Crown, Echo to vie for new Brisbane casino rights in George St redevelopment.
THE State Government says all options are on the table as casino bosses duel for Queensland’s gambling market rights.
As The Courier-Mail revealed on Saturday, Crown boss James Packer has been lobbying Premier Campbell Newman in the hope of building a casino as part of the redevelopment of government buildings in George and William streets.
The push pits Crown against Treasury Casino operators Echo Entertainment which has its own $1 billion plan to redevelop the site as part of a major expansion. new Brisbane casino.
Yesterday a spokesman for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said all options were being considered by the Government, with a decision on a casino to be made in September.
Speaking to the Nine Network yesterday, Echo Entertainment CEO John Redmond denied any knowledge of the Crown bid for a second Brisbane casino.
«I’m not worried about it,» he said.
«We have a licence there (in Brisbane).
«We have the only licence there. new Brisbane casino.
«It should be one casino and one city, and that’s it.»
Treasury Casino managing director Geoff Hogg said they had heard «rumours» about Crown’s interest in Brisbane but they were focusing on what they were doing.
«We’re obviously very keen to participate in the planning process the Queensland Government announced recently,» Mr Hogg said.
«We’ve been part of Brisbane for the last 18 or 19 years and the company is proud of what we’ve done.
«We will always be part of Brisbane.»
He said Echo was of the firm belief that there was only room for one casino in Brisbane.
«We have a strong view that ‘one city, one casino’ is what’s working in Australia and believe Brisbane only needs one casino,» Mr Hogg said. new Brisbane casino.
«If we were able to relocate the (Treasury) casino to a new location we could expand our tourism offering to have more hotel rooms, more bars, more function facilities.»
What would then become of the heritage-listed former Treasury building for which Echo holds a lease until 2070, would be a matter for the government.
«We think the opportunities for that site would be quite endless,» Mr Hogg said.
Retail giant Westfield is one of the companies believed to be eyeing off the Treasury building but a spokeswoman said it would not be making any comment.
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