Billionaire James Packer has put his money where his mouth is. The Executive Chairman of Crown, who has been agitating for better Australian tourism product, yesterday said the company would build a $570m ‘six-star’ hotel at the Burswood casino complex in Perth. And Mr Packer has no plans to stop there, using yesterday’s announcement to pressure the NSW Government into giving his company a second casino licence in Sydney.

“My desire is to build the best hotel in the world in Sydney. But it needs a VIP casino in it otherwise it is simply uneconomic,” Mr Packer told the Daily Telegraph. He wants to build the Sydney at Barangaroo, a new waterfront development in the Emerald City. And with the political pressure Mr Packer is able to exert, it’s a fair bet that he’ll get his way, though a tender would surely have to be called.

Update: Travel Daily reports that “Crown Limited has just announced an exclusive agreement with Lend Lease Corporation in relation to the proposed development of a “world class, six star hotel resort at Barangaroo South, Sydney”.

“Under the pact Lend Lease and Crown will work together to develop the plans for the property, giving Crown the right to work exclusively with Lend Lease on the project for up to two years to reach agreement on certain key milestones and obtain the necessary development approvals for the project.”

“Packer said Crown was currently considering the options to incorporate a VIP only gaming facility at the proposed property, which would be necessary to provide the ‘commercial underpinning’ for any development.”

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