By JYOTI PRATIBHA and RACHNA LAL
Government says if the construction of our first casino does not start by May this year, there will be consequences for the license-holders – One Hundred Sands Limited.
The Attorney-General and Minister for Tourism, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, made these comments as he confirmed the American company has been given until May to start the casino construction.
“But if this deadline of starting construction in May is not adhered to, there would be consequences,” he said.
“There has been an extension of time given to the casino license holders and they need to commence construction by a particular date in May.
“If they do not, there are obviously consequences in terms of license itself. We anticipate them to commence construction on the casino proper and the convention centre and hotel by May.”
Attempts to contact chairman
Meanwhile, the Fiji Sun has been trying for the last couple of months to get confirmation from the chairman of One Hundred Sands, Larry Claunch, on their plans for starting the construction.
However, we were last advised that Mr Claunch would issue a statement on this in due course.
The exclusive casino license
Government had announced in December 2011 its decision to grant Fiji’s first-ever exclusive casino license to One Hundred Sands.
One Hundred Sands was to build a five-star luxury casino resort on Denarau Island, in partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe from the US.
Whilst the groundbreaking ceremony for this US$290 million project was held in April last year, works at the Denarau Island site has not started as per the original schedule.
The opening of the 100 Sands Casino and Convention Centre was earmarked for October this year. However with the delays in construction, this may need to be revised.
The resort would also have a 1600 seat state-of-the-art convention centre.