of Sydney casino market unknown - 21st Feb 2013
operator Echo Entertainment Group is unsure about
how the Sydney casino market may develop as billionaire
James Packer seeks a presence there.
operates The Star casino in Sydney under the only
casino licence in the city. The licence runs to 2093,
with exclusivity to November 2019.
billionaire James Packer's Crown, which operates casinos
in Melbourne and Perth, wants to build a $1 billion
six-star hotel and casino at the nearby Barangaroo
has been subject to takeover speculation, given that
Crown has a 10 per cent stake in Echo and sought permission
from gaming regulators to lift its stake to as much
as 25 per cent.
chief executive John Redmond says is unable to speculate
on whether Crown would end up competing with Echo
in Sydney, become a joint-venture partner with Echo,
or even end up owning Echo.
there is no way to predict the future," Mr Redmond
told reporters on Thursday as Echo reported a 5.3
per cent fall in first half net profit to $66.5 million.
to try to have any clarity on those issues is impossible.
clearly, it stands to reason, as we have mentioned
a couple of times in the past, there should be one
licence in the Sydney market.
our licence has another 80 years to go, so whatever
the plans are, they involve us (Echo), and beyond
that we have no clarity."
reports its half year financial results on Friday.