Star Entertainment Closer to $2.6B Queen's Wharf Inauguration

Star Entertainment, the Australian casino giant, is inching closer to the grand opening of its Queen's Wharf Brisbane project, a mega-casino complex expected to redefine Brisbane's entertainment landscape. The company announced a revised opening date of August 29, marking a two-year delay from its initial target.

The Queen's Wharf project in Brisbane, Australia. (Source: The Australian)

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The Queen's Wharf project, a joint venture with Hong Kong jewelry giant Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and real estate developer Far East Consortium, will open in stages. The first will unveil the core facilities, including the main gaming floor, the Star Grand Hotel, a state-of-the-art event center and the Sky Deck viewing platform. It will also feature a curated selection of bars and restaurants, as well as a convenient pedestrian bridge for seamless access.

Related: Star Delays Opening of Queen's Wharf Brisbane

The initial offerings will provide a taste of the ultimate experience envisioned for Queen's Wharf, with additional features and amenities rolling out in subsequent phases. This phased approach signifies Star's intention to create a vibrant and dynamic entertainment hub that caters to a diverse clientele.

Star Entertainment has also announced the upcoming closure of Treasury Brisbane, one of its three casinos in the area, in anticipation of the Queen's Wharf launch. This was part of the original agreement Star made to open what it hopes will become its landmark property in Queen's Wharf.

The Queen's Wharf project is a significant undertaking, valued at $2.6 billion. The project structure itself is a complex joint venture, with Star Entertainment holding a 50% stake, while Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium each own 25%.

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Both Chow Tai Fook and Far East have established interests in the gaming industry elsewhere, although their participation also almost derailed the project. Chow Tai Fook Enterprises faced scrutiny from Queensland's Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) regarding alleged links to casino junket operators, particularly Suncity Group and its founder and former CEO, Alvin Chau.

Chau is currently serving time in a Macau prison. However, the OLGR investigation ultimately cleared Chow Tai Fook. It determined that there wasn't enough evidence of wrongdoing to legally reject its participation in the project.

Star Entertainment itself has grappled with regulatory hurdles in recent years. The company narrowly avoided losing its casino licenses in New South Wales due to concerns about its anti-money laundering practices.

However, through stringent internal reforms and cooperation with regulatory bodies, Star has managed to retain its license. The upcoming inauguration of the Queen's Wharf development represents a major achievement for the company and its partners. However, Star is still under constant review to ensure it continues to comply with regulations.


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