Wednesday 26. October, 2016

Star Comes Out Ahead in Latest Battle with Crown

Gambling company, Star Entertainment, has led an international joint venture to purchase the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast, coming out ahead in the latest installment of the casino war against James Packer’s Crown Resorts.

Star Entertainment has joined together with Hong Kong-based developer, Far East Consortium and retailer Chow Tai Fook, to pay up to A$160 million for the beachfront property. This deal is a close repeat of the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf joint venture in Brisbane that has allowed Star to continue to dominate the industry in southeast Queensland.

The joint venture is planning to develop this property in a way that will complement the Brisbane development, as well as their A$670 million upgrade to Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the nearby Broadbeach Island.

While the development would not include a casino or other gaming rooms as no application for a regional casino license from the Queensland government has been made, Star Entertainment sees this as a vital element of their plans to boost the number of international visitors who will gamble at their other facilities.

The Weekend Australian has revealed that a company, Destination Gold Coast Investments, has been set up in order to drive the project. Its directors will include Star chief executive Matt Bekier, company secretary Paul Martin and chair John O’Neill, Far East Australia executive director Craig Williams and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises chief executive Patrick Tsang.

Despite no gambling facilities on the premises, this purchase may upset plans by Crown Resorts for the Gold Coast. They were in negotiations with Chinese-backed ASF to operate a possible second casino on the Gold Coast which may be situated across the road from the Sheraton Mirage. Star’s consortium has bought the property from the Australia Wattle Development.

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