The Queensland state government has given Australian casino operator to Star Entertainment Group Ltd. (Star Ent) the green light to commence with its Queen’s Wharf Brisbane casino.
In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange on Friday, Star Ent announced that it has secured a license for its casino, which stated that its operations “are permitted to commence upon completion” of the project.
Destination Brisbane Consortium (DBC) – which comprises of Star Entertainment, Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd and Far East Consortium (Australia) Pty Ltd, a unit of Far East Consortium International Ltd – is required to make a payment of AU$213 million (US$161.83 million) to the Queensland Government upon the satisfaction of certain conditions.
Star Entertainment said its share of the payment amounts to AUD77 million, which is expected to be paid by October 27.
“The casino license will be issued to a joint venture entity of which The Star Entertainment Group has a 50 percent interest,” the company said.
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.
Last year, the Star Entertainment Group—formerly known as Echo Entertainment—beat rival James Packer’s Crown Resorts’ bid to build a new casino in the Queens Wharf site.
In November 2015, it was agreed upon that DBC’s casino license should be for a term of 99 years, with an exclusivity clause barring any other casino within 60 kilometers (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.
The Brisbane development, which is still subject to planning approvals, will feature a 1,100-room premium hotel and a casino, among other facilities. Meanwhile, the residential portion of the project will feature approximately 2,000 apartments, estimated to be worth AU$900 million (US$683.67 million).
Construction is anticipated to start in 2017 and to be completed by 2022.