Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group Ltd announced on Friday that it has been formally granted a casino licence for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane (pictured in a rendering), in Queensland’s state capital. Under the licence granted by the Queensland government, casino operations “are permitted to commence upon completion” of the project.
“The casino licence will be issued to a joint venture entity of which The Star Entertainment Group has a 50 percent interest,” the company said in a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange.
The Destination Brisbane Consortium includes Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd and Far East Consortium (Australia) Pty Ltd, a unit of Far East Consortium International Ltd. The capital expenditure – estimated at nearly AUD3-billion (US$2.1-billion) – will be split 50:50 between Star Entertainment and its two outside partners. The scheme includes hotels, a casino and a residential complex.
In Friday’s filing, Start Entertainment said that under the agreements with the state of Queensland, “the grant of the new casino licence triggers the obligation of Destination Brisbane Consortium to make a payment of AUD213 million to the Queensland Government”.
Star Entertainment said its share of the payment amounts to AUD77 million, which is expected to be paid by October 27.
Under the agreement announced in November 2015, the consortium’s casino licence should be for a term of 99 years, with an exclusivity clause barring any other casino within 60 kilometres (37.3 miles) of Brisbane’s central business district for a 25-year period from the start of gaming operations at the new casino resort. Until November last year, Star Entertaiment was known as Echo Entertainment Group Ltd.
The consortium’s proposal for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane includes an investment of about AUD2 billion in a casino resort with 1,100 hotel rooms. The residential portion of the project will feature approximately 2,000 apartments, with a capital development cost of AUD900 million, according to previously disclosed information.
Construction is anticipated to start in 2017 and to be completed by 2022.
Star Entertainment in August reported full-year net profit after tax up 14.9 percent on the prior-year period.
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