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Sydney's second casino a step closer - 25th October 2012

The New South Wales Government has announced that James Packer's proposal to build a second casino in Sydney has moved to stage 2 of consideration.

Seven weeks after the Government received an unsolicited proposal from James Packer to build a six-star hotel with high roller gaming rooms at Barangaroo, the heads of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Treasury have now given the go ahead for Crown to develop a more detailed plan.

The Premier Barry O'Farrell says the Government will not allow poker machines in the new development, and he has stressed it is only passed the first hurdle in a three-stage process.

"At the end of each stage the Government has the option of either giving the project the green light to proceed or a red light and it simply stops there," he said.

The Opposition supports the proposal on the grounds it will not have poker machines.

Its construction means Sydney will become the only state capital with two casinos - it already has Star City.

The Premier says any new casino will not be allowed to start operation until 2019 because of an exclusivity arrangement with Star Casino.

But if the project is given the go ahead, laws will have to be changed to allow a second casino licence in Sydney.

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Melbourne Storm NRL team ink sponsorship deal with Packer's Crown Casino; Sydney news, by Greg Tingle - 31st August 2012

Melbourne Storm Crown Casino Crown Limited

The Melbourne Storm is raking it in, with an extra $1.5 million in with Crown Limited inking as major sponsor for a third year running, while rugby league in Victoria could also benefit significantly.

Thursday's renewal of Crown's only team sponsorship is believed to be valued at $1 million, give or take a few dollars.

The funds boost joins the $500,000 Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant confirmed on Monday would be delivered to all clubs before October 31.

With a back-of-jersey sponsorship still to be sold before the finals, Storm might well collect another payday.

Club chief exec Ron Gauci advised the funds would be used to help expand the code in Victoria, a cause boosted last month with the debut of born-and-bred local Mahe Fonua.

Storm officials aim to fund youth teams down to under-16s and spend up to keep Melbourne "ahead of the pack" with cutting-edge, football-specific technology.

"We'll continue to invest in the organisation. We'll invest both across the football department and administration," Gauci said.

"We want to continue being best practice and continue being ahead of the game. We'll invest in football operations and pathway development.

"We want to extend the Storm brand beyond the under-18s and we've put in a proposal to the Australian Rugby League Commission to facilitate the growth of the game in Victoria and now have the funds to help make that happen.

"For us, any investment needs to have a long-term benefit."

The push from the Government-backed Victorian Major Events Company to secure more State of Origin clashes in Melbourne could reap even more cash for local rugby league.

Plans are in place to establish a youth academy, with only the arrival of sufficient funding needed to make it happen.

Great to see Crown's casino king James Packer sharing the love and funds around to worthy causes.

It's understood that Sydney's South Sydney Rabbitohs management including king bunny, Russell Crowe, are taking an interest in the way The Storm and Crown do things, as you might expect with Rabbitohs also having a sponsorship deal with gaming - entertainment firm - The Star.


Sydney NRL team also has casino deal...

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are continuing to enjoy their sponsorship deal with The Star (formally known as Star City Casino).

NRL top brass has said rugby league has benefitted from its association with betting agencies because it allows better access to information about irregular plunges.

As the Australian and globally economy continue to go through tough times its going to be interesting to see if more NRL teams ink deals with Australian casino or gaming firms. I for would would bet yes.

And what's to become of the Barangaroo 6 star hotel and casino development in Sydney? Could they also become a sponsor of an NRL team? With James Packer in the think of the action one would think so. Keep watching this space.


Media Release...

Exclusive Deal For 6 Star Hotel...

Last week's announcement by Lend Lease and Crown, that they had signed an exclusive agreement to develop a six star hotel at Barangaroo South, has attracted wide ranging media coverage and commentary. Below is a summary of the media releases and media coverage to date.

Following the announcement, the Authority confirmed it will continue to work with Lend Lease, and now their exclusive rights partner Crown, to negotiate a new location for the hotel in Barangaroo South and oversee the appropriate planning applications that must be approved before any concept moves ahead.

Acting Premier Andrew Stoner last week said the development of such a hotel would represent a significant investment in NSW tourism infrastructure, and today’s agreement is a vote of confidence in the NSW economy.

“It is, of course, subject to all the necessary planning and regulatory approvals but Lend Lease already has an existing permit to build a hotel in Barangaroo South and are negotiating with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to relocate that onshore,” he said.

“The creation of a hotel of this stature would deliver new jobs in construction, off-site manufacturing and the tourism industry, along with hundreds of millions of dollars for the State economy each year.”

Lend Lease Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, said that Lend Lease and Crown would now work towards achieving the necessary development approvals from the NSW Government for the hotel and jointly develop the concept plan for the hotel. Lend Lease is currently in negotiations with the NSW Government to finalise the hotel location.

