Bahamas and CTFE reach agreement on Baha Mar

Local government and Baha Mar casino resort’s new owner CTFE have closed the sale of th US$4.2 billion entertainment center.

Bahamas.- The Bahamian government has sealed the deal with Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) on the sale of the US$4.2 billion Baha Mar casino resort on Nasau. After it’s ceremonial opening on April 21, last week, both parts formalised the purchase arrangement that wasn’t final until now.

The agreement makes CTFE pay a fee of US$100 thousand per 1,000 square feet of casino floor space anually and a tax of, minimun, US$4.3 million on the first US$20 million of anual gaming revenue and an aditional 10 percent of gaming revenue above US$20 million. However, the company won’t be responsible for the US$10.75 in deferred casino taxes that Baha Mar Ltd, the previous developer, left after its liquidation.

The Honkonger enterprise has been assured by the government that there won’t be any casino licenses issued on either New Providence or Paradise Island in the next 20 years. CTFE will also face the same casino fees and taxes than those that existing venues on said regions pay regularly.

The company will be excempt from value-added tax through December 31, 2019 and will have a 10 year exemption from real property tax succeeding each opening date of every constriction phase. CTFE will be conceeded 300 work permits from foreign employees in senior management positions or workers with unique technical expertise. However, after 18 months, that amount will be reduced to 200. In addition, the government demands them to hire and retain 5,500 workers once the property is fully operational.

CTFE was named purchaser of the development after Baha Mar Ltd, its original developer, declared bankruptcy and had to sell the soon to be casino resort. However, the buyer claimed that the deal wouldn’t be definitive until the main contractor finished construction work, a demand that raised some uncertainty around the sale. Any doubt on the purchase has now been dismissed, following the Heads of Agreement reached by CTFE and the Bahamian Government.

Baha Mar casino resort is expected to accept paying guest from May 29, despite having its ceremonial opening last April 21. Until now, there’s one out of three hotels ready to operate, as well as a convention center, the golf course and the casino.

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