In Australia and local casino operator The Star Entertainment Group Limited has reportedly announced that it remains keen on spending approximately $1.4 billion on its three-tier ‘master plan’ for the state of Queensland.
According to a Sunday report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Sydney-listed firm revealed the stance despite failing to secure a desired 30-year monopoly over casino gaming that was to have prevented any rivals from building a gambling-friendly development in the city of Gold Coast.
The source reported that The Star Entertainment Group Limited is already responsible for The Star Gold Coast integrated casino resort but had become dismayed at the Queensland government’s warmth towards calls to bring another such facility to the state’s second largest city. The source detailed that the operator had subsequently sought the monopoly in exchange for agreeing to spend upwards of $1.4 million on a ‘master plan’ that was to have seen it add four more hotel towers to its existing Gold Coast property, overhaul the nearby five-star Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort oceanfront venue and revamp the ageing Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
However, Kate Jones, Queensland Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, recently reportedly declared that her department had been unable to reach consensus with The Star Entertainment Group Limited as the proposed monopoly deal ‘did not stack up for taxpayers.’ The Labour politician purportedly moreover proclaimed that the state had simultaneously decided to axe its own ‘Global Tourism Hub’ plan, which was to have included the licensing of a second Gold Coast integrated casino resort, due to ‘global market conditions’.
Jones reportedly stated…
“We were not able to reach consensus around the terms for long-term casino license exclusivity. Global market conditions are clearly impacting investment at present and I can confirm that this government has no intention of reviving the market process for a new [Gold Coast] integrated resort, including a second casino.”
Despite this news, John O’Neill, Chairman for The Star Entertainment Group Limited, reportedly pronounced that his Australian firm will likely push ahead with its $1.4 billion ‘master plan’ scheme so as to one day bring an additional 1,600 hotel rooms to The Star Gold Coast and create up to 3,000 new full-time jobs.
Reportedly read a statement from O’Neill…
“We have confidence in the future of tourism and, under the right conditions, will continue to invest through our $1.4 billion-plus Gold Coast ‘master plan’ that will help government deliver further significant economic benefits for Queensland including thousands of jobs.”