After years of planning, speculation and jumping through hoops, Crown Resorts proposed $1.5 billion casino project in Barangaroo has finally received the green light from the New South Wales government. Construction will soon begin and the Crown Sydney, the city’s second major casino, is scheduled to open for business in 2021.
The proposed six-star resort had to undergo various tweaks to its architectural plans before receiving approval from the NSW Planning Assessment Commission, much to the irritation of casino mogul James Packer. After various re-designs to cater for better pedestrian access, the casino will be set back 30 meters from the harbour waterfront, complete with a public viewing platform at the top of the hotel tower providing sweeping views over the picturesque Sydney Harbour.
Crown Resorts Sydney is set to offer a casino including VIP gaming services, 300 luxury hotel rooms, world class dining, a conference centre and separate retail and office precinct. It aims to be a globally recognised architectural icon and to help Sydney capitalise on the growth in Asian tourism, particularly Chinese tourists seeking a full luxury experience.
Robert Rankin, the chairman of Crown Resorts said, “While it has been a long and detailed process, we are pleased with the overall outcome. We’re deeply committed to building a six-star hotel resort that Sydneysiders and all Australians can be proud of. We will now move quickly with excavation work.”
As part of the government’s approval, Crown Sydney will not be offering any pokie machines, following Echo Entertainment losing its exclusive license to operate a casino in Sydney in 2013. Then Premiere of NSW, Barry O’Farrell, clearly stipulated that Crown Sydney will not be a full casino and will be restricted in its offerings, not adding to The Star Sydney’s 1,500 pokies.
The green light on Crown Resorts Sydney comes just a week after Crown made moves to demerger its interests to keep Australian and international operations separate.
A press release from the media giant commented that “Crown will assess its capacity to make a distribution to shareholders, and at the same time maintain a strong balance sheet and credit profile to fund existing Australian development projects.”
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