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Predetermined Outcome

Former Baha Mar Resort property director says gaming licence granted to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises was predetermined and lacked due diligence

The former director of integrated resort Baha Mar Resort believes that the Bahamas Gaming Board awarded a gaming licence to the new operator of the resort (a subsidiary of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises [CTFE]) without performing ‘in-depth background research’ on the Hong Kong group, Bahamas newspaper Tribune 242 reported.
According to statements made by the former director, Dionisio D’Aguilar to the newspaper, the gaming licence outcome was already ‘pre-determined’ since CTFE had already ‘hired staff and imported millions of dollars in gaming machines’ to the island prior to the decision.
Last week, the Bahamas authorities approved a gaming licence for Sky Warrior Bahamas Ltd. – a CTFE subsidiary in the territory – to operate the casino-resort complex. The resort is expected to hold its soft opening on April 21.
According to the report, the gaming licence was approved only four days after a public hearing on the application was held. Mr. D’Aguilar commented that any necessary bureaucracy is already set to be approved by CTFE and the Bahamas Government before the proposed opening date.
Prior to the US$3.5 billion (MOP28 billion) purchase agreement for Baha Mar Resort, signed by CTFE, the former Director and Board Member of the resort operator considered that ties between the family of the late founder of the group, Hong Kong billionaire Cheng Yu Tung, and Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM), would make the group an ‘unsuitable’ investor in the Bahamas project.
These statements were based on alleged ties between local gaming mogul Stanley Ho’s companies and Chinese criminal gangs detailed in a U.S. report, a statement quickly discredited by CTFE.