The Star is set to put big money on the table in a bid to stave off a potential second casino on the Gold Coast.
The Star confirmed in an announcement to the stock exchange this morning that their master plan for the future is an attempt to break the deadlock of 7 years with the Queensland government.
It comes a few months after the state government asked for expressions of interest for a second casino on the Gold Coast, which would be part of a ‘global tourism hub’.
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The Star argues the market isn’t big enough for two casinos, and they’re now prepared to expand and dominate the Gold Coast in a bid to fend off any future rivals.
But they’ll want an exclusivity arrangement from the state government in return for their ‘investments’.
Firstly, they’ll lock into a contract to deliver five towers alongside The Star Grand and The Darling.
The first tower – the Dorsett Hotel – is already under construction, while the second tower is in the pre-sales stage, though the remaining towers aren’t currently guaranteed.
It’s been revealed that early plans for Tower 5 could include a five-star hotel and potentially a Sky Park tourism playground incorporating adventure, entertainment and luxury dining attractions.
Secondly, The Star has also proposed a $100 million spend to upgrade and expand the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, which could draw world-class musical acts and more of them.
With bigger and better acts then able to come to the Gold Coast, The Star predicts a rise in tourists and therefore gaming revenue, which they’ve suggested a portion of be reinvested into Gold Coast Tourism.
Thirdly, the final element of their grand expansion plans to dominate the Gold Coast includes a beach club for the Sheraton Grand Mirage, along with a new restaurant, bar and gym.
When completed, The Star – along with the aforementioned developments – would boast more than nine billion dollars worth of tourism assets in south-east Queensland, and put The Star Gold Coast in a position to contest the world’s biggest and best integrated resorts.
The announcement follows months of secrecy from the state government over their proposed second casino and global tourism hub, which now all stand to be abandoned if The Star can strike a deal with the state.
The Shadow Tourism Minister David Crisafulli spoke to myGC this morning, calling for the state government to come clean about their intentions for the second casino, especially given what a current investor is prepared to offer.
“What this highlights is how the state government’s failure to make a decision is really costing the coast, and whether or not they’re going to approve a second casino, whether they are thinking about it not thinking about, whether or not the secret sites will be revealed or not be revealed…
“In the end, they’ve got to make a decision, and what today’s announcement shows is what happens when you suffer from paralysis via analysis.
“No one wants to get on this bike, and it’s time that this crazy game has ended and we get on with making a decision so that one way or another the Coast can have certainty it needs,” Mr Crisafulli told myGC.