Owners of the Gold Coast’s only casino are clearly not fans of the idea of competition in their own backyard.
The Queensland government has announced an integrated resort and casino has been earmarked for a five-hectare site near Sea World on the Gold Coast’s Spit.
Echo Entertainment chief executive Matt Bekier, whose company owns the Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast, says his preference wouldn’t be to have a second casino in the area.
The new casino proposal is an alteration to the plans initially put up by Chinese developer ASF Consortium.
Originally proposed as a casino on Wavebreak Island with a cruise ship terminal at the Spit, the redesigned plans were announced earlier this month after the new state government had knocked back the cruise ship terminal idea.
Jupiters is itself undergoing a $325 million facelift, which will include a new six-star hotel tower that was announced.
Mr Bekier believed his company, which has also won the contract to construct a new casino and tourist complex at Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane, was offering the most attractive solutions for Queensland’s economy.
“You have to think about the global competition for the tourists that we’re after,” he said.
“As we stand here today there’s more than $1.2 trillion worth of tourism infrastructure under development, we’re not the only people that are competing for that tourism opportunity.
“We believe firmly that you need to be able to pitch what you’re doing at a certain standard and that’s what we’re doing.”
Mr Bekier also rebuffed the suggestion licensing approval for 1000 poker machines at the supposedly high-end Queen’s Wharf development undermined that status.
“We’re building five hotels, 1100 hotel rooms, that should tell you that this is all about tourism and additional visitors,” he said.
“Yes, we need gaming capacity to serve these visitors.”