Queensland’s state government says it will no longer pursue plans to develop a second casino on the Gold Coast due to “global market conditions.”
However, it has also failed to reach any agreement with Star Entertainment Group, operator of The Star Gold Coast, over a 30-year exclusivity deal that would have seen the company commit to more than AU$2 billion of investment as part of its Gold Coast Masterplan.
In a surprise announcement over the weekend, Innovation and Tourism Development Minister Kate Jones revealed that discussions with Star over a Gold Coast monopoly had broken down, stating, “We worked really hard to extract value from The Star, but the deal on the table did not stack up for taxpayers.
“We were not able to reach consensus around the terms for long-term casino license exclusivity.”
Nor will the government follow its dream of creating a Global Tourism Hub, including a second casino.
“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 integrated resort – including a second casino – on the Gold Coast,” Jones added.
Star Entertainment Group has long rallied against the government’s plans for a Global Tourism Hub, outlining its belief that the market isn’t big enough for a second casino operator, but had promised to invest AU$2 billion into its own expansion if given exclusivity. The company also offered last year an AU$100 million re-development of the aging Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre to sweeten the deal.
Despite failing to secure a monopoly, Star Entertainment Group Chairman John O’Neill said the company would likely continue with its Gold Coast masterplan.
“We have confidence in the future of tourism and, under the right conditions, will continue to invest through our AU$2 billion-plus Gold Coast masterplan that will help government deliver further significant economic benefits for Queensland including thousands of jobs,” he said.