Queensland Shelves Second Gold Coast Casino Plan

The Government of Queensland has nixed plans for the development of a second casino on the Gold Coast, citing “global market conditions.”

The area is already home to The Star Gold Coast, a hotel and casino resort in the Broadbeach suburb operated by Australian gaming and hospitality operator The Star Entertainment Group.

The Queensland Government opened last spring an expression-of-interest process for interested casino developers for the construction of what would have been the Gold Coast’s second casino resort. The process was described as a “world-wide search” for the best proposal that would have given major boost to “the tourism and entertainment offering” of the Gold Coast.

The proposed hotel and casino scheme was dubbed Global Tourism Hub by the Government. In addition to a casino, it would have also included a number of other entertainment venues.

In a surprise announcement over the weekend, Queensland Innovation and Tourism Development Minister Kate Jones said that “global market conditions are clearly impacting investment at present and that the Government no longer has “intention of reviving the market process for a new integrated resort – including a second casino – on the Gold Coast.”

The Minister referred to the economic impact of Covid-19, the largest global public health panic in many years.

Queensland Government, The Star End Talks over 30-Year Deal

Minister Jones also said this past weekend that the state Government has failed to reach an agreement with The Star over a previously discussed 30-year exclusivity deal that, if struck, would have seen the casino operator plough more than A$2 billion worth of investments into upgrading and expanding its existing Gold Coast property.

The Star was among the biggest opponents of the Global Tourism Hub plan, saying that the local gaming market was already saturated and did not need a second casino. Last October, the company promised to implement its A$2 billion Gold Coast masterplan “in return for certainty around maintaining the Gold Coast as a one-casino city.”

Minister Jones said over the weekend that they were unable to “reach consensus around the terms for long-term casino license exclusivity” and that the Government “worked really hard to extract value from The Star, but the deal on the table did not stack up for taxpayers.”

Even though its bid at casino monopoly failed, The Star will likely go forward with its Gold Coast mega-scheme. The company is also currently building the A$3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane integrated resort in Brisbane’s CBD.

The Star’s Chairman John O’Neill said this past weekend that they “have confidence in the future of tourism” and that “under the right conditions” they will continue to invest through their Gold Coast masterplan.

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