Crown happy with compromise over Sydney resort plans

Crown happy with compromise over Sydney resort plans

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 Totally Gaming

James Packer has “agreed a compromise” over the structure of the new Crown Sydney casino to ensure that the multi-billion-dollar facility will feature a VIP gaming floor, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

Crown Resorts, which is 53-per-cent owned by Packer, received consent for the casino and six-star hotel development from the New South Wales government last week.

The facility is set to open in 2021 – two years later than its original deadline – although it still requires final approval from the state’s Planning Assessment Commission.

The newspaper said that sources close to Packer had indicated that the conditions of the governmental approval were “reasonable”.

The VIP gaming floor was of “critical” importance to the plans, the report added, with the floor able to compete with rival international casinos. The operator has been forced to widen the planned public promenade and revise the facade of the western podium elevation.

Crown also agreed to build a 250-metre-high observation deck that will be open to the public.

The Department of Planning and Environment said that it was satisfied with the changes Crown had made to its designs.

“The department considers that the proposed scale of the podium is acceptable and that it has an appropriate relationship to the public domain and foreshore,” the department said. “The department recommends a condition requiring the submission of amended plan showing the inclusion of the public observation area together with a management plan detailing how the facility will be operated.”

A Crown spokesperson said: “Crown has worked with our architects to ensure the Planning Department's conditions are addressed. Our updated designs, including significant changes to the hotel podium will help ensure Crown Sydney is embraced by the local community and visitors as one of the world's best hotels and architectural icons.  The observation deck at the top of Crown Sydney will be an iconic experience for Sydneysiders and an additional tourism asset to attract interstate and international tourists.”

TotallyGaming.com says:

Retaining the VIP gaming floor is a big win for Crown, but the race is now on to build the facility and avoid any more damaging delays. Every delay up to this point has provided further security for incumbent casino operator The Star Entertainment Group, which currently enjoys a monopoly in Sydney. It has been a long and complicated road for Crown to reach this point, but if final approval from the Planning Assessment Commission is received at some point in the middle of this year, work can finally begin.

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