Tower Holdings has already received approval from the Queensland, Australia government to build its $2 billion Great Keppel Island resort but the company has made it clear to the government that construction work can begin only if it receives a ‘boutique’ casino license.
Tower Holdings has confirmed that it would like to proceed with the construction of the resort but in order to source international finance to fund the project, it would need to show investors a casino license to prove that the resort can profit via its casino gaming revenue. The government has been hesitant to approve a ‘boutique’ casino license because the two regional casinos have a similar number of casino tables.
The Townsville casino operates 27 tables and the Cairns casino operates 38 tables and hence granting a boutique license to operate 35 casino tables for the Great Keppel casino would cause a controversy.
Great Barrier Reef Minister Steven Miles is not in favor of granting the Great Keppel casino a boutique license and stated that a license would be granted only if one of the two regional casinos decided to stop running their casino and forfeit their gaming licence. Although Miles is not in favor of issuing a boutique casino license he has encouraged Tower Holdings to go ahead with the construction of the $2 billion resort stating that the project is vital for Queensland tourism.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council has backed Tower Holdings and has asked the Queensland government to consider granting the company a boutique license to operate a casino. In a statement, Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said “I think a boutique licence in a resort such as that would not add to those problems. I think there are more concerns about 24/seven online gaming, for instance. A well-managed boutique facility on an island, I don’t see that adding to the social problems. So if it’s enhancing our chances to be competitive as an investment destination, as a tourism destination, I think the government should consider it on its merits.”
The Great Keppel casino project is expected to provide vendors in Queensland a lot of business during the construction phase of the project. Once the resort and casino goes live, it is expected to create around 1500 jobs and also provide a huge boost to tourism in Queensland. The vast majority of locals support the $2 billion investment into Queensland and have also requested the state government to grant Tower Holdings a boutique license.