Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has signed off a $3 billion Queen’s Wharf casino development that guarantees the Queensland government $1 billion in revenue.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald the premier said the Queensland Government expects the first installment of $272 million on Monday, with $800 million, the bulk of the money, guaranteed from casino taxes after Destination Brisbane Queensland has been in operation for 10 years. State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said that despite the time frame the billion dollar sum was still significant and one that would help decrease state debt and boost the budget’s bottom line.
The contract finalization that was also signed by Star Entertainment Group’s Chairman John O’Neill, Chris Hoong of the Far Eastern Consortium and Conrad Cheng of Chow Tai Fook, means that the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane casino project is now formerly operated by the Destination Brisbane Consortium, which includes the Far East Consortium, Star Entertainment Group, and Hong Kong-based investment company Chow Tai Fook. In Brisbane on Friday, Star Entertainment Group’s Chairman John O’Neill said that while the Australian government drove a hard bargain, the company is delighted with the deal that is a milestone for Star Entertainment. O’Neill added that the announcement coincides with the first day of operations for the company operating under its new trading name. On November 4 shareholders approved (pdf) the trading name change for the parent company Echo Entertainment Group Limited to Star Entertainment Group Limited, which includes the rebranding of its individual casinos.
In addition to the expected $1 billion in revenue from casino taxes by 2032, it’s estimated that the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will create approximately 0,000 jobs, including 2000 construction jobs, 1.39 additional tourists per year who will spend an estimated $1.69 million annually. The new integrated resort and casino includes a $1.3 million new live theatre, five hotels, and a link across the Brisbane River to South Bank. The casino’s license is effective for 99 years, prohibits any other casino from opening within 60 kilometers of the Brisbane Queen’s Wharf waterfront development project for 25 years, have a 2500 slot max, and unlimited gaming tables, including ‘electronic’ gaming tables. The beginning of construction is now scheduled to begin in 2017, and open in 2022.
In July the mega-casino in the heart of Brisbane, Australia edged out competitor James Packer’s Queens Wharf Greenland Crown Project, which was considered by most analysts to be the front-runner