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Queensland Opens Expression-of-Interest Process for Second Gold Coast Casino

International gaming and hospitality operators have until April to register interest in operating the Gold Coast’s second casino resort

The Queensland Government has decided to roll the dice on a second casino resort in the Gold Coast area, despite protests from anti-gambling groups and warnings that the market is already saturated.

The state Government opened today an expression-of-interest process, seeking interested international developers for the construction and operation of what would be the Gold Coast’s second casino resort. The city is currently home to The Star Gold Coast, a hotel and casino complex in the suburb of Broadbeach.

In a statement on the official website of the Queensland Government, the state’s Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said that “a world-wide search” is now underway for the best proposal that would give a major boost to “the tourism and entertainment offering” for the Gold Coast.

While Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her administration identify the development scheme as a Global Tourism Hub, the concept behind it does not really differ from the so-called MICE integrated resorts. The Gold Coast Global Tourism Hub will include entertainment venues, convention facilities, high-end food and beverage and retail experience, luxury hotels, and gaming space.

Minister Jones clarified today that the Government has decided to cap the gaming facility of any new resort at five percent of the total area of the property. She went on to say that a similar limitation has been placed on the integrated resort that is currently under development in Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane.

The Tourism Minister went on to explain that the Global Tourism Hub concept introduced by the Premier Palaszczuk’s administration focuses on revenue from entertainment, high-end retail, and convention offering and less so on gaming revenue.

Under initial projections, a new Global Tourism Hub on the Gold Coast would create more than 6,000 local jobs and attract an additional one million tourists per year.

Minister Jones said today that a property of this kind could be “a game-changer” as it would give the Coast “world-class entertainment and convention facilities, events, tourism experiences and attractions.”

Gambling-Related Concerns and Market Saturation

The Global Tourism Hub plan is facing strong opposition from anti-gambling groups that argue the addition of one more casino would only hurt a region that already offers too much gambling. Commenting on today’s announcement, Stephen Mayne from The Alliance for Gambling Reform told local media outlet ABC that Queensland is already the nation’s second-worst state in terms of gambling losses, with those running at an average rate of over A$1,000 per person.

Mr. Mayne went on to say that the number of new jobs the integrated resort would generate does not justify the development of a property that would expand gambling. According to him, no economic benefit will be created because of the huge social harm gambling causes.

The Star Entertainment Group, the owner of the Broadbeach casino resort, has warned that the local gambling machine market is already saturated and that the Government should find the right balance between reaping maximum economic benefits from such a massive project and preventing any further social harm from being done to the community.

The Star plans to invest more than A$2 billion in upgrading and renovating its Broadbeach property. The company has introduced a masterplan that would see the addition of five towers at the existing complex and a number of amenities over the coming years.

The company was also selected as the preferred bidder for the development of an integrated resort in Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf area.

Minister Jones told ABC today that The Star is free to apply with the state for running the second Gold Coast casino resort. A number of international operators have previously expressed interest in entering the local market, with gaming and hospitality giants Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Hard Rock International being among those.

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The post Queensland Opens Expression-of-Interest Process for Second Gold Coast Casino appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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