Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd, an investor in a consortium developing a multibillion-dollar casino resort (pictured in a rendering) in Queensland, Australia, is confident that it will be able to attract Chinese high rollers to the property.
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises chief executive Patrick Tsang told Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald that the firm hopes to tap its existing customer base to help lure VIP gamblers to the casino resort.
A consortium led by Australia’s Echo Entertainment Group Ltd was chosen in July by the Queensland government to develop a casino resort in the Queen’s Wharf area of the state’s capital Brisbane. The consortium includes Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium International Ltd.
Construction of the Brisbane casino resort is expected to start in early 2017 and the estimated completion date is 2022.
Echo will provide 50 percent of the casino resort’s capital costs and act as the gaming operator. The other two partners will each contribute 25 percent of the casino resort’s capital costs, and split 50-50 the capital costs of the residential component.
Echo will receive a fee for operating the integrated resort, while the other two partners will receive fees for any VIP business that they directly refer to the casino, according to previous filings.
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises – a privately held firm founded by Cheng Yu Tung – is one of the leading conglomerates in Hong Kong, boasting a diversified business portfolio that includes property developer New World Development Co Ltd and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. Mr Cheng is also a long-standing investor in the parent company of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd.
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises’ property development arm has close to 4 million VIP members, while it counts about 1.7 million VIP customers from its jewellery business, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We are in touch with a very diverse group of consumers in China, a segment of which will be interested in gaming and I believe if we build an international resort of quality we will be able to attract them,” Mr Tsang told the newspaper.
He said China’s corruption crackdown had negatively impacted economic momentum, but added that his firm was sill “bullish on China”.
“Hopefully the crackdown will result in a better system for the longer term, which is better for the country. We’re heavily invested in China so we’re quite confident things will work out,” said Mr Tsang.
The Australian venture is not the only casino project that Chow Tai Fook Enterprises is pursuing overseas. The firm is involved in a bid to develop a casino resort in Vietnam’s Quang Nam province, in partnership with local company VinaCapital. Chow Tai Fook Enterprises has also shown interest to invest in a new South Korean casino resort at the Incheon Free Economic Zone, near the country’s capital Seoul.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia