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Bidders welcomed for second Gold Coast casino

Thu, Mar 7, 9:19am by Staff Writer

The world famous Las Vegas casino Caesars Palace is among 12 expected bidders for a second casino license on the Gold Coast.

Among the other suitors include Hard Rock International and emerging Cambodian-based gaming giant NagaCorp.

The Queensland government this week announced that it had resurrected plans for an integrated casino resort after the idea was abandoned ahead of the 2017 state election.

After months of speculation, Tourism Minister Kate Jones confirmed the government was calling for expressions of interest for the development, but that there was no preferred site.

Ms Jones said the Global Tourism Hub project would not involve an increase to the 7,500 poker machines licensed on the Gold Coast.

At present, The Australian reports that 600 licensed machines are not in use.

Ms Jones said the tender process should drive greater investment in Gold Coast tourism.

At least 11 potential sites have been identified by the government for the project, which is expected to have a strong entertainment emphasis.

There will be a limit of five per cent of the resort’s floor space being dedicated to gaming.

Ms Jones said the government would not be revealed the potential sites at this stage.

“We have had more than a dozen operations from around the world come forward saying they would like to have a look at what sites are suitable,” she said.

“We have confidence a competitive process offers a better outcome for the people of the Gold Coast,” she said.

“There is a possibility that just like Brisbane, (Star) will be the only operator if they can promise and deliver a true integrated resort with additional convention space, entertainment facilities, quality restaurants and cafes and bars” Ms Jones said.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander urged the government to reveal its “11 secret sites”.

“The Premier must stop hiding and come clean with the people of the Gold Coast about the second casino,” he said.

“The LNP forced Labor to rule out more pokies on the Gold Coast and now we want them to release the 11 secret sites,” he said.

Hard Rock’s global expansion set to continue

Hard Rock International weighed in on the plan saying: “we believe the government’s Global Tourism Hub strategy is the best way to attract strong international interest to bring new world-class tourism and entertainment drawcards to a world-class destination – the Gold Coast. And we’re interested.”

In November 2018, the board of Hard Rock International rubber stamped an A$2 billion plan to invest in the Gold Coast.

Hard Rock’s proposal would mirror its Barcelona venture according to the company, with an integrated resort featuring 1000 rooms, a shopping precinct, a major entertainment centre and a casino.

In a January 11 press release, they also detailed their plans for a new casino resort in Japan that is expected to include monorail access to the airport, a guitar-shaped hotel tower, an additional Four Seasons hotel, an entertainment venue, theatres, a health and wellbeing centre and more than 215,000 square feet of retail and dining space.

There will be a focus on an authentic Ainu village experience, with the Ainu people being a local indigenous population.

Hard Rock has also announced a number of key partnerships with prominent global Brands.

They are expanding on their 12-year relationship with the New York Yankees baseball team, with Hard Rock looking to expand its NYY Steak concept and New York Yankee experience at its Tomakomai destination.

The latest facial recognition and security services will also be integrated into its resorts thanks to a partnership with NEC.

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