ASF eyes Crown to operate A$2 billion casino

Australia-listed Crown Resorts is reportedly in secret negotiations with a Chinese-backed consortium to build and operate a A$2 billion (US$1.5 billion) waterfront casino on the Gold Coast, The Australian reports.

The ASF consortium, consisting of two Chinese stated-owned partners is reportedly negotiating with Crown to operate the casino, which will be located on the Gold Coast Broadwater, next to Sea World and luxury hotel Palazzo Versace.

ASF had sought expressions of interest to operate the proposed casino after concerns from the Queensland government of heavy ­Chinese involvement in the bid.

ASF and Crown ­declined to comment, according to The Australian, but it is understood that Crown is the preferred choice.

The proposed casino would compete with Jupiters Hotel and Casino, owned by Star Entertainment, which in February announced plans to build a second tower at its Gold Coast Jupiters Casino site, in addition to its A$345 million refurbishment of the existing hotel and the 17-story luxury tower currently under construction.

ASF is expected to submit a master plan later this year that will include a luxury hotel, residential apartments, casino and convention facilities.