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.

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