Echo makes surprise Sydney compromise offer


Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. unveiled some details from its final proposal for a A$1.1 billion ($1 billion) expansion of The Star casino in Sydney which New South Wales is to weigh against a rival A$1 billion plan for a Crown Sydney casino hotel. Echo’s plan would add two luxury hotels and include A$130 million for a pedestrian and bicycle bridge to link up tourist districts as well as money to upgrade the city’s light rail system. 

Echo proposed to include a A$250 million payment for the extension of its exclusive casino license for the city to 2034 from its current scheduled expiration in 2019. In a surprise move, Echo offered an alternate plan under which both Crown and The Star would proceed with their projects, but Crown would be strictly restricted to offering only tables games and only serving VIPs, but Echo would forego the A$250 million payment for the extension of its exclusive license. David Murray, the former banker leading the panel to review the proposals, however said he understood his mission was still to choose between Echo’s and Crown Ltd.’s plans as “mutually exclusive”.