Gold Coast casino to be 'bigger than Queens Wharf'An artist's impression of possible development at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast. Photo: Star Entertainment

Gold Coast casino to be 'bigger than Queens Wharf'

Amy Remeikis

A casino resort development bigger than the planned Queens Wharf in Brisbane has been planned for the existing Gold Coast Jupiters site, with Star announcing plans for a further four additional towers as part of its master plan.

While only a $345 million refurbishment and new $500 million 200 metre tower stand as concrete plans, Star Entertainment Group managing director Matt Bekier said the company was planning to expand the resort to where it was bigger than the six block planned development in Brisbane’s CBD that Star is also building.

Mr Bekier said if economic conditions were right – and he believed they were – there would be no reason not to look at moving forward with an additional four towers on Broadbeach Island.

“The master plan is setting out the full potential of the site,” he said from the Gold Coast.

“What is currently fully committed is the existing development, the tower in front and the additional tower…subject to planning approvals. We haven’t got that yet. But if it makes economic sense to build this, then there is no reason why we should be advancing all the other developments as quickly as we possibly can.”

But there is yet to be a timeline on that further expansion.

“It depends on the market conditions and the certainty that we have around the environment,” Mr Bekier said.

Star is looking to stamp its ownership on the Gold Coast casino market ahead of the development from the ASF consortium, which is looking to build its own casino resort nearby at The Spit.

An artist's impression of possible development at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast. Photo: Star Entertainment An artist’s impression of possible development at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast. Photo: Star Entertainment

Queen’s Wharf is situated less than an hour north on the highway. Mr Bekier said the Gold Coast expansion was seen as “complimentary investment”.

“Queen’s Wharf has about 1100 hotel rooms, the hotel room capacity for Queen’s Wharf is scaled so the rest of Brisbane takes double the capacity of what Queen’s Wharf already takes,” he said.

“What we are doing here is trying to match that. The idea being the typical tourist has two to three stops in Australia, the international tourist.

Photo: Star Entertainment Photo: Star Entertainment

“If we have a matching capacity we can give them a modern urban experience and quite an outstanding, different, beach type experience, so we can maximise the share of the market that we get here in Queensland.”

That market is largely the lucrative Chinese tourism market, which is what prompted the former government to approve an additional three casino licences for the State in exchange for resorts that would “put Queensland on the map”.

It has led to almost a casino-driven recovery for the Palaszczuk Government, with Star responsible for pumping billions of dollars into the state with the forthcoming construction.

Star has committed to moving its head office to Queensland. Mr Bekier said that was still a work in progress, with the bulk of the staff expected to move north when construction started on its Brisbane interest.

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