Proposed Samoa casino in limbo after Chinese company faces corruption accusations
The Chengdu Exhibition and Tourism Group’s plans to build the first international casino in Samoa is now up in the air after Chinese media reports said that the company’s chairman, Deng Hong, and his chief executive, are being investigated by authorities over accusations of corruption stemming from previous land deals.
The Chinese consortium, which has been involved in major hotel and development projects across China, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Samoan Government last year to build, develop, and operate the country’s first casino. But apparently, Hong’s in a wee bit of trouble himself as Communist Party anti-corruption officials have kept him in custody since March, delaying visits to Samoa and leaving little updates to the Samoan government regarding the issue.
At the time the deal was announced, Samoa’s casino project advisor Robbie Kearney seemed excited about the partnership with the Chengdu Exhibition and Tourism Group. “They’ve been extremely good to deal with as they do it in a business-like manner and they are very prompt and efficient,” he told One News back in March. “We are very happy with them as an operator.”
The company’s plans for the casino would have also included a 500-room resort, a golf course, and numerous dining and retail options. More importantly, the development would have also helped in decreasing Samoa’s unemployment rates while also kick-starting the island’s tourism industry.
“It would be the first big resort for Samoa and could be the take off point for the development of our tourism industry,” said Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.
THE NEW COMMENTS PROCESS
To make comments, you will need to register. You can register under your real name or use a 'screen' name. This way, people will be able to follow comments and make comments back and forth to each other. If you choose to use a 'screen name' no one will know your true identity. In either case, no email addresses will be available to anyone. It is an automated process. If you have questions, email: email@example.com
You currently are not logged in, please LOGIN to post comments.