Daniel Williams

Star Entertainment in Legal Dispute with Contract Builder over Wharf Brisbane Casino

It seems like the Star’s Wharf Brisbane Casino project will be further delayed over a dispute between the development company and the casino’s main contractor.

Star Entertainment Group is the holder of a 50% stake in the Destination Brisbane Consortium, with the remaining shares being held by Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium, each of which holds a 25% stake. On Monday, the biggest shareholder, Star Entertainment, announced that contract builder Multiplex Constructions Qld Ltd. has issued an originating process in the Supreme Court of Queensland against the casino project’s owner. Typically, an originating process deals with issues of counterclaim.

As recently covered by CasinoGuardian, a few months back, Star Entertainment announced that it will postpone the launch of its Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Casino, with the new date of the launch being April 2024 instead of December 2023.

Due to the announced delay, there had been ongoing discussions between Destination Brisbane Consortium and Multiplex regarding the builder’s complaints about additional costs due to extended times and damages. Meanwhile, the consortium claims that Multiplex must pay for damages, which were caused by the constructor’s inability to meet construction milestone deadlines as they were specified under its contract.

There had been ongoing issues between the two parties involved in this argument, with The Star revealing last year that the consortium was constantly in negotiations with Multiplex over the aforementioned claims.

Both The Star and the Destination Brisbane Consortium with Claims against Multiplex

On Monday, The Star announced that it was informed about Multiplex’s new court action, which was seeking different Court declarations that were concerning issued like the “extensions of time, relevant milestone dates, liquidated damages, variations and certain other matters, including potential sums payable, in connection with the contract”.

On Monday, in its statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), The Star commented that it is yet to submit its defence to the contractor’s claims. However, it became clear that the Destination Brisbane Consortium also had claims against Multiplex and it would defend the proceedings.

In its annual report for the fiscal year 2022, The Star announced that costs for Queen’s Wharf casino have increased by AU$260 million. The entity postponed the release of the report for the financial results for the year ending 30 June 2023. Instead, it released the results with a five-day delay, as it took some time to include the impairments, which were the result of the latest surge in NSW casino duty rates.

Despite the delayed release of the financial report, the sentiment for The Star’s fiscal year 2023 remained the same. The company is projected to record underlying EBITDA of about AU$280 million to AU$310 million, which also includes the losses due to fines and costs related to constant regulatory reviews.

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.

Daniel Williams

Author: Jerry Lewis