Reports in the Australian media are linking Crown Resorts to a casino already approved but yet to be built in Queensland.
In August 2015 the state government in Queensland approved a A$2bn project by a ASF Consortium on the Gold Coast’s Main Beach. One newspaper report in The Australian has said that Crown wants to operate the casino for the consortium. ASF Consortium is led by an Australian Stock Exchange listed company and includes two significant state-owned Chinese companies; China State Construction Engineering Corp and CCCC Guangzhou Dredging Corp, both of whom provide direct access to international tourists and investors, representing a key source of growth for the Gold Coast economy.
ASF Chair Min Yang said the planned resort would be ‘the newest centerpiece of this Australian tourism capital.’
The Gold Coast Integrated Resort Development is destined for the land between Sea World and the Gold Coast Fishermen’s Co-operative.
Despite the consortium’s initial intention to bring in an experienced US casino name to oversee the casino, Crown is now believed to be in pole position with the belief being that a local operator will make the approval process go smoother.
Although the final details are yet to be finalised, ASF has confirmed that the project include world-class entertainment, gaming, performing and visual arts, retail, hotel, unique leisure, cultural, residential and outdoor pursuits.
Cox Rayner has been signed up for the project. Its Principal, Michael Rayner, believes the Gold Coast Integrated Resort is an opportunity to create a legacy for local people that will consolidate the region’s strengths and complement its natural assets.
“A project of this scale requires a considered approach that takes into account location, function and sustainability. This is particularly the case when designing an environment as iconic and defining as the Gold Coast Integrated Resort. There is simply no value in introducing a form that is inappropriate to the place and its people.
“These principles have been the basis of our work on the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, where we needed to create a facility reflective of the subtropical environmental, mindful of its position in the Broadwater Parklands and its function as a Commonwealth Games venue, then its ongoing role as a key piece of recreational amenity for the city,” he said “We intend to adopt this same approach for the development of the Gold Coast Integrated Resort Development masterplan and we are extremely excited by the opportunities it presents.”
Gold Cost Tourism CEO Paul Donovan described ASF’s resort as an ‘iconic, game-changing development’ for the region.
Whilst neither Crown or the consortium made any announcement regarding the news story, Crown’s main rival Star Entertainment is believed to be finalising its own Chinese partnership with state-owned China Travel Service as it looks to tap into China’s burgeoning middle class. With the rapid growth of the middle-class, the outbound traveller numbers are predicted to grow from 98m in 2013 to 200m by 2020, representing an enormous opportunity for the Gold Coast tourism market.
The five-hectare ASF site is located about 10km away from Jupiters Casino, which is owned by Star and is currently the subject of a $850m renovation.
Star is also planning to build a $3bn casino resort in the Queen’s Wharf complex, featuring a 1,100-room hotel, which is expected to open in 2022.
The Queensland government is also expected to reopen the tender process for a second new integrated resort in the region following the decision by Aquis Great Barrier Reef to proceed without a casino as part of its masterplan.