Echo Chairman John O’Neill: We Offered To Sell Our Sydney Casino To James Packer

Echo Entertainment chairman John O’Neill has told the AFR James Packer promised he wouldn’t take the “Casino War” to Brisbane if his company “behaved itself” in Sydney during a meeting in July last year.

Getty/Brendon Thorne

He also said Packer had “privately denigrated” Queensland premier Campbell Newman, and that Echo considered breaking its Sydney Star Casino away from the company’s other assets and selling it to Crown.

The AFR also reports O’Neill has reservations about investment bank UBS acting as Crown’s corporate adviser, as it used to work for his company.

“They acted for us for five or six years both as Tabcorp and after the demerger as Echo,” O’Neill said. “It would have been better for the optics of it if they had not decided to act for Crown.”

These comments come after an independent panel awarded James Packer the rights to develop a new casino in Sydney over Echo’s competing proposal.

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