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Cairns in running for a casino licence after Gold Coast bid fails

Tue, Aug 15, 4:07pm by Staff Writer

Less than two weeks after the Queensland State government rejected the ASF Group’s bid to build a $3 billion casino resort on the Gold Coast Spit, the North Queensland city of Cairns is looming as the city who may get one of the two casino licences that are available in regional Queensland.

The Queensland government sent residents confirmation on August 2 that Chinese consortium ASF’s plans had been rejected, which has left Cairns in the box-seat to secure a new licence, according to the Cairns Post.

Several companies are believed to be interested in the Far North market, including NagaCorp, a Cambodia-based corporation.

Aquis shelved it’s plans to build a $8 billion casino in Yorkey’s Knob, Cairns, sighting a downturn in the Asia gaming market and stricter government conditions.

The Great Barrier Reef resort was proposed as the largest integrated resort in Australia, but was scrapped in April.

Paradise Palms, which is located just 20 minutes north of Cairns, has been raised as a potential location for a world-class integrated resort.

At present, there is only one casino in Cairns, the Reef Hotel Casino. Located in the CBD, the “boutique” venue has 128 hotel rooms, more than 500 gaming machines, pokies and a variety of table games.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk seems to be happy for the “Reef” to remain the only casino in Cairns, previously rejecting calls for a casino licence to be allocated to Cairns.

The Premier said in April of 2016 that it was likely the bidding process would be opened up for all regional Queensland centres.

After announcing that the ASF-led resort proposal was not going ahead on the Gold Coast, Palaszczuk said the casino licence would remain on the Gold Coast.


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