Cancelling a $5 billion project to build a 5 000 room casino resort on the Vegas Strip will result in the write-off of A$44 million already spent on the project by an Australian joint venture, a spokesman revealed this week.
 
Australian gambling group Crown Ltd. held a 37.5 percent stake in the LVTI joint venture with Texas developer Christopher Milam and private-equity firm York Capital Management LLC. The decision to abandon the project was clearly taken earlier this year, when the 11-hectare site chosen for the project was put up for sale in March amid pressure from the global credit squeeze.
 
The partners in the venture had intended to include in the resort plans the highest tower structure in Las Vegas at

Bodog Casino

324 metres.
 
Australian billionaire James Packer, who controls the Crown group said in February that its Las Vegas partnership was undertaking a "strategic review" of the project.
 
His CEO, Rowen Craigie, said: "The recent upheavals in world credit markets has made it increasingly difficult for Crown and its partners to develop a commercially viable project on what remains an attractive location on the Las Vegas strip. Accordingly, we took the decision to stop making further payments to the vendors of the site and concentrate our focus on other areas of our business."
 
The joint venture had not yet taken full ownership of the land for the project, but had paid an option for it which expires on June 30 2008.