At the time when it published its financial results this morning, the gaming and entertainment group Crown Resorts revealed that it has started legal proceedings against an agency of the New South Wales Government.
The case has been filed in the NSW Supreme Court against the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA) over the local Government’s plans which will obstruct views from its six-star casino at Barangaroo, Sydney. Currently, it is the BDA which is responsible for the building of Central Barangaroo, a large gambling, food and entertainment hub situated on 5.2 hectares and is worth AU$2.2 billion.
Previously, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority unveiled new plans for a taller development in order to host a Barangaroo metro rail station. However, the project could ruin the view of Crown Sydney’s gambling and entertainment hub project to the iconic city’s Harbour Bridge and the iconic Opera House.
In a letter to its shareholders, Crown Resorts has reminded that it had a “good faith” agreement with the BDA under the Crown Development Agreement (CDA). The casino operator also revealed that the legal proceedings filed against the NSW Government’s agency require the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to comply with its obligations under the aforementioned agreement. The obligations in question include consulting with Crown Resorts about any changes brought to the relevant Concept Plan for Central Barangaroo, which existed at the time when the CDA was inked.
BDA Violates the “Good Faith” Agreement, Says Crown Resorts
The construction of the Barangaroo casino of Crown Resorts is set to be finalised in the first half of 2021. The complex is to feature 350 hotel rooms, luxury apartments, dining areas, as well as VIP-only gaming floors.
As reported by 9Finance, a spokesperson for the New South Wales Government’s agency revealed that the BDA intends to defend its position in the NSW Supreme Court. The BDA spokesperson revealed for 9Finance that the Authority had been negotiating with Crown and Lendlease for more than two years now about the changes that were most likely to be brought to the sightlines of Central Barangaroo. The Authority claims that it had always acted in good faith and in line with the obligations under its contract with the casino operators.
In January 2018, the BDA revealed that a consortium comprised of Scentre Group, Grocon and Aqualand to deliver the Central Barangaroo project, which according to the Executive Chairman of Crown Resorts John Alexander was intended to be “low density, low rise”, but eventually turned to be planned taller than initially expected. As explained by Mr. Alexander, now the BDA wants to increase the gross floor area by about three times – a step to which Crown Resorts has not agreed.
Still, Crown Resorts shared its plans for the completion of the new casino in the first half of 2021 remain on track.
Lendlease has also filed a legal claim against the NSW Government’s agency, but a spokesman shared that they remained hopeful of reaching an agreement with the Authority through negotiations.