In the Bahamas, global property development firm Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited has reportedly completed a year-old deal with the Perfect Luck Assets Limited subsidiary of China Export-Import Bank and is now the official owner of the Baha Mar Casino and Hotel integrated casino resort near Nassau.
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According to a report from The Tribune newspaper, Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited has a presence in real estate, hospitality, transportation and casino businesses around the world and was already in charge of managing the 1,800-room Baha Mar Casino and Hotel, which soft-launched in late-April, via its Sky Warrior Bahamas Limited subsidiary.
The newspaper reported that Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited, which is controlled by the family of late Chinese billionaire Cheng Yu-Tung, inked the agreement to purchase the Baha Mar Casino and Hotel last December. It was subsequently due to complete this arrangement on November 22 but was soon forced to extend the deadline purportedly due to concerns that the previous owner had failed to meet a ‘substantial completion’ provision inserted into the original deal.
Initially a project of the BMD Holdings Limited concern of Swiss businessman Sarkis Izmirlian with funding provided by China Export-Import Bank, the Baha Mar Casino and Hotel had been scheduled to welcome its first guests in 2014 but ran into delays and difficulties that ultimately led to the project filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. Izmirlian is the son of Armenian peanut tycoon Dikran Izmirlian and later blamed the stoppage on China State Construction Engineering Corporation and its China Construction America Bahamas subsidiary before submitting an unsuccessful offer in October of 2016 that was intended to resurrect the New Providence Island development.
In order to protect the economy of the Bahamas and get the enormous project back on track, the same month saw the Progressive Liberal Party administration of former Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie liquidate the entire scheme before signing off on the Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited deal two months later.
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“With thousands of Bahamians already employed and scores of contractors engaged, this means thousands more jobs for Bahamians, contractors and service providers,” Bradley Roberts, former Chairman for the Progressive Liberal Party, reportedly told The Tribune on Tuesday. “In Chow Tai Fook Enterprises [Limited] of Hong Kong, Baha Mar [Casino and Hotel] is now owned by a world-renowned developer of highly successful luxury hotels and an owner with the financial capacity to market, develop and grow this magnificent property called the Riviera of the Caribbean into the envy of the world.”
In related news, yesterday saw British bookmaking giant William Hill declare that it had opened a state-of-the-art sportsbook inside the Baha Mar Casino and Hotel offering punters the ability to enjoy in-play wagering on a wide range of sports including basketball, soccer, football, baseball and ice hockey.
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Joe Asher, Chief Executive Officer for William Hill’s William Hill US subsidiary, stated that he was ‘proud’ to partner with the Bahamian development in order to bring his firm’s brand and its sportsbetting product to a ‘spectacular location’.
“Baha Mar Casino and Hotel guests will enjoy all of the excitement and energy that comes from having a world-class sportsbook located in the Bahamas,” read a statement from Asher.