleven month stint.

McWhinnie, who brings four decades of integrated resorts and hospitality experience across Asia, Australia and the Pacific to the company, has stressed the importance of maintaining a focus on reform, remediation and cultural transformation.

The operator finally commenced gaming operations, albeit on a VIP only basis, at the A$2.2bn venue on August 8, 2022, following an approximate 18 month wait.

This was due to a licence suspension being issued in early 2021, with gaming only becoming available after the firm was offered conditional gaming approval by the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, now the NSW Independent Casino Commission, in July.

This enabled the firm to open its members only gaming facilities located at the casino under an initial conditional period that is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2023. 

“Crown Sydney is a world-class integrated resort and Crown has a reputation across the industry for premium service delivered by a team of talented and dedicated people,” explained McWhinnie. 

“I want to build on that status and I am also determined to play my part in realising our ambition to be a leader in the delivery of safe and responsible gaming. 

“I have a strong understanding of the complexities of operating in a heavily regulated environment and will be prioritising continued progress on the reform, remediation and cultural transformation underway across the business, while delivering an exceptional experience for our customers. 

“Sydney is the gateway to Australia and Crown Sydney has a significant role to play in fostering a re-emergence of activity across the hospitality and tourism sectors.” 

Most recently, McWhinnie held senior leadership roles across multiple integrated resorts for Sands China in Macau, including The Venetian Macao where he oversaw the operations of eight hotels incorporating 13,000 rooms and suites

Earlier in his career, he worked in a number of senior hospitality roles, including positions for the Ishin Hotels Group in Japan and Starwood Hotels & Resorts across Australia, Asia and the Pacific. 

“I’m delighted to have Mark on board to lead Crown Sydney. He is a global gaming and hospitality executive boasting an impressive track record founded on strong culture and premium service,” commented Ciarán Carruthers, Crown Resorts CEO. 

“Mark’s appointment adds to the deep industry experience at Crown and is further testament to our ability to attract strong talent to our business. 

“I’d like to take this opportunity to reiterate our thanks to Simon for his contribution to Crown, including overseeing the successful opening of Australia’s only VIP members-only casino in Sydney. We wish him all the best for the future.”