SYDNEY, July 4 (Reuters) - Australia’s Crown Ltd won conditional government approval on Thursday for a VIP gaming room at its luxury hotel development in Sydney, dealing a blow to rival casino operator Echo Entertainment Group.
The New South Wales state government said the proposal would now proceed to final stage talks with additional conditions, including an upfront A$100 million ($90.69 million) licence fee and guaranteed payments to the government of more than A$1 billion over the first 15 years of full operation.
Crown and Echo lodged rival plans last month to develop casino and tourism facilities in Sydney, as the two compete keenly for the lucrative Asian gaming market.
Crown’s VIP facility is part of its so-called Barangaroo A$1 billion six-star hotel and residential waterfront development.
$1 = 1.1027 Australian dollars Reporting by Jane Wardell; Editing by Jeremy Laurence