Queensland Government Rejects $3 Billion Casino Resort Plan
On Monday, the Premier of Queensland, Australia, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and her administration rejected a $3 billion plan to build a casino resort on the Gold Coast’s Southern Spit. Palaszczuk cited the local community’s desires for the area to keep its status as a parkland, which would prove impossible if a casino were to be built on the land.
A Chinese-backed group of investors, called ASF Consortium, came up with the multi-billion dollar plan. The project would have included the construction of a massive resort on the Gold Coast that would have included five- and six-star hotels, a casino, convention facilities, a spa, workout facilities, luxury retail stores, several high-quality restaurants and numerous other entertainment facilities. It would have been developed on the Southern Spit, not too far from the local Sea World water park.
Palaszczuk said that the local community prefers to keep the area’s parkland status and the new casino resort would have altered the current feel of the area. Previous proposals said that the national government would have had to alter the height limit for local buildings in order to accommodate the resort. Currently, buildings are allowed to be no taller than three stories high. Palaszczuk said that the three-story limit will remain in place and that the new resort would have been an “eyesore” in Broadwater.
Not ASF Consortium’s First Failure
ASF Consortium was told that it could still build an integrated resort elsewhere in Queensland. The company was chosen as the preferred bidder for a casino license by Queensland’s government four years ago. Its initial plans were to build a casino complex on Wavebreak Island, which is a man-made island.
The proposed addition of a marina as a part of that new resort plan wound up dooming the entire project. Complaints from multiple environmental organizations wound up in the rejection of the entire casino project. Environmental concerns have proven problematic in ASF Consortium’s pursuit of a local casino resort.
The group of investors will be compensated despite the plan’s failure, though the government has yet to decide how it will be compensated.
This news came just a few days after it came out that Las Vegas-operated Caesars Entertainment Corp. and ASF Consortium have a preliminary agreement that would have allowed Caesars to operate the casino portion of the proposed $3 billion resort in Queensland.
Local Queensland media reported earlier this year that the Chinese-backed ASF Consortium may not be able to close the deal on the aforementioned $3 billion project because its parent company had reportedly been losing money in the six months leading up to the end of last year. ASF Consortium attempted to dismiss said reports, but that may well have influenced the decision of the Queensland government to nix the project in the end.
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