Hard Rock International has reportedly set its sights on Australia’s Gold Coast as the next destination for expansion of its integrated resort business.
Reports about Hard Rock’s interest in the Gold Coast emerged shortly after Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones confirmed that the state government does not plan to allow additional poker machines on the Coast.
Minister Jones said that while there would be no new poker machines, the government supported the development of an integrated resort on Australia’s most popular tourist strip.
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 said they would rather develop an “entertainment-centric” property than just focus on gambling.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said that he welcomed the development of a resort that would include hotels, multiple dining options, as well as different entertainment facilities.
Despite the government’s pokie 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 year that Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. was also eyeing the popular tourist strip as part of its global expansion strategy.
Currently, The Star Gold Coast is the city’s only operational casino.
Sources: Casino News Daily
CROWN CASINO’S LICENSE RENEWED
Victoria’s gaming regulator has declared that Crown Casino must improve its responsible gambling efforts and compliance but has still approved the company’s license renewal.
The review of Crown’s licence found “failures of governance and risk management, contributing to compliance slippages”.
The casino was also criticised for a “lack of innovation” in its approach to responsible gambling and told it needed a “new or refreshed” strategy.
The report, however, concluded that Crown remained suitable to hold the casino licence.
During the five-year period of the review, the VCGLR fined Crown a total of $560,000 for eight compliance breaches, including:
- 13 instances of failing to comply with the state’s junket regulations.
- Allowing two minors to gamble in the casino.
- Allowing children to enter the casino on three occasions.
- Allowing children to be unattended at the casino complex.
- Finding an average of 13 drug dealing offences per year in the casino during the five-year review.
- Weapons found in the casino precinct.
The casino said it accepted the commission’s 20 recommendations.
Crown chairman John Alexander said the casino had made improvements to its responsible gaming program during the course of the review period and would continue to make improvements in the future.