Queensland Government Announces Plans to Open Gold Coast Casino Bidding Process

The Queensland government supports the construction of an integrated resort in the Gold Coast region, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate told local media earlier today. However, a previously approved preferred developer will likely not be part of the scheme as a new bidding process is expected to be launched.

Mayor Tate made the important announcement after receiving a response to a letter he sent to the Queensland government back in August, urging politicians not to scrap a plan for the construction of a luxury casino resort that could boost the region’s tourism numbers and overall economy.

Local news outlet the Gold Coast Bulletin today reported that the Queensland Minister for State Development, Anthony Lynham, has replied to Mayor Tate saying that the government fully supports a new integrated resort and is planning to launch a call for bids from international hotel and casino developers interested in building a property of this kind.

It is also important to note that the government nixed a previous plan proposed by the Gold Coast Mayor for the location of the integrated resort on a portion of Southport land currently occupied by the Southport Bowls Club, the Queen’s Park Tennis Club, and the nearby Carey Park.

Mayor Tate’s Proposal and the Negative Reaction It Faced

Back in August, the Queensland government announced its decision to reject a A$3-billion plan for the construction of an integrated resort at a site on Gold Coast’s Southport Spit. The complex was proposed by Chinese-backed group of investors ASF Consortium. Back in 2014, the developer was selected as the preferred bidder for the development of an integrated resort in the Gold Coast region.

The announcement about the plan’s dismissal came after a public consultation with residents of the area, the results of which were reviewed by the government and were used for the final decision. Shortly after, Mayor Tate sent a letter to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with a new casino resort plan. The scheme was to be carried out by ASF Consortium at the site of the above-mentioned sports clubs.

If the plan had been approved, the sports facilities would have had to be relocated. The proposal was received very badly by residents of the area, who pointed out that they did not want the historic sports clubs relocated to vacate room for a luxury gambling resort that could destroy Southport’s integrity.

What Comes Next for Gold Coast’s Casino Resort Effort?

As mentioned above, the government will launch a new call for bids seeking applications from interested international investors. It is believed that the Gold Coast development opportunity will indeed attract significant interest.

Reports emerged earlier this year that Las Vegas hotel and casino owner Caesars Entertainment Corp., whose main operating unit has just emerged from bankruptcy, was interested in investing in the region. Local media reported that the operator and ASF Consortium were in talks for a potential partnership in the Southport Spit integrated resort scheme. Now as the China-backed investor is no longer considered the preferred bidder for a development of this kind, Caesars may be interested in preparing a solo bid.

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