ASF Consortium Yet to Secure Backing for A$3-Billion Gold Coast Casino Resort

ASFConsortium,thegroupbehindtheproposedA$3-billioncasinoresortinAustralia’sGoldCoast,maynotbeabletocarryouttheambitiousproject,ifitfailstosecureadditionalfinancialbacking。

AccordingtotheChinese-backedconsortium’shalf-yearlyaccounts,ithadlostA$92millionoftheA$102millionithadraisedfromvariousinvestors。

Andquestionsoverthegroup’sfinancialviabilitywereraisedafterithadbecomeclearthatithadburnedthroughalmostA$6millionduringthesecondhalfof2016,whichhadleftitwithA$5。

1millionincash。

InaresponsetothegrowingconcernsoverthefutureoftheexpensiveGoldCoastcasinoresort,LouisChien,DirectoratparentcompanyASFGroup,saidthattheconsortiumhasthefinancialabilitytocompletewhatwouldbethebiggestdevelopmentprojectinthecityandtheregion。

In2015,ASFConsortiumproposedtodevelopaA$7-billioncasinoresortandacruiseshipterminalontheWavebreakIsland。

However,theprojectmetstrongoppositionfromenvironmentalgroupsandotherinfluentialparties。

TheinvestorgroupwasthenconsideredapotentialcandidatefortheconstructionoftheGoldCoastresort。

ASFConsortiumisyettosubmititsfullplan,includingdetailsaboutitsfinancialbacking,totheQueenslandgovernment。

Ithasamid-2017deadlinetopresentsaidplan。

Whatismore,apublicconsultationprocessshouldfirstbecompletedbeforethegroupisgrantedthenecessarylicensetooperateacasinoatitsA$3-billionfive-towercomplex。

AfternewsaboutASFConsortium’scashlossspread,commentsemergedthatthegovernmentmayhavefailedtoconductduediligenceinrelationtothegroup’sfinancialbackingandpotentialtocompletetheproject。

ItbecameclearonTuesdaythattheQueenslandDepartmentofStateDevelopmenthadcarriedoutapreliminaryprobe,butisyettolookintothematteringreaterdepth。

Accordingtolocalmedia,afinaldecisioncouldbeexpectedearlynextyear。

AlthoughASFConsortiumhasrepeatedlyconfirmeditsintentiontobuildtheGoldCoastresort,ithasjustasrepeatedlyrefusedtorevealwhoexactlywouldprovidethenecessaryfunds。

ThegrouphassaidthatithassecuredsupportfromaChinesegovernment-runconstructiongroup,atop-tiercasinooperator,andatleastonemorekeyinvestor。

IthadformerlybeensuggestedthatCrownResortshadexpressedinterestinoperatingthegamblingvenuetobepartoftheresort,butitseemsthattheAustraliancasinooperatorhaswalkedoutofdiscussions。