NSW wins appeal over Crown Casino probe

Luke Costin
Melco resisted a summons from a NSW inquiry to hand over documents on its purchase of Crown shares

Melco, the casino group controlled by gaming magnate Lawrence Ho, will be forced to hand over documents to a NSW royal commission-style inquiry into Australian gaming giant Crown Casino.

The NSW gaming regulator has launched a public inquiry with royal commission powers into Melco's $1.76-billion purchase of Crown Resorts shares from James Packer's private investment company Consolidated Press Holdings in 2019.

Melco resisted a summons from the inquiry to hand over certain documents, citing legal privilege and arguing the inquiry's powers couldn't overrule that.

A Supreme Court judge agreed with Melco but, on Thursday, the NSW Court of Appeal overruled that decision.

The appeal court found the inquiry's head - former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin SC - did hold powers to compel the production of legally-privileged documents.

Crown has said previously it will fully co-operate with the inquiry.

It's currently building a high-roller casino and luxury resort in Sydney's Barangaroo which is set to open in 2021.