Eyebrows have been raised regarding the involvement of the Chinese government in the construction of a new casino in Gold Coast.
A bid was submitted to the Queensland government to construct an integrated casino resort in Gold Coast. The plan is to build five high rise towers on a strip of land between Sea World and Palazzo Versace. However, critics are against the proposal made by ASF Group Ltd, due to the involvement of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) - owned by the Chinese government.
One of the issues that the public has with ASF's bid is that China remains staunchly opposed to all forms of gambling. In addition, critics say that the government seems to have forgotten that three Australian Crown Resorts employees are being detained in China over alleged "gambling" offences.
Potential ASF Involvement
Speaking about ASF's potential entry into Queensland's casino market, the director of the company, Louis Chen said: "That is not out of the realm of possibility. There is no rule out there that they can't participate."
The Queensland government is taking community feedback about ASF's proposal. One of the criticisms they are hearing often is the fact that the pitch for the $3 billion resort consists of just four pages and many important details have been omitted.
ASF does not, for example, mention the involved gambling operator, nor the number of gaming tables and poker machines that will be offered on the casino floor.
ASF and the Other Qld Casino
Recently, it was reported by The Australian that ASF may be mulling legal action against the Queensland government over its plans for a casino resort which were not approved in the end.
The current $3 billion resort was initially supposed to be built on Wave Break Island, but the new Labor government fulfilled its promise to the electors in 2015 to halt development on the island.
According to Gold Coast town planner, Ross Heatley, he was told by one of ASF's legal advisors that the Chinese company was considering a $1.2 billion action against the government because of the change of venue.
The government has refused to confirm or deny this report.