“Barangaroo South is a major urban regeneration project that provides a unique opportunity to create a world class commercial, residential, entertainment and mixed use destination on Sydney Harbour. A key part of Lend Lease’s vision for Barangaroo South is to have a high quality international hotel,” said Mr McCann.

*the writer is a shareholder in Crown Limited, Virgin Blue and Ten Network Holdings.

 

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NSW govt investigates 'floating casino'...

The NSW government is investigating whether cruise company P&O operated an illegal floating casino off the NSW coast.

Hospitality Minister George Souris on Wednesday said a government authority was investigating an allegation that passengers could play blackjack, pontoon, poker and roulette on a cruise that left Sydney on Friday night.

The cruise ship also had 40 poker machines onboard and let passengers charge $5000 on their credit cards for gambling, News Ltd reported.

"I've asked the Office of Liquor and Gaming to investigate whether a casino operation was under way in NSW territorial waters or whether gambling operations were under way in commonwealth waters," he told reporters in Sydney.

"It may be that NSW jurisdiction was breached, it may be that the commonwealth jurisdiction was breached. It may be even that both were breached."

He said NSW had no jurisdiction beyond 12 nautical miles from shore.

"Those are international waters," he said.

"In international shipping after the 12-nautical-mile limit it opens boats to gambling but also to duty-free liquor sales."


James Packer to speak at tourism conference in Canberra...

Billionare James Packer will be the drawcard for hoteliers, resort operators and owners attending a tourism conference in Canberra in late October. Mr Packer will open the Tourism & Transport Forum's annual "Leadership 2012" conference.

The gaming tycoon is a major tourism player given his Crown resorts in Perth and Melbourne attract 25 million visitors a year...


Melco Crown Project Gets Red Light on Casino...

Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. MPEL +2.32% still doesn't have permission to build a casino at its latest project, according to a revised government contract published Wednesday.

The Macao Studio City project, in which Melco Crown has a 60% equity interest, is designated for a five-star hotel and film facilities, indicates the latest government contract detailing various revisions to the agreement. But the document doesn't mention any casino facilities despite the company's earlier statements they hope to open up to 400 gambling tables at the property. It's possible the government could give the green-light on a casino later, but the uncertainty could complicate the company's efforts to finance the project.

Melco Crown, backed by Lawrence Ho and James Packer—the sons of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and the late Australian casino-and-media magnate Kerry Packer—is one of six casino license holders in Macau, where it already runs two casino-resort properties in the world's largest gambling hub.

A representative for Melco Crown didn't respond to requests for comment.

In June 2011, Melco Crown signed a $360 million deal to gain control over the Macao Studio City project, resolving a bitter dispute between the project's earlier partners that had escalated to the Hong Kong courts, stalling development for years. New Cotai Holdings LLC, an arm of U.S. investment firms Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and Silver Point Capital L.P., retained its 40% stake in the project.

Earlier this month Melco Crown announced plans to enter the burgeoning Philippines market by teaming up with local property developer Belle Corp. BEL.PH -0.20% to partner on a casino resort that will cost at least $1 billion in an area the Philippines hopes will become Manila's version of the Las Vegas Strip. (The Wall Street Journal)


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Gambling And Media King James Packer; Becoming Property King Of Sydney...

James Packer is building a space age type home - mansion - bunker, in Sydney's eastern suburbs. He even ordered demolition of two neighbouring mansions. Vaucluse will never be the same again. Now earth-moving equipment has moved in. By the time the job is finished in about 18 months time, the pad will have cost 'Our James' in the region of $50 million. It was circa June 2009 he invested A$18 million on a 6-bedroom 1970s mansion, later snatching up two neighbouring pads for more than A$12 million. His estate is massive and is understood to cover 3345sq m of prime real estate. Packer engaged the services of architect Alec Tzannes to design the new extensions, the same bloke responsible for the Point Piper pad owned by property and financial services king John Symond. It's understood the the who family is really looking forward to moving into the palace with toys, treats and fun for kids all all ages. Wife Erica Packer and the happy couple's children, Indigo and Jackson, are really looking forward to giant swimming pool. Yep, the Packer's continue to make waves in the Aussie media, entertainment and lifestyle sector. A Media Man spokesperson said 'The Packers are really doing it in style. It goes to show you want hard work and smart work can do for a person. It's pretty inspirational, considering what he bounced back from a couple of years ago. As is often the case, James Packer has the last laugh". Packer is expect to sometime show up at the Melbourne Aussie Millions to say G'day on site at his Crown Casino down south in Melbourne. Yep, Packer is on a roll, with no signs of slowing down.

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