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Hard Rock Eyes Sunny Gold Coast for Casino Resort Business Expansion

Casino News Daily
Hard Rock Eyes Sunny Gold Coast for Casino Resort Business Expansion

Gaming and hospitality company Hard Rock International has reportedly set sights on Australia’s Gold Coast as the next destination it wants to expand its integrated resort business into, local news outlets report.

Reports about Hard Rock’s interest in the Gold Coast emerge shortly after Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones confirmed that the state government does not plan to allow the addition of slot machines, or poker machines as they are locally popular, to the Coast. The measure aims to a further increase in the amounts spent on the gambling machines by customers, which reached a record of A$27 million per month last year, according to official data.

In comments to State Estimates from earlier this week, Minister Jones said that while there would be no new poker machines, the government supported the development of an integrated resort in Australia’s most popular tourist strip. The state government introduced last year a plan for the development of Global Tourism Hubs across Queensland, with Gold Coast being among the preferred locations, in order to attract international development and boost the state’s tourism industry, which is believed to be worth A$25 billion and to be supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs.

In a letter to Queensland officials obtained by local news outlet 9 News Gold Coast, Hard Rock has said that they are intrigued by the “holistic model” presented by the government, referring to the Global Tourism Hubs program. The Florida-based gaming and hospitality company has further pointed out that it would rather develop an “entertainment-centric” property with numerous non-gambling facilities than just focus on Las Vegas-style gambling. Aside from its casino businesses in its home state and in New Jersey, Hard Rock also operates hotel and restaurant chains with properties around the globe.

Gold Coast Mayor Welcomes Integrated Resort Development

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said earlier this week that he welcomed the development of a resort that would include hotels, multiple dining options, as well as different entertainment facilities.

The official further pointed out that there also might be a way for a potential casino to feature slot machines, despite the government’s ban. The Gold Coast Mayor said that there is no prohibition for a person operating on a casino or a general license to obtain gaming machines at an auction.

Hard Rock has not been the only major company to have expressed interest in expanding into the Gold Coast region in recent years. Reports emerged last summer that Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. was eyeing the popular tourist strip as part of its global expansion strategy.

It is also important to note that the Hard Rock brand is well-familiar to the Gold Coast as the company has been running a Hard Rock Cafe in the city for more than two decades now.

Currently, The Star Gold Coast (formerly Jupiters Hotel and Casino) is the city’s only operational casino. The property is undergoing a multi-million expansion that would, among other things, see the addition of a 17-story hotel tower to its existing facilities.

Reports about the potential authorization of a second casino in the area have been spurred by last summer’s rejection of a major A$3-billion project for the construction of an integrated resort on the Southport Spit. The property, the plan for which was backed by a group of Chinese investors, would have featured a casino facility. Many suggested that as the scheme was rejected and there was a vacant gaming license, the government could reopen the bidding process for an integrated resort development.

The post Hard Rock Eyes Sunny Gold Coast for Casino Resort Business Expansion appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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