GCCEC upgrade hopes remain despite collapse of casino monopoly talks

An expansion of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) is still being discussed despite the Queensland Government ending negotiations with The Star Entertainment Group over a second casino licence on the Gold Coast.

The Star Entertainment Group had been in talks with the state government for a casino monopoly deal, throwing in an upgrade of the GCCEC and Sheraton Mirage hotel as sweeteners.

The Star Entertainment Group’s investment plans on the Gold Coast included the refurbishment of The Star Grand hotel, the opening of The Darling hotel, and ongoing construction of the Dorsett hotel and apartments tower on the Gold Coast,

“We have confidence in the future of tourism and, under the right conditions, will continue to invest through our $2 billion-plus Gold Coast masterplan that will help government deliver further significant economic benefits for Queensland including thousands of jobs,” said The Star Entertainment Group Chairman John O’Neill.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the deal did “not stack up for taxpayers”.

“Global market conditions are clearly impacting investment at present and I can confirm that this government has no intention of reviving the market process for a new integrated resort – including a second casino – on the Gold Coast,” said Jones.

“We were not able to reach consensus around the terms for long-term casino licence exclusivity.”