Star Announces August 29 Opening Date for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane

Star Entertainment’s multibillion-dollar Star Brisbane development (l.), part of the Queen’s Wharf complex, will open August 29 and continue with a “steady stream” of rollouts through the end of the year.

Star Announces August 29 Opening Date for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane

Australian operator Star Entertainment announced June 30 that it will open the first phase of its AU$3.6 billion (US$2.4 billion) Queen’s Wharf Brisbane mixed-use development on Thursday, Aug. 29.

The project, to be known as The Star Brisbane, is a joint venture between Star and two Hong Kong-based based partners, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium.

Star owns 50 percent of the venture and the other two control 25 percent each.

The first opening phase will see a “steady stream” of openings from August into September and through the rest of the year. This includes the main casino floor, the 340-room Star Grand Hotel, an event center, the LiveWire bar and more.

“Fittingly, public spaces will be among the first areas to be opened and that includes the viewing platform on Sky Deck, Miller Park, and of course the Neville Bonner Bridge linking Queen’s Wharf to South Bank,” Star Brisbane CEO Daniel Finch said in a statement.

No exact dates for openings were released other than the initial launch date. According to the “FAQ” section of the Star Brisbane site, hotel bookings are not yet available.

The second phase, the company said, will include the Dorsett and Rosewood hotel towers, more dining and retail offerings and what are referred to as “Heritage buildings.” No timeline was given for this phase.

As the company gets ready to launch Star Brisbane, its existing Treasury Brisbane casino will close. The casino building and its hotel are currently for sale.

A spokeswoman for Star told the Brisbane Times that “Treasury Brisbane will close at a time before The Star Brisbane opens, with that date yet to be announced.”

The opening of the new development is a much-needed victory for Star, as it comes nearly two years after it was originally slated to be ready. This was due to a host of reasons, including pandemic-related construction delays and the company’s spate of regulatory troubles over the last three-plus years.

One interesting storyline leading up to the opening came in early May, when Victorian regulators said that Chow Tai Fook was in fact suitable for licensure.

The investigation was opened after allegations surfaced that the company had ties to illicit junket groups, including the now-defunct Suncity Group and its former CEO Alvin Chau, who is currently serving 18 years in prison in Macau for illegal gambling charges. Regulators said that those allegations were unsubstantiated.

Also forthcoming for Star is the ruling from the Bell Two inquiry regarding the company’s suitability to retain its Star Sydney casino license, set to be handed down before month’s end. The company could retain the license if the term of the state-appointed manager is extended, or it could be terminated.

In announcing the Star Brisbane opening, Finch, who was appointed in January 2023, acknowledged that it will take a lot of work to overcome these hurdles.

“We are subject to regulatory and government approvals and as such our remediation is crucial and will ensure we deliver the best possible outcomes,” he said. “We have a responsibility to our community, our guests and our team members to be better and provide the safest environment possible across the entire business.”

To help with its chances of salvation, Star appointed respected industry veteran Steve McCann as its new CEO and managing director June 26. McCann was CEO of Star’s competitor Crown Resorts when the latter was acquired by Blackstone Group in June 2022.