Sunday 11. September, 2016

Cairns Keen to Get Available Casino License

Cairns looks ready to apply for the regional casino license that was made available when Aquis Entertainment abandoned plans for a casino in their Yorkeys Knob development.

Cairns treasurer, Curtis Pitt, spoke about how Cairns is ready for a major development and how the economy is ripe for a tourism boost. This was echoed by Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive Alex de Waal who said that the Treasurer’s comments showed that Cairns is ready to go forward.

“We have investors from all parts of the world flocking to the region to capitalise on the intrinsic and highly compelling attractiveness of the Tropical North Queensland destination