Star Gold Coast $2b masterplan comes with ‘no more pokies’ vow for Coast casino

Gold Coast Bulletin

THE boss of the Star Entertainment Group vows its proposed $2 billion Broadbeach masterplan does not require any more pokies added at the site.

Star CEO Matt Bekier, unveiling exclusive new artist impressions and details of its seven-tower vision, promised the expansion plan would include no request to add to its 1600 pokies.

“I’m happy to put that stake in the ground,” he told the Gold Coast Bulletin. “If you look at our expansion plans they are really focused on the tourism business.


A “hero” pools will be a feature of each new tower The Star adds to its site.


“We think this market has enough slot machines and if those tourists gamble, they are mostly likely to play table games where we have spare capacity. These plans are not contingent on expansion of pokies.”


CEO of The Star Entertainment Group Matt Bekier vows the firm’s $2b vision for its Broadbeach site includes no need for extra pokies than the 1600 Star already has: “We think this market has enough slot machines.” Pic Tim Marsden


The commitment is a major line in the sand from The Star as debate heats up on the Gold Coast about whether State Government should green light another integrated resort development and an associated second casino licence.

In total, the city is already home to 7500 poker machines, with about 5900 at pubs, surf clubs and RSLs.


The Star Gold Coast Masterplan Development


Industry experts believe the business case for any new large integrated resort and associated second casino would need to be anchored by 2000 to 2500 pokies.

Under that scenario, Queensland’s Government would face pressure to ensure The Star had an even playing field with any rival, meaning its 1600 pokies could be allowed to increase 900 to 2500.

The Star island site at Broadbeach, where its original hotel and gaming complex was joined by The Darling suite hotel two months ago, breaks new ground on a third tower in August.

It is dubbed Tower One.


Proposed Tower 3 Casino Drive entrance


The site masterplan, revealed by the Bulletin in March, includes four more proposed towers — standing 52, 54, 65 and 74 storeys.

The Star vision included a “hero pool” feature and five to six new food and beverage options with each new tower that goes up, Mr Bekier said.

Mr Bekier said the site would also boast a quality day spa in future too.

“Not every tower will get its own spa but every one will have its own pool.

But Mr Bekier has previously indicated the progress of the final four towers — at a rate of about one every two years — depends on the competitive environment at the time.


New entry to the proposed Tower 2.


Asked at the weekend what impact a new integrated resort and rival second casino being granted would mean for The Star’s ambitious expansion plans, Mr Bekier said: “The challenge competitively if additional slot machines come in is it will just erode our base earnings and it makes it harder to invest in the tourism sector.

“We know what the competitive environment is today, what pubs and clubs there are, what hotels are being built and in that context we have committed to build Tower One — for everything else in the future we need to have greater certainty,” Mr Bekier said.


Mr Bekier: “We know what the competitive environment is today, what pubs and clubs there are, what hotels are being built and in that context we have committed to build Tower One — for everything else in the future we need to have greater certainty.” Picture: Jerad Williams


The Gold Coast City Council voted to back the long-term proposal in March and it is now being considered by State Government which has final say on the expansion plans.

Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones is about to embark on a scouting trip to Las Vegas and Macau to meet potential proponents of resort developments.

It is likely she will meet giants MGM Grand and Caesars Entertainment to discuss their proposals for a “global tourism hub” in Queensland.


The entry to Tower 1 at The Star island from Gold Coast Hwy and fronting Tallebudgera Creek. Tower 1 has been committed to by Star and starts construction in August.


The Bulletin has already revealed Caesars international head of development has twice visited the Gold Coast to inspect opportunities for the global brand’s first Australian operation.


Source: 28 May 2018 https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/business/star-gold-coast-2b-masterplan-comes-with-no-more-pokies-vow-for-coast-casino/news-story/acb18c296eaddb2dc2155fc367e4d131

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