Australian casino operator Crown Resorts sues govt over Sydney's Harbour Bridge, Opera House views

A ship passes the Harbour Bridge during the Vivid Sydney festival, on May 25, 2018.
A ship passes the Harbour Bridge during the Vivid Sydney festival, on May 25, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Australian casino operator Crown Resorts said on Thursday (Aug 9) it had filed a lawsuit to stop the government approving developments that obstruct views from its new Sydney resort of the landmark Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Crown has been counting on a A$2.2 billion (S$2.23 billion) Sydney waterfront resort, now under construction, to appeal to rich Chinese gamblers after abandoning operations in the Asian gambling hub Macau and Las Vegas.

As part of an earnings announcement on Thursday, the company, 46 per cent owned by billionaire James Packer, said it had filed a lawsuit against the government's Barangaroo Delivery Authority seeking an order that it comply with its contract with Crown.

The contract obligations call for negotiations to "ensure that sight lines from the Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House are retained for the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort".

The Crown statement did not give details on any specific development application threatening to obstruct its views.

Packer, who quit the Crown board earlier this year citing mental illness, bought two residential floors of Crown's under-construction Sydney building for A$60 million, an apartment record for the city.

Representatives for Crown and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority were not immediately available for comment.