Crown Sydney will finally open the gambling floor at its new $2.2 billion casino in Barangaroo on 8 August.
This is more than a month after receiving conditional approval from the NSW regulator and is a date that is hoped to resonate with its key target market.
Crown Resorts – which was previously owned by James Packer and then taken over by US equity fund Blackstone for $8.9 billion last month – chose this date to cater to Chinese VIP high-rollers, according to The Australian.
The 8th of August – the eighth day of the eighth month – is considered one of the luckiest days of the year, as the double 8 is said to bring joy. Also, the Cantonese word for eight sounds like the word “prosper” in the same language.
The opening of the casino’s gambling floor comes a decade after Packer met with then NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell over lunch at Alan Jones’ apartment to discuss plans for a new casino.
Despite selling his 37 per cent stake in the company and taking home $3.3 billion, Packer has confirmed that he will move into his $60 million apartment in Barangaroo.
“I am coming back to Sydney, with Erica and my kids, all together, to stay at our family apartment at Crown Sydney for the first time next March. I can’t wait to see Crown Sydney, and to be in Sydney with my kids and with Eri,” Packer told The Australian last month.
Crown Sydney chief executive Simon McGrath said: “The opening of our gaming operations at Crown Sydney is a defining moment for Crown, and the culmination of months of hard work“.
“The entire team at Crown Sydney has been preparing for this moment for a long time and we felt the symbolism of the 08.08 date represented ideal timing to open our doors.
“We look forward to showcasing our exclusive and unique gaming experience to our VIP members and their guests from next month.
“We are committed to delivering a safe and responsible gaming environment for all, and Crown Sydney’s restricted gaming facility has been designed with the highest levels of governance and compliance.
“It is the only casino of its kind in Australia, with all patrons required to be a member or guest of a member and undergo comprehensive checks.”
The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) chairman, Philip Crawford, said Crown Sydney will be allowed to conduct casino operations but will be monitored by the regulator as part of the final phase of its suitability assessment.