In Australia, the Toowoomba And Surat Basin Enterprise has reportedly been approached by developers regarding the possibility of helping to bring a casino to the Darling Downs region of southeast Queensland.

According to a report from The Chronicle newspaper, the independent regional economic development organization revealed that the area could utilize the forfeited gaming license that had been earmarked for the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort project so long as it was able to demonstrate an adequate tourism base.

“These are very early stage conversations being held by an interested party in the region,” Shane Charles, Executive Chairman for the Toowoomba And Surat Basin Enterprise, told The Chronicle. “Formal discussions around the licence may be held after the recommendations are handed down in early-2017.”

The newspaper reported that the city of Toowoomba is now a front-runner to secure Queensland’s next new casino following the failure of the $6.22 billion Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort to fully get off the ground with its population of 163,000 and proximity to an international airport meeting state criteria.

“We will assess the application criteria and liaise with stakeholders in the region,” Charles told The Chronicle. “Toowoomba is positioned to make use of the licence but would need to establish the tourism base around the application and seek private investment.”

The Chronicle explained that up to twelve groups are interested in the orphaned Queensland license while state treasurer Curtis Pitt is pushing for the casino to go to the area around Cairns. The Queensland Parliament representative for the nearby Mulgrave constituency, Pitt recently highlighted the area’s popularity with Asian tourists and declared that a casino could significantly help the local economy.