» New Chairman for Echo Entertainment
New Chairman for Echo Entertainment
Tuesday 24 July, 2012 15:52
Echo Entertainment, the Australian casino operator, which runs the Star
Casino in Sydney, among other establishments, has appointed a new chairman.
The Chief Executive of the Australian Rugby Union, John O'Neill is now the
chairman of Echo Entertainment, taking over from John Story who left in June.
Story departed as chairman after a successful campaign to remove him was
headed by James Packer, head of the Rival gambling group, Crown.
Needless to say, Packer approves the appointment of O'Neill. He has made no
secret of his desire to increase his influence on Echo Entertainment, of which
Crown has a 10% stake, and approving the new appointment is just one more step
in that direction.
Crown operates the Melbourne based Crown Casino and the Burswood Casino in
Perth, while Echo runs the Star in Sydney, the Jupiters casinos on Australia's
Gold Coast and Townsville, as well as Brisbane's The Treasury Casino.
Packer After Sydney Casino License
The billionaire James Packer's motive to see the appointment of a chairman of
which he approves, stems from his desire to get his hands on the exclusive
Sydney casino licenses held by Echo Entertainment and construct a second casino
in Sydney. His ultimate aim is to attract Asian
Echo Entertainment owns exclusive rights to build and operate casinos in
Sydney until 2018.
Story Did Not Contest Campaign
The campaign to have Story removed as Chairman of Echo Entertainment
culminated in a statement by Echo on June 8th where it was noted: "The board of
Echo has formed the view that the ongoing disruptive campaign for the removal of
Mr. Story was damaging to the company, and that it was in the best interests of
shareholders that Mr. Story did not contest the resolution."
Despite Story's desire to see the issue put to the group's shareholders, he
accepted the view of the board, according to Echo.
O'Neill was first appointed as acting chairman of Echo, and his appointment
was officially finalized today.
Packer dropped his efforts to schedule a meeting of Echo shareholders, where
he said he wanted to get former Victorian premier, Jeff Kennett onto Echo's
Shareholders were scheduled to meet this month to request Story's removal and
the appointment of Kennett, however with the official appointment of O'Neill as
the new Echo Entertainment chairman, this meeting will now not be held,
it was announced.