We’ve long known that a new casino was heading to Barangaroo, backed by the behemoth that is Crown, but if you’ve been keeping an eye on Aussie gaming news lately then you may well have seen the development running into problems. As part of a larger overall development in the area, owned by Land Lease, Crown was caught up in a disagreement between Land Lease and the NSW government over the value of the first two towers of the complex. However, a deal reached this week, which incorporated modified construction plans, will see Crown pushing ahead with their new development.
Construction can now go ahead as planned, as described by Crown Resorts CEO Rowen Craigie, who commented: “Crown will now begin its own planning applications processes with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.” This new deal will see the planned casino that was to sit on an area earmarked for parkland returning to a position adjacent to the new casino site. That’s certainly not bad news for Crown, as the moving of the hotel means that they can double the size of the building and therefore accommodate many more visitors at the same time.
Advisers in Barangaroo are monitoring the project closely as the casino is set to be the focal point of a much larger development and the changes to plans concerning the gaming venue have meant that other adjustments have had to be made to accommodate the new hotel location. The total number of buildings in the regenerated area has been downsized to thirteen, although this has also benefited Crown who will now have 9% more floor space to work with for residential and gaming needs.
Andrew Wilson, Barangaroo South Managing Director, emphasised just how important getting the casino right first time was, commenting: “We have ensured that all of the public benefits that we originally proposed in our 2010 plan remain in Mod 8, such as complete harbour front access and vibrant community spaces. It’s taken a long time to do but we have to get it right because it’s going to be here for decades.”
The delays to the project caused by the disagreement have not put Crown off when it comes to ambition and while it has been a year of red tape for the company, they continue to stick to their planned opening dates. The hotel should come into service late in 2018 while the casino itself will open for business in November 2019 – the date when Echo Entertainment’s exclusive Sydney gaming license expires.
Speaking of Echo, they are considering moving their headquarters to Brisbane as part of their efforts to receive a license for a new casino in the city. They and Crown continue to lock horns over exactly who will be the beneficiary of a second casino license and Echo has committed to moving their base of operations should they be awarded the rights.
As far as games are concerned at the new Crown Casino, the stars of the show are likely to be the table games rather than the pokies as the casino is being built with attracting Asian high rollers in mind. You can find out all about what’s expected on our table gaming pages here on the site and also get a head start on the action by checking out the best Aussie online casinos for table games, pokies and much more as part of our casino review section.