Echo Entertainment is having its exclusivity threatened by threats that Crown Casinos will be building a new casino in Bangaroo in 2019. If the local government gives James Packer the go-ahead, The Star will no longer be the only casino on Sydney’s waterfront, and the two companies will compete for players.
To prevent this from happening, Echo Entertainment has proposed a new plan. Instead of allowing the government to let its exclusivity agreement end in order to make room for Crown Casinos, the company has proposed the construction of a casino resort that would be built as an extension of The Star.
Matt Bekier, Finance Director for Echo Entertainment justifies the proposal by stating that it is more cost-effective to continue to develop and expand The Star than split the potential revenue between two casino operators. He would like to see the state invest in non-gaming opportunities, such as entertainment venues as well as retail and hospitality opportunities that would available on the resort property. Should Crown Casinos be granted a license, there would be no room for this type of expansion.
“If you have to cut earnings too many different ways, you can’t invest into the iconic development and non-gaming infrastructure,” he says.
Local politicians have yet to make a decision. Although the end of Echo’s exclusivity agreement is seven years away, either company will need as much time as possible to make its new casino plans into reality.