Crown Resorts has been approved by the New South Wales Parliament to proceed with development of a A.3 billion high-rollers-only casino and hotel on Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
The legislation, backed by Premier Barry O’Farrell’s governing Liberal Party coalition, passed through the upper house November 18 with the support of the opposition Labor Party and only the NSW Green Party and the Christian Democrats voting against it.
The state’s Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority still needs to sign off on Crown’s suitability to operate the proposed six-star resort, which also will require planning approval.
The resort is slated to open in 2019, when rival Echo Entertainment’s exclusive state license at its Star casino in Sydney expires, according to the legislation, which also codifies provisions in the agreement that restrict the casino to VIPs on a members-only basis and prohibit slot machines.
The resort is forecast to create around 1,300 jobs during construction, another 1,200 jobs when operational, and boost economic activity in New South Wales by $442 million a year by 2025. Crown’s agreement with the O’Farrell government includes a guarantee that the casino will deliver at least $1 billion in license fees and gambling taxes to the treasury over the first 15 years of “full operation.”
Crown Chairman James Packer released a statement saying he was “humbled” by the government’s endorsement. He said the development would “help attract Asian high-net-worth travelers to Sydney, in particular from China.”