Rockhampton Protesters Back Third Queensland Casino License

Hundreds of pro-gambling protesters rallied on Sunday about the rejected gambling license for the proposed Great Keppel Island eco-luxury resort during a meeting of the Community Cabinet in Rockhampton, which was attended by Queensland Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk.

Developer Tower Holdings was given the green light to build a multimillion resort that would feature as many as 700 villas, 300 apartments, a 250-room hotel, a marina, an airstrip, a golf course, etc. The company applied for a casino license, so as to be able to add a guests-only gambling facility with 35 tables.

It stated that the addition of the casino was essential, as it would attract international investors. It seems that Tower Holdings needs the investment, in order to commence the construction of the property.

Its bid for a casino license, however, was rejected by the former government of Queensland. Earlier this year, the newly-elected Palaszczuk government was requested to reconsider its predecessors’ decision. Yet, legislators announced in the beginning of May that Tower Holdings would not be granted a license for a boutique casino.

Pro-gambling protesters claimed that the former government had promised that three casino licenses would be granted for Queensland. Instead, the construction of two integrated gambling resorts was approved. People also argued that it is important for the Great Keppel Island project to be materialized, as a significant number of new jobs would be created for residents of the area. Without a casino, however, the resort might never be completed.

Ms. Palaszczuk commented that they want the resort to be launched because such a major project would mean more jobs for Queensland. She also pointed out that the discussions for the granting of a third casino license might be renewed at some point in future. Yet, for now the state is to have two integrated casino resorts – one in Cairns and one on the Gold Coast.

Brittany Lauga, Labor MP for the Great Keppel Island, as well as the mayors of both the Rockhampton Regional and Livingstone Shire Councils are among the officials who support the addition of a casino at the Tower Holdings property.

However, State Development Minister Anthony Lynham commented that the developer has never been granted a casino license, and that this particular government is not likely to award a third one for the state.

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