Casino Company’s Visit to Sunshine Coast Promoted by Queensland Government

The Queensland government confirmed that it had promoted the recent visit to the site of the Maroochydore Central Business District by executives of Malaysian casino operator NagaCorp, local news outlet the Sunshine Coast Daily reported earlier today.

The Maroochydore CBD, currently under development in the central part of Sunshine Coast (in the small town of Maroochydore), is planned to be a multi-million, mixed-use complex that will spread over 53 hectares of land. When finished, it will feature accommodation buildings of different types, food and beverage facilities, retail space, a number of office buildings, and a new city hall building.

Queensland’s Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones has confirmed that the November 2017 visit to the CBD’s site had been promoted by the state’s Special Projects Unit, which had been part of the Department of State Development prior to the latest Queensland election. She has also told local media that members of the unit have met and will be meeting with international investors to promote and encourage tourism development in the state.

The Queensland MP has further explained that NagaCorp’s visit was too part of their initiative to attract foreign investors to potentially invest into the state’s tourism industry. The Malaysian hotel and casino operator was provided with information about Queensland’s tourism sector as well as about the state’s Global Tourism Hubs scheme and the requirements an investor must meet in order to participate in said scheme.

Generally speaking, the Global Tourism Hubs were defined by state politicians as mixed-use properties with hotel, food and beverage, entertainment, and casino facilities. One such hub is set to be developed in Cairns. Under initial estimates, the project will cost A$1 billion and will include a casino. According to recent information released by the government, 12 investors, both local and international, have registered interest in participating the project. It has also been revealed that major casino companies have been among those 12.

Growing Pressure against Maroochydore Casino

While the addition of a casino to the Maroochydore CBD development has never been confirmed, local media had previously reported that the idea had been pitched by Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson.

Over the past several months, the city official has faced pressure both from state and federal politicians to nix any plans for a gambling venue as part of the CBD construction project.

Mr. Jamieson has told local media that there was nothing wrong with NagaCorp visiting Sunshine Coast and being interested in what development opportunities the region presented. The Mayor further pointed out that the casino company’s visit had been promoted by the state government and not by Sunshine Coast, and that any potential addition of a casino as part of the Maroochydore development project could only be decided upon by the Queensland Government and not by the city council.

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