ASF working with Queensland on new casino bid

The ASF Consortium, whose plan to build a mega-casino on Wavebreak Island on Australia’s Gold Coast was suspended in April, is in talks with the local government with a view to presenting a new proposal to move the project forward.

ASF said it would meet with the Queensland Government “over the next few weeks” to present a new case in a release filed with the Australian Stock Exchange last week.

“Whilst the evaluation of the proposed project on Wave Break Island was suspended earlier this year, ASF Consortium and Government will work together over the next few weeks with a view to ASF Consortium presenting a new proposal for Government consideration as soon as practical,” it said.

The group, which includes Chinese investors, was intending to build a more than $7 billion integrated resort that would have included 2,885 rooms, seven hotels and a five-star eco hotel, more than 24 bars and restaurants and a cruise ship terminal.

The suspension of the project followed strong opposition from environmental groups, who were particularly concerned about the impact of major cruise ships on the delicate marine environment.

“It’s encouraging to see that the Government has maintained an open-door policy with our consortium, providing us with the opportunity for a number of meetings whilst upholding a positive attitude toward successful outcomes, including significant short and long-term employment opportunities for the region,” local project director Tim Poole said.

ASF and Tony Fung’s Aquis Group were the two bidders chosen to move forward for two regional casino resorts in Queensland as part of the state’s bid to boost tourism and the local economy.

A third license will go either to a group led by Echo Entertainment, or a rival consortium involving James Packer’s Crown Resorts to develop a site in downtown Brisbane.

Local media has reported that the suspension of the ASF project has reignited hopes of some other regional bidders who were knocked out the first time around. The talks with the government are focused on finding a new location, local media said.