5 Jul 2013

Second casino for Sydney

6:26 am on 5 July 2013

Sydney is to have a second casino. Crown Ltd has won approval to proceed with a plan to build a six-star hotel and casino at Barangaroo.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said a panel considering rival bids by Crown and Echo Entertainment found there was a need to inject competition into the Sydney casino sector.

Echo Entertainment had promised to upgrade its The Star casino at Darling Harbour and pay $A250 million to extend its exclusivity rights.

Echo holds Sydney's sole casino licence, which is due to expire in 2019.

The ABC reports both plans were assessed by a panel led by former Future Fund chief David Murray, which found that the value of Crown Sydney to the economy in New South Wales economy would be 26% higher than the Echo plan.

The conditions include: revenue would be taxed at 29% rather than the 27.5% rate proposed by Crown; total licence fees and taxes would be guaranteed at more than $A1 billion in the first 15 years of the casino's operation; and fees and taxes will be independently reviewed after 20 years.