The Dominion Post
Sydney Crown is James Packer’s top priority
CROWN Resorts chairman James Packer is losing patience with planning delays that threaten to push back construction on his A$2 billion (NZ$2.1b) luxury casino and hotel in Sydney.
Crown has been waiting for the resolution of a legal fight between property developer Lend Lease and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority before it can apply for planning approval for its project.
In the Philippines on Monday, where Packer officially opened his City of Dreams Manila casino, the billionaire said he was increasingly frustrated by how long the process was taking.
‘‘There’s nothing more important me than Crown Sydney,’’ he said.
Crown originally intended to open its six-star hotel in late 2018, although the casino would not begin operating until November 2019.
The timing restriction is because rival Echo Entertainment Group, which operates Sydney’s The Star casino, has an exclusive licence up until that point.
Packer said that when Crown Sydney got parliamentary approval in 2013, 2019 ‘‘seemed a long way away’’.
‘‘Because the BDA and Lend Lease still haven’t settled their dispute, I don’t think we are going to open on time,’’ he said.