Crown Ltd’s James Packer appears to have garnered the support of non-denominational Christian support group Mission Australia as he strives to obtain a casino license for the Sydney area.
Mission Australia has agreed to a partnership for the proposed Barangaroo casino project so that the group can provide around the clock counselling for those experiencing difficulties controlling their gambling habits.
Leader of the Christian Democratic Party, Reverend Fred Nile, met with Packer in 2012 at the New South Wales parliament and announced that support for the project hinged on the agreement that harm-reduction measures would be put into place.
Support from the Christian Democratic Party could actually be crucial for the proposed casino project to progress as the Green Party has expressed their opposition to the idea, and the Labor Party is threatening to withdraw its support unless Barry O’Farrell, New South Wales Premier, agrees to the release of a report commissioned by the government on the economic benefits of the casino for the state.
However, O’Farrell stated that as the Deloitte report is a cabinet document, it is therefore not subject to freedom of information regulations, something which would hinder the parliamentary support of the Labor Party, according to party spokesman Luke Foley.
O’Farrell recently stated, however, that he will release the Deloitte report once his cabinet has made its final decision regarding the Crown project, which won’t be until a verdict on the Crown casino’s economic benefits are submitted by a panel headed by former banker and guest at Packer’s wedding, David Murray.
What About the Public?
A recent poll revealed that the public at large is dubious about the proposed casino project, with just 38 percent of the 1,000 people asked actually in favor of the project. Much of this opposition reportedly comes from the perception that O’Farrell’s administration has been too lenient on Packer’s firm, allowing beneficial tax rates and exclusive access to licensing possibilities.