Rival consortiums bid for Brisbane casino

By Emma Rumney
Operator Crown Resorts is to join forces with a subsidiary of Chinese property developer Greenland Holding Group to bid for a casino resort in Queens Wharf, Brisbane.

Operators Crown and Echo Entertainment have been fighting over the rights to operate the casino since last year.

Echo Entertainment has also formed partnerships with two Chinese companies, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium. The trio intends to submit a joint proposal.

The three Chinese firms had originally submitted their own bids, but have now decided to pick sides with either one of Australia’s largest operators.

It is expected that if successful, Crown would manage the casino and integrated resort while Greenland would become the exclusive developer and owner of the remaining commercial, retail and residential areas.

However Asia Gambling Brief reports that analysts at Deutsche Bank are doubtful about Crown’s ability to convince investors after bringing the Chinese developer into the project, and that Echo was better positioned to win the tender as it already has a casino licence in the city.

Deutsche Bank is reported to have written in a note: “We struggle to see how Crown would be able to generate a return above its cost of capital in this relatively thin and saturated casino gambling market. We believe Echo remains better positioned to win the licence given its existing Brisbane licence.”

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