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Crown develops casino in Sydney

crown casino sydneyCrown Limited, the gaming company controlled by billionaire businessman James Packer, has moved a step closer to developing a AUD$1.3 billion ($1.2 billion) casino in Sydney, Australia.

According to New South Wales State Premier Barry O’Farrell, Crown’s plan for a hotel and casino tower west of the city’s main business district has been put forward to the third stage of the government's approval process.

The state government said that the plan would contribute more to the economy than the Echo Entertainment Group’s proposal for a AUD$1.1 billion redevelopment of its existing Star casino complex.

News of the state government’s support means that Echo is set to lose its exclusivity to operate Sydney’s only casino after 2019.

“We are disappointed that the New South Wales government does not share our vision,” said John O’Neill, Chairman for Echo.

The company stated that it is looking forward to 'exploring other initiatives' to develop its Star property.

In other news, Macau gaming mogul Lawrence Ho has announced that he will establish a casino in the Primorye dedicated gambling zone near the city of Vladivostok in eastern Russia.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Summit Ascent Holdings, an investment company in which Ho has a 37 percent stake, has signed an agreement with the administration of Primorsk Territory to open a casino in the second half of 2014.

The size of the project has not been confirmed but a 2012 report prepared for the regional government by American firm Gaming Market Advisors predicted that gambling revenues would reach about $5.2 billion a year over the course of the next decade.

Following the passage of Order 517 in 2009, games of poker may now be offered in Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea and 1,000 kilometres from Moscow, the Primorsky region on the Pacific coast, the mountainous Altai region in Siberia or near the southern cities of Krasnodar and Rostov, which is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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