Queensland Accepting Proposals For A Second Gold Coast Casino
Queensland is set to get a second casino much as Tourism Minister Kate Jones recently confirmed during an ABC Radio interview that the state government will gather proposals from casino operators who are interested in developing an integrated casino resort.
While the announcement comes as good news for job hunters in the rapidly growing city, anti-gambling groups are raising their eyebrows at the plan.
There have been concerns that Queensland is quickly becoming Australia’s own version of Nevada, a gambling central that campaigners say is responsible for increasing problem gambling numbers down under.
Star Entertainment Group which currently operates the only casino in the state ‘Star Casino’ isn’t very happy with the announcement as it feels the market is already saturated and the competition isn’t going to help its revenues.
Jones said the state government was looking to provide a casino license to a developer who is willing to invest is $1 billion to develop an integrated resort on the Gold Coast. The resort will include a massive concert venue, high-end retail and dining hub, a convention area, as well as new entertainment facilities.
The location of the huge venue leaves a big question mark as the Queensland Government had earlier announced that it will not allow new casino establishments in The Southport Spit or the Wave Break Island in the Southport Broadwater. Hong Kong based ASF Consortium’s $3 billion Southport Spit casino proposal was rejected by the Queensland Government in 2017 and this location is most likely off the grid for potential casino operators.
The government will set up a Gold Coast Tourism Advisory Panel which will offer advice on the casino project which is expected to generate an around 6000 jobs for the local market.
Anti-Gambling Campaigners Unhappy
While the government talks about the many benefits a second casino in Queensland will generate, anti-gambling campaigners are not buying into it. Stephen Mayne from The Alliance for Gambling Reform pointed out that Queensland already holds the record for being second amongst other Australian states when it comes to gambling losses.
Mayne said the government’s decision to allow a casino because it will create lots of jobs isn’t good enough as there negative impact outweighs any positive impact. Mayne has called for the government to decrease and not increase the number of pokie machines present in the city, given the $300 million lost every year at clubs and pubs with these machines.