Packer’s Sydney casino proposal to proceed

Jul 5, 2013 6:58 AM

Sydney is set to get a second casino in 2019 after the NSW government gave its backing to James Packer’s proposal for a $1.5 billion hotel and gambling resort.

It ends a bidding war between Packer’s Crown Group and the owners of Sydney’s existing The Star casino, Echo Entertainment.

Echo wanted to extend its monopoly status for another 15 years, building two new hotels next to The Star and connecting Pyrmont, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo into one integrated resort.

But a report by a government-appointed panel - led by former banking chief David Murray - has found in favour of Packers’s plans for a new $1.5 billion luxury hotel and VIP-only facility at Barangaroo.

It found Crown’s contribution to gross state product and tax was 26 per cent and 31 per cent larger than Echo’s respectively.

Cabinet backed Mr Murray’s findings at a meeting on Thursday morning.

Mr Murray said the decisive factor was the opportunity to introduce competition to the market.

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