Australia’s Star Entertainment Group is set to commence formal negotiations with the NSW Government over a proposal to add an additional 1,000 gaming machines at The Star Sydney.
If approved, the proposal would see gaming machine licenses transferred from underperforming pubs and clubs across regional NSW, boosting the casino’s inventory by 67%. Venues would be able to opt-in to the scheme and choose between either selling licenses outright or leasing them to The Star for an ongoing revenue stream.
For its part, The Star would have to forfeit one license for each three it required, reducing the state’s gaming machine inventory by 500.
The Star Sydney is currently licensed to operate 1,500 gaming machines, representing 1.6% of the almost 100,000 machines statewide.
Star said in a Wednesday filing that this was considerably lower than the 2,628 licenses held by Crown Melbourne, 2,500 by Crown Perth and 2,500 for Star’s own Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development, due to open in 2022.
The proposal has received mix reactions, with Clubs NSW warning it could cost jobs and impact the social lives of people in regional communities.
Conversely, supporters of the move believe The Star Sydney is better positioned than regional venues to ensure proper money laundering and problem gambling controls are in place.
Negotiations with the Government are expected to commence shortly, Star said.