Emperor Entertainment Hotel has identified a property in Vladivostok with the potential to become one of Russia's top hotel-casinos. Managing director Vanessa Fan Man-seung said the property, currently operating as a hotel, would be offered for public auction next month, 'and we will definitely submit a bid'. The company is looking to expand beyond the highly competitive Macau market. 'It is our plan to convert the premises into a top tier hotel-casino, bringing in international standard gaming facilities,' said Ms Fan. Located on the border between Russia and northeast China, she said the project would cater to the growing number of affluent mainlanders in the area. She estimated the project's renovation costs at between $50 million and $100 million. Most of Vladivostok's hotel-casinos are small-scale operations. 'We see this as a good chance to tap into the emerging casino industry,' Ms Fan said, adding that with foreigners being eligible for gaming licences in Russia, the city was attracting overseas investors. Without disclosing profit projections, she said Emperor normally looked at projects with investment returns of at least 20 per cent. The company has a 45 per cent stake in the Emperor Casino Hotel in Macau, due to open in September, and earlier this year, acquired the Golden Princess, a 38-year-old casino ship that is expected to contribute an annual profit of at least $30 million. 'It is our cash generator. The vessel's business for the past three months has been better than the average performance for the same period last year,' she said. Ms Fan ruled out the possibility of acquiring a casino in North Korea from Albert Yeung Sau-shing, chairman of the company's parent, Emperor Group. Apart from gaming business, she said construction of the company's hotel, serviced apartment and commercial project in Shanghai, Emperor Star City, would resume this month. In 1994, the company, then called Emperor (China Concept) Investments, signed a contract to develop the $1 billion Shanghai project, in which it had a 90 per cent stake, with the balance held by a group of artists including Jackie Chan, Anita Mui and Alan Tam. After an 11-year delay, the company now owns the land outright. It plans to revive the Star City project with its joint venture partner. Ms Fan said Emperor Entertainment would provide the land, for which it paid 360 million yuan, while the mainland partner would be responsible for the estimated 500 million yuan in construction costs. 'Both of us will equally share the profit to be generated from property sales and rental in future,' she said. Emperor Star City, due to be completed in 2007, comprises a hotel, 150 serviced apartments, a seven-storey shopping mall and 600 car parking spaces.