There’s no question that gaming in Australia has seen its share of difficulties lately, especially with one of the largest gaming companies in the nation, Crown Resorts, enmeshed in scandal for much of 2018. The company has been fighting issues within Australia because of accusations of machine fixing at one of its casinos, and accusations of money laundering in Macau. It was then faced with the resignation of its CEO, James Packer, and his subsequent hospitalization because of mental illness.
While Crown Resorts has had its share of troubles this year, its largest rival, The Star, has continued its expansion project along the Gold Coast. The casino group has big plans for the area and hopes its amenities and luxury accommodations will entice tourists and locals to spend money.
The Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is an area to the south of Brisbane in the state of Queensland. The area is known for long stretches of sandy beaches and has also been known as a surfing haven for the last 100 years. The Gold Coast has been a tourist attraction for more than a century. Not only does the area offer beaches and surfing, but it also has ecotourism. There is a rainforest located close to the famed beaches.
Tourist attractions along the Gold Coast include Sea World, Dreamworld, and Wet N Wild theme parks. The nightlife has also been thriving, with the addition of bars and restaurants in the area.
The Casino Expansion
The Star has plans to invest nearly $3 billion along the Gold Coast in the next five years. The first chunk of money from the casino company has already been spent with the opening of a new hotel, the Darling Hotel, as well as a remodel of its existing casino facilities. The first step in the project has cost the casino company $850 million.
The Star has plans to expand further, both at its property in Brisbane and along the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast expansion will add five additional towers to the facility’s complex, and that will add both gaming and entertainment venues, as well as additional hotel space and apartment/condominium complexes. For the project, The Star plans to use funding partners from Hong Kong because it hopes to attract Asian gamers to the area. The tower complex construction should take anywhere from eight to 10 years to complete. When it is finished, however, it will be one of the biggest casino complexes in the world.
The Star is hoping to capitalize on the recent money and scandal-ridden collapse of Crown Resorts, which is in the midst of selling off some of its properties. The Star is also hoping to benefit from the influx of Chinese VIP gamblers to the country. While the focus of China’s high rollers has been Sydney because of its large gaming presence, The Star is hoping, with the expectation of an increased tourist flow, to reap enormous profit from its expansion. Tourism from international visitors is expected to rise by 75 percent in the next 10 years, and that will be capped by a huge influx of Chinese tourists.
While the Star is not trying to take the focus away from its premier property in Sydney, it is hoping to make its large casino property on the Gold Coast the second stop for Chinese tourists and high rollers looking to capitalize on its casino. If the Star is able to profit from its large expansion, even with the addition of a new Crown Resorts property expected in 2021, it will have reaped the benefits of years of construction and billions of dollars in expenses.
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