Back in the late 1980s, President Donald Trump bid on a project to build the first casino in Sydney, Australia in partnership with a Queensland construction company, but the consortium was ultimately eliminated from the running due to concerns over Trump’s ties to the mafia.
The story was originally unearthed last year after the required 30 years passed in accordance with New South Wales laws governing the public release of cabinet papers.
News Corp revealed on [August 9, 2017] minutes of the New South Wales cabinet that show police had warned the state government against approving a 1986-87 bid by a Trump consortium to build and operate a casino in Darling Harbour.
Trump, in partnership with the Queensland construction company Kern, was one of four groups vying for the lucrative project. The NSW government dumped it from the process on 5 May 1987, along with two other bidders.
State Treasurer Ken Booth said at the time only that he had received reports on the bidders from the police board, the state’s Treasury, the Darling Harbour Authority, and an independent financial consultant.
Booth offered no details on the government’s concerns, saying the reports “contain confidential and commercially sensitive material”.
“I wish to inform honourable members that in light of these reports the government has decided to eliminate three tenderers from further consideration,” Booth told the state parliament. “These are the HKMS consortium, the Federal-Sabemo consortium and the Kern-Trump consortium.”
Once released last year, it became apparent why NSW officials dropped Trump from the bidding process:
The documents, obtained by News Corp, show the Kern/Trump group was one of three deemed “dangerous” by the police board. “Briefly stated, the Police Board considers that HKMS, Federal/Resorts/Sabemo, Kern/Trump, are unacceptable,” the summary of the police report said.
“Atlantic City would be a dubious model for Sydney and in our judgment, the Trump mafia connections should exclude the Kern/Trump consortium,” a summary of the police board’s report said.
Also revealed were doubts about the financial viability of the Trump/Kern proposal:
The report found that revenues for the casino were overstated. “The proposal is financially viable on the basis that the projected financial structure is reasonably based,” a summary said.
“However, projected casino revenue estimates are not soundly based and the quantum of the potential overstatement is so material that the tender is not financially viable. Also, the tender is not financially viable on the basis of expected returns to equity investors.”