Authorities in the Australian state of Queensland on Thursday removed the final regulatory obstacles to casino investor Genting Hong Kong Ltd increasing its votable stake in Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group Ltd.
The state minister responsible for the state’s Casino Control Act, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, the Department of Justice and the Attorney-General of Queensland, have all given the nod for Genting Hong Kong to raise its stake to more than 10 percent but not more than 24.99 percent, the firm announced.
Star Entertainment operates Treasury Casino and Hotel in the state capital Brisbane, and Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast.
On November 16, Star Entertainment announced that a consortium it leads had signed development agreements with the Queensland government for a AUD3-billion (US$2.1-billion) casino project in Brisbane.
On September 3, the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority in neighbouring New South Wales gave its permission for Genting Hong Kong to raise its stake in the firm to as much as 23 percent. Star Entertainment, known until November 16 as Echo Entertainment Group Ltd, operates The Star casino resort (pictured) in Sydney, New South Wales.
According to the then Echo Entertainment’s 2015 annual report, published in August, Genting Hong Kong’s stake in the firm as of August 25 was 6.6 percent. The stake was registered as of June 14, 2013.
Genting Hong Kong had applied in June 2012 for approval to acquire more than 10 percent of the voting power in Echo Entertainment.
“Further announcement will be made by the company to its shareholders and other investors in relation to the group’s investment in Star Entertainment as and when appropriate,” said Genting Hong Kong in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Genting Hong Kong is an operator of casino cruise ships under its own Star Cruises brand, and a joint venture casino operator in the Philippines. In July the firm announced it was selling an indirectly held equity interest relating to a casino business on Jeju Island, in South Korea, and terminating a shareholder agreement related to it.
Star Entertainment will rebrand its properties with the ‘Star’ name from next year. When the new integrated resort development in Brisbane is completed it will be known as The Star, Brisbane, the firm said last month. It is currently scheduled to open in 2022.
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