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Who Will Win The Race For Brisbane’s Newest Casino?

You might be aware that there’s a licence available for a new casino resort in Brisbane. That’s a big deal – the market for casino resorts in Australia might be tough, but there seem to be no shortage of organisations, both international and domestic, who are eager to throw their hats in the ring for the chance to develop a new casino for Brisbane.

Any newly-developed casino resort for Brisbane would have to be absolutely first rate to compete in the existing market, you’d think, and it will have to pass the stringent requirements of the State Government (and rightly so) in terms of environmental impact, sustainability, economic viability and much more.

One of the big prospective contenders for a new Brisbane Casino is James Packer’s Crown Resorts, who already operate some very fine Australian Casino resorts, Crown Melbourne and the new Crown Perth amongst them. Their bid would involve a co-operation with the huge Greenland Holding Group from China, and would be in direct completion with the existing Treasury Casino in Brisbane – which is why analysts seem to think that the bid might not be the strongest.

It’s number-crunchers from Deutshce Bank who have come down against the joint Crown Resorts / Greenland Holding bid, seeing the bid by Crown’s Australian rivals Echo Entertainment as more likely to see approval.

It’s all because Echo currently operate the Treasury Casino in a prime (heritage listed) location at the heart of Brisbane. If an Echo bid were to win the licence, then Brisbane would (most likely) see a redevelopment of the treasury site, and the development of a new, world-class casino resort besides. But if the license goes to Crown, then Brisbane will see a second casino resort – one that would be in direct competition with the Treasury Casino.

We have to admit that we’re torn. There’s a part of us that sees the ambition of Crown’s plan to develop casino resorts throughout Australia, with the aim of snaring as much international gambling tourism trade as possible, bringing that trade to Australian cities and Australian Casino resorts. And there’s a part of us, too, that doesn’t mind the idea of two competing casinos in Brisbane: competition almost always raises the quality of the product on offer for casino and pokie lovers.

But there’s a bit of us that sees the sense in giving the license to Echo and encouraging the redevelopment of the central Treasury Casino site. Whatever happens, we’ll be keeping an eye out for news, and you’ll read it here when we see anything...

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