Caesars to partner with ASF Consortium in Gold Coast IR development?

By Robert Simmons
Sino-Australian investment firm ASF Consortium has claimed that it has been in talks with global casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp over a proposed A$3bn Integrated Resort (IR) development on Australia’s Gold Coast.

ASF Director Louis Chien told local media that Caesars was one of a number of casino resort operators that they have been in talks with over a joint hotel development deal, which would see the creation of a massive hotel and casino complex on a coastal peninsular.

However, Caesars have not confirmed whether talks have taken place over the development.

In 2013, the Queensland state government legislated for the creation of the Gold Coast Integrated Resort as a way of boosting the local tourism industry and generating much needed revenue. After inviting construction firms to tender for the project, state officials selected ASF Consortium as its preferred bidder.

Sadly, the project has largely stalled since then with officials from ASF recently forced to admit that they had lost over $92m of the $102m that was initially raised from investors, while also having to deny repeated allegations that the firm is merely a front for the Chinese government.

In March 2017, the consortium said it was still searching for a “tier one” casino operator and “at least one other cornerstone entity” to be its construction partner, despite a July deadline for a more detailed project plan submission to the Queensland State Government.

Australian casino developer Crown Resorts moved quickly in April to deny claims by The Australian newspaper that it had signed a development agreement with the investment firm.

April also marked the closure of a consultation process between authorities, state residents and businesses over the proposed resort project. ASF are currently awaiting the results of this consultation in order to move forward with the Gold Coast development.
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