The Australian Labor Party has backed future gambling expansion in Cairns, sharing plans to bring two new casinos and integrated resorts to Queensland.
However, the leader of the One Nation Party, Pauline Hanson, has urged the State Government to dismiss plans to issue a new casino license to Cairns in favour of the Keppel Island. Ms. Hanson has expressed her hopes that the Great Keppel Island and Cairns could secure the two available licenses in the state.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt, however, renounced such an option, saying it was not possible. Mr. Pitt further explained that the concept of a global tourism hub was one of the main reasons why Great Keppel Island had not been considered as an area of great interest.
Heated Competition for New Casino Licenses
The competition for securing new casino license in Queensland has been a heated one lately, with the Cairns and the Gold Coast being the two main frontrunners for the two available casino licenses in the state. Previously, the state’s Government approved integrated resort developments in the two regions. Treasurer Pitt also confirmed that it was Cairns and the Gold Coast which were the main competitors for the casino licenses.
The Labor Party has given the start of a registration of interest process for developers which would like to try and compete with the Queen’s Wharf project in Brisbane, which is estimated to approximately AU$3 billion.
As mentioned above, Senator Hanson shared the One Nation Party’s opinion that the casino license that the Government has approved for the Gold Coast should be granted to central Queensland instead.
Labour Party Does Not Support Great Keppel Island Project
Only a couple of days ago, the Labor Party has revealed that it would not support a boutique casino project on the Great Keppel Island. At the time when the announcement was made, Treasurer Pitt shared that the Government has already made its decision about the best locations for the state’s new casinos. In an interview for a local media, he shared his satisfaction that Great Keppel Island was not one of those areas.
On the other hand, the group which had offered a AU$600-million project on Great Keppel Island, Towner Holdings, has revealed that it was ready to start construction works within 12 months in case that the local Government grants it with a casino license. Under the company’s project, a complex, featuring a number of accommodation facilities, including a 200-room hotel, is to be built. The company had also shared its opinion that a small gambling hub offering a total of 35 gamin tables would be beneficial for the destination.
As explained above, the local Government had given its approval for a new casino in Cairns and the Gold Coast, but this decision has not been backed by the One Nation party according to which one of those licenses should be granted to the central Queensland.