The state of Queensland in Australia is looking into casino tourism, after a statement from the state government head, Campbell Newman, suggested 3 new casino resorts could be built. Previous gambling news saw the redevelopment of a Brisbane location, involving a new casino operated by Echo Entertainment Group, but now it seems another 2 licenses could be handed out.
Australian gambling laws are left to individual states in Australia, and Queensland are one of the major players, with four licenses in the state, three of which are held by Echo. Yet it may have been plans, by neighboring state New South Wales, to consider a new Crown Ltd. casino in Sydney that really pushed Queensland over the edge.
Indeed, the Queensland government are looking to the casino tourism market to bring in new cash, with the casino licenses modeled after the successful Singapore casino resorts Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. With no online casinos in Australia, the state governments still seem more likely to open land-based casinos than change regulation to bring in Australian online casinos for Australians.
This is despite the fact a new casino license has not been awarded in Australia since 1996. However, the developments across the water in Singapore seem to be forcing the hands of the operators and lawmakers. Singapore visitor numbers rose dramatically after the casino resorts were completed, with tourism from Asia the biggest source of increased numbers.
With new casinos planned in Far Eastern Russia and Japan, which will surely attract Chinese gamblers, Australia needs to act quickly if it wants a share of the pie. Currently, the only casino in Queensland not operated by Echo is based in Cairns, and owned by Reef Casino Trust. This casino only took 3% of casino spending in the state last year.