A LEADING research company says the Gold Coast is not ready for a second casino and will make the industry unviable.
Results from leading independent gambling analysis company Macquarie Research show that the Gold Coast has a higher rate of poker machines per head than capital cities Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
With a permanent population of just under 600,000, the Gold Coast region is also a significant tourist hub, with proponents of a second casino saying it can also help lure more people to the glitter strip.
But Macquarie Research has a significantly different opinion to this and believes a competitor for the Star Entertainment-owned Gold Coast Casino wouldn’t be viable and would provide “saturation” in the market-place.
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Macquarie revealed there is a poker machine for every 67 adults on the Gold Coast, while there is one table game for every 3862 citizens. Market figures also show Gold Coast citizens spend on average $1277 per year on gambling pursuits.
In total the Gold Coast region has more than 120 venues that feature gambling pursuits, with most of these housing extensive poker machines.
“We argue there are more attractive markets in Australia,” Macquarie Research said in a statement.
The research found that a new $2 billion casino on the Gold Coast would need to generate $300 million annually to keep its head above water. This would need to be done with a 45% market share for Star’s Broadbeach casino to remain viable.
“A new competitor would be arguably challenged to expand the domestic market … taking significant domestic market share from incumbents … rather than tourism,” Macquarie said.
“We struggle to present a scenario whereby an appropriate return could be generated on a new $2b integrated resort.”
The proposed new casino also faces the prospect of wrestling up to 500 existing pokies licenses from other venues, with Tourism Minister Kate Jones already ruling out granting more licenses following a poll which shows 68% of residents don’t want another casino in the region.
The Star Entertainmnent Group is vehemently opposed to the new competition and has plans of its own to expand to a seven tower venue in the coming years, although this they say will be pending on no added competition and a continued strong partnership with the Government which can bring advantages to the entire state.