Queensland Government to Determine Interest in Second Casino

A croupier dealing cards
Proposals are being accepted for a potential second casino in Queensland.

30-second summary:

  • Proposals are being accepted for a second casino along Queensland’s Gold Coast
  • It’s reported it will bring in an additional 6,000 local jobs
  • Development to cost AU$1bn (£534m; $702m)

The Queensland Government has announced that it will open an expression-of-interest process to determine whether there is any interest in a second casino in the area.

Will Queensland see a second casino?

Casino operators are being given the opportunity to weigh in on the final decision and they have until the end of April to do so, reports ABC News. According to the report, the government is allowing developers to put forward proposals for a casino and integrated resort.

Kate Jones, the minister for innovation and tourism industry development, said that the development would cost AU$1bn (£534m; $702m) and that it would include “a major Gold Coast concert venue, new entertainment facilities, convention space, high-end dining and retail experience.”

The first casino in Queensland is the Star Gold Coast Casino in the suburb of Broadbeach along the Gold Coast. It is run by the Star Entertainment Group.

The development of the second casino is part of a plan by Annastacia Palaszczuk, an Australian politician and 39th premier of Queensland, who wants to create a global tourism hub (GTH). Accordingly, it is thought the construction of a second casino will create 6,000 local jobs, said Jones.

Meeting resistance

However, not everyone is in agreement with the idea is to create another casino in Queensland.

According to Stephen Mayne from the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Queensland is the second-worst state in Australia for gambling losses. A report from early February highlighted that in 2016, Australia saw a total loss of $18.3bn (£14.2bn).

Non-casino gaming machines made up a significant majority of lost money. The average loss per person totaled around $990 (£768).

Mayne is concerned about the impact that a second casino could have in the Gold Coast city. He said: “It will be very interesting to see what the proposal is in terms of any more poker machines — will they have to buy them off existing pub and club operators? Or will the government allow an increase?

“We think there should be a decrease in Queensland, and there certainly shouldn’t be any increase on the Gold Coast given that $330 million a year is already lost at Gold Coast pubs and clubs that have poker machines.”

The Star Gold Coast Casino does not believe another venue is needed. The report stated this was due to an already saturated gaming machine market in the city.

The Star Entertainment Group is also set to invest AU$2bn (£1.068bn; $1.404bn) for its expansion plans at its casino venue.

Using technology

With concerns of problem gambling hitting the Gold Coast, elsewhere the issue is being looked at in different ways.

According to the CEO of British-based Sky Bet, technology could be the answer. In October, Ian Proctor said that technology could be used to protect people from spending more than they can afford.

Others are calling for stiffer regulation to tackle the issue of problem gambling.

The topic of problem gambling remains contentious and is unlikely to be solved right away. It remains to be seen whether or not another venue is accepted along Queensland’s Gold Coast and if such an addition is likely to attract problem gamblers to the city.