Echo Entertainment has won the right to build a casino on prime riverfront land in Brisbane, beating a proposal from James Packer's Crown Resorts.

The proposal from Echo, which operates the Treasury Casino in Brisbane, includes an iconic arc-shaped building with a ballroom, publicly accessible sky deck, 50 restaurants and bars and a moonlight cinema.

The development at the Queen’s Wharf precinct will also deliver five new premium hotels, three residential towers and a pedestrian bridge to South Bank.

“This development will change Brisbane’s CBD,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Monday.

“But the construction means thousands of jobs – some 3,000 jobs during construction, and 8,000 ongoing jobs.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the Echo proposal stood out due to the large amount of public space it would create.

“The consortium was able to demonstrate to government that they are ready to proceed,” she said.

“We needed to have that financial security, but also we want to minimise any risk.”

The rival proposal from Mr Packer’s Crown Resorts would have included three hotels, a rooftop the size of The Gabba and public gardens complete with infinity pools.

Echo was given the tick of approval after an independent panel made recommendations to cabinet, which were endorsed during Monday’s meeting, and probity checks had been thorough, Ms Palaszczuk said.

The construction phase, due to begin from 2017 and last until 2022, would provide greater certainty for the state, minister for state development Anthony Lynham said.

“This project will be transformational for Brisbane,” he said.

“It’ll do what South Bank did for Brisbane 30 years ago.”

The casino, which the premier says will transform Brisbane into a premium tourism destination, will be built on prime riverfront land between George Street and the Riverside Expressway.


  • A massive casino
  • Five premium hotels, including three six-star venues
  • Three residential towers
  • 50 bars and restaurants
  • A moonlight cinema
  • A grand ballroom
  • 12 football fields of public space including parks and gardens
  • A hotel and hospitality school to be run by TAFE Queensland
  • A pedestrian footbridge across Brisbane River to South Bank
  • The Destination Brisbane Consortium – including Echo Entertainment Group, Hong Kong-owned Far East Consortium (Australia) and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises – will develop the project
  • Construction will run from 2017-2022, providing 3000 construction jobs and then 8000 ongoing jobs.
By Jamie McKinnell