Echo teams with Hong Kong parties to boost Brisbane casino bid

    Echo Entertainment said it has agreed to team up with rivals Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium International to bolster its chances of obtaining a casino license in downtown Brisbane.
    The new consortium will be known as Destination Brisbane Consortium and the parties will work together on a detailed proposal to develop the Queen’s Wharf project.
    The group will be competing against James Packer’s Crown Resorts and Chinese property company Greenland Holdings Group for the license.
    Echo, which already owns The Treasury Casino and Hotel in Brisbane, said the venture will bring together its expertise in Queensland and Australia, with the other partners’ experience in hospitality and mixed-use developments, as well as providing strong ties to the Chinese and Asian markets.
    The Australian company will contribute 50 percent of the capital and will be the long-term operator of the resort. The two other parties will put up 25 percent each and will be responsible for the residential and other components of the development.
    Chow Tai Fook operates the world’s largest retail jewellery chain with 2,000 points of sale across the Greater China area. Far East is a Hong Kong-listed property developer.
    “The Queensland market, including both the Brisbane and Gold Coast properties, is a priority for Echo Entertainment,” Chief Executive Matt Bekier said. “Echo is delighted to work with two significant Asia-based partners and the government to develop and submit a compelling proposal for the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane site, which will deliver a major investment in tourism infrastructure.”
    Queensland plans to grant one license for Brisbane and two licenses for other regions.
    Tony Fung’s Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort has been given the green light for an $8.15 billion project near Cairns, while the ASF Consortium will be be allowed to proceed to the next stage of development on a $7.5 billion Broadwater Marine Project.