14 Jun 2013

Developers beat casino deadline in Fiji

7:09 pm on 14 June 2013

The developer behind Fiji's first ever casino says construction of the multi-million dollar project on Denarau Island near Nadi has started.

The regime granted the casino licence to the American company One Hundred Sands Limited in December 2011 and construction was expected to start last year.

The Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, extended the construction deadline for a second time this week and warned the developers could lose their licence if they failed to meet it.

The chairperson Larry Claunch says while there have been unexpected road blocks it will be worth the wait.

He says in addition to the casino, a convention centre with seating for 1500 people will provide the largest space in Fiji for business conventions and trade shows, which will bring a whole new tourist market.

Mr Claunch says the addition of European, Singaporean, and New Zealand financial investment to the substantial sum from the United States has demonstrated the confidence the world's financial markets have in the direction and future of Fiji.

Under the original timeline the casino was due to open in October this year but Mr Claunch says that will now be mid to late next year.

Meanwhile, Fiji village online reports that penalty clauses in the casino licence between One Hundred Sands Limited and the government will kick in from the 1st of October this year if the casino is not completed.

One Hundred Sands Limited has to pay the government 100,000 US dollars per month from the 1st of October until the casino is completed.