Billionaire Packer Wins Approval for Casino-Resort in Sydney

According to Bloomberg,

Crown Resorts Ltd., the Australian gaming company controlled by billionaire James Packer, won final approval from the New South Wales state government to develop a casino in Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct.

Crown Resorts Ltd.'s Crown Sydney Hotel Resort (Bloomberg)

Crown Resorts Ltd.’s Crown Sydney Hotel Resort (Bloomberg)

The agreement between the state and Crown is consistent with the conditions set down in the government’s initial approval in July, New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell said in a statement yesterday. Melbourne-based Crown Resorts will operate a gaming resort restricted to “VIP” clients and will provide tax payments of at least A$1 billion ($938 million) in the first 15 years of operation, according to the statement.

Crown’s proposed casino and hotel tower at Barangaroo on Sydney Harbour will be its first site in the city alongside resorts in Melbourne and the West Australian capital of Perth. The project will compete with Echo Entertainment Group Ltd., which has been the city’s only casino operator.

“Crown Sydney will help attract Asian high net worth travelers to Sydney, in particular from China,” Packer, who’s the company’s chairman, said in the statement.

Crown climbed 0.8 percent to A$16.77 at 10:17 a.m in Sydney, extending gains for the year to 57 percent. Echo dropped 0.4 percent to A$2.45, taking losses for the year to 29 percent. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.5 percent and is up 16 percent for the year.

Crown’s development, which will be operational from November 2019, will have 350 hotel rooms and suites, 80 luxury apartments, restaurants and bars, and conference rooms, according to the company.

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