As construction is ready to begin on James Packer’s new high-roller casino resort in Barangaroo, some doubts have been raised about the project’s legitimacy. According to Echo Entertainment, the plan to build a 69-floor tower is ‘legally flawed’. Recently, Echo Entertainment provided Sydney’s planning department with legal advice.
It stated that there is a possibility that the concept of Crown Sydney’s tower could be open to court challenge. The legal advice questions just how big of an environmental impact the new casino resort will have on the local community. The proposed height and density of the buildings may have a bigger impact than the general public has been led to believe.
With a 7.4% increase in gross floor area and a 107-metre increase in height of the tower, the project has caused some concerns. As such, it has been suggested that the Planning Minister was not entirely impartial when he decided to grant Crown Sydney a casino license prior to the concept plan application.
Additionally, the legal advice has also questioned whether or not local gaming authorities, health ministries and community services professionals were consulted.
Crown Sydney Chief Executive Rowen Craigie is displeased with the actions of Echo Entertainment, his company’s main competitor in the city: "I consider this a blatant misuse of the planning process by The Star casino to try and protect their existing monopoly and delay much-needed competition into Sydney's VIP gaming market," he says. Echo Entertainment and Crown Resorts have been at odds for quite some time, as Crown Sydney will end The Star’s exclusivity in the city.
As such, the new legal advice seems to be Echo Entertainment’s final effort to delay or hinder the construction of James Packer’s new high roller casino. Photo from The New Daily.