But the biggest news in the battle for Brisbane could be the entry of Greenland Holdings into the contest. Greenland – a Chinese company that develops casinos and resorts around the world – is a true giant of the industry, claiming global revenues of about $55 billion last year. That dwarfs their Australian competitors, as Crown brought in about $2.8 billion, and Echo took in $1.9 billion in 2013.
Greenland has already entered the ring, applying to the Queensland government to submit a tender. While plans for the proposal are still in the early stages, it is said to include a six-star hotel, a casino, apartments, public areas, and both retail and commercial spaces. The final cost of the development could be $3-5 billion: far beyond what the major Australian firms have proposed spending.
Greenland Australia – the local subsidiary for Greenland Holdings Group – has reportedly been in talks with the Queensland government about the process. It’s possible that Greenland would be open to either completing the project alone, or partnering with others as part of a joint venture – something Echo Entertainment has also been said to be considering.
Meanwhile, Greenland says they will also consider bidding on Stage Two of the $6 billion Sydney Harbour Barangaroo urban overhaul effort, which would make their presence in the Australian gaming market skyrocket by as much as 50 percent.
While the Greenland news is certainly a major development in the race to win the contract, few involved in the process are willing to talk about it. Queensland government officials have said that they cannot identify who has – or hasn’t – confirmed their interest, and none of the potential companies are talking publicly about their applications.
Other foreign parties that it is speculated may have interest in the project include Lend Lease, Genting, Leighton Properties, Mirvac and Frasers Property. The eventual winner will have the challenge of preserving local heritage buildings, while also developing a plan to turn the area into a global gaming and resort destination for a multicultural audience.