Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has warned against the potential addition of any further electronic gaming machines into the Gold Coast market after the Queensland government officially called for global Registrations of Interest this week to develop a Global Tourism Hub (GTH).
Although full details of the government’s proposal are yet to be released, any new Gold Coast development is certain to contain gaming with Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones stating on Monday that it would cap the amount of total floor space to be used for gaming purposes at 5%. It has been suggested that a range of MICE and non-gaming attractions would also form a key part of any successful proposal.
Caesars, Hard Rock and NagaCorp are among the international gaming firms to have previously expressed an interest in a Gold Coast casino.
In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday, Star Entertainment Group – which is in the midst of an AU$850 million upgrade of its current Gold Coast property and has been granted government approval to initiate an additional US$2 billion master plan – said it has yet to be informed of “any detailed information on what constitutes a GTH or the government’s requirements around minimum investment levels, potential location and what, if any, gaming product will be permissible.”
It added that the company “has a declared position that the Gold Coast is already saturated as an electronic gaming machine market.”
The Queensland government is set to establish a tourism advisory panel to aid the selection process for any new IR operator, while Star said it has already been invited to take part in the secondary Expressions of Interest phase. However, it said it will withhold any official response until further details of the process are made available.
As well as operating The Star Gold Coast, Star Entertainment Group and its partners also own the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort and manage the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on behalf of the Queensland Government.