Sydney once step closer to reality: Gaming - gambling
- property billionaire James Packer gets green light
to build casino at Barangaroo - 4th July 2013
casino news: Gaming - gambling - property billionaire
James Packer gets green light to build casino at Barangaroo;
billionaire James Packer has been given the go ahead
to move ahead and build Sydney's second casino at
prime location Barangaroo.
decision by the NSW government means Crown moves to
the final stage of the approval process.
O'Farrell announced Mr Packer's Crown would pay an
upfront licence fee of $100 million; that non-rebate
gaming would be taxed at 29 per cent - not the 27.5
per cent proposed by Crown and "the total of
licence fee and gaming tax payments to NSW over the
first 15 years of full operation must exceed $1 billion,
a guarantee Crown proposed for its alternate option.
tourism[is] an important part of our strategy to achieve
economic growth," the Premier told the media
OFarrell government made its decision after
considering a detailed report by a government appointed
panel led by former banking chief David Murray.
report weighed up the Crown proposal and Echo Entertainments
$1.1 billion plan to transform The Star at Pyrmont
into a massive integrated resort, featuring two new
NSW Premier advised the Crown proposal had been more
lucrative for government than the proposal from Echo
Entertainment's The Star Casino for an upgrade.
O'Farrell said Mr Murray had found in his review that
"competition" would improve the tourism
and gaming dollar in NSW and that was why the Premier
had decided to greenlight Mr Packer's casino.
important than the benefit of the proposal . . what
was clearer and the major determining factor of the
recommendations was the need to inject competition
into this area," the Premier said.
committee discovered that relative to Melbourne we
were underperforming in an area where there was $34
billion a year on offer."
would now take place to complete an agreement on the
Murray said only if those negotiations broke down:
"If at some stage then there's not agreement
the government should move to a tender process after
win concludes a 19-year wait by the Packer family
to enter the Sydney casino market after the late Kerry
Packer missed out on being awarded Sydney's first
licence to the Showboat-Leighton consortium in 1994.
the Crown grand plan, a $1.5 billion, six-star casino
resort will be built in Barangaroo, ending The Stars
Sydney casino monopoly which is due to expire in 2019.
60-storey, 250m tower will include multimillion-dollar
penthouse apartments, as well as private VIP gaming
suites, signature restaurants and bars, luxury sundecks
and an infinity pool.
will not include poker machines aka "pokies"
and gamblers will have to apply to join a Crown membership
club to be able to play.
350-room hotel will be one of the first new hotels
built in Sydney since the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
a Sydney licence has become a deeply personal mission
for James Packer, who has campaigned vigorously for
almost a year to stamp his Crown brand across his
wants the Barangaroo venue to be Crowns international
jewel, as it expands further from Macau into new other
Asian markets such as Sri Lanka, the Philippines and
the OFarrell government, Crowns promise
to building something truly iconic helps shape the
politically sensitive development of Sydneys
last remaining city waterfront precinct.
Barangaroo plan enables public access to the entire
harbour foreshore for the first time since the 1970s.
About half of the 22ha precinct will be public space
with the northern most point to be reshaped into a
park taking the form of the space before European
settlement in 1788.
Packers pitch also included promises that the
new resort would be developed to such a standard that
it would become an architectural postcard
to help boost tourism to NSW, especially from the
rapidly expanding Chinese middle-class.
architects Wilkinson Eyre, which created Singapores
acclaimed Guangzhou International Finance Centre,
won a $10 million international competition to design
winning designs curves and fine lines take their
inspiration from three petals.
Packer won support for his plan from former prime
minister Paul Keating, who has been a vocal proponent
of ensuring Barangaroo is developed sensitively.
battle between Crown and Echo has heated up in recent
weeks with Echo chief executive John Redmond accusing
Crown of wanting to build a casino tower on
steroids rather than a true VIP-only facility.
offered to go ahead with its $1.1 billion investment
even if Crown won a Sydney licence, as long as its
casino was restricted to what is known in the industry
as International Rebate Business.
in a blow to such a compromise, the Premier indicated
last week it would be impossible to work
out a way to enable both plans to go ahead.
plan also included an offer to pay the NSW government
$250 million if it rejected the Crown plan and enabled
The Star to extend its monopoly status for another
15 years from 2019.