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Community concerns persists over Gold Coast casino proposal

Tue, Mar 21, 9:40am by Staff Writer

The Queensland Government’s community consultation on the possibility of a second casino on the Gold Coast has revealed several significant concerns over the proposed mega-resort to be built on The Spit.

A consortium headed by ASF, are proposing a $3 billion integrated resort as part of the Queensland Government’s opening up of further casino licenses to boost tourism in the state.

A massive new casino is being built in Brisbane at Queen’s Wharf, and will be operated by The Star group, who operate Sydney’s main casino, while Crown Resorts have been heavily linked with the new Gold Coast proposal, which is going through government approval processes.

Part of that process is extensive community consultation and there are concerns from local business about whether an additional casino would have a positive or negative impact on the local economy.

One Nation leader Steve Dickson has said that there could mean a significant impact on local clubs, which work directly with the local community and employ locals.

“Conservatively, 30 Gold Coast community clubs are at significant risk of closure, $34 million will be ripped out of the community via contributions and taxes foregone, there will be no new jobs created post construction and over 500,000 club members and volunteers displaced,” he told the Gold Coast Bulletin last month

Clubs Queensland, which represents the state’s licensed clubs, also opposes the development and CEO Doug Flockhart told the ABC, that a new casino would have a significant impact on local clubs and other businesses.

“Casinos in Australia garner somewhere between 60 to 80 per cent of all their revenue from locals,” he said.

ASF insist they are focussed on international visitors, but the collapse of the VIP business from China in light of the arrest of Crown staff in China last October, has cast doubt on any new casino’s reliance on tourists to drive business.

ASF director Louis Chien told the ABC that the project was about building a bigger cake.

“It’s not about slicing the same cake in smaller pieces,” he said.

Its modelling say the resort would attract could attract more than 460,000 additional visitors a year to Queensland, mostly from overseas.

The Queensland Government’s community consultation on the project is expected to go to Cabinet next month.

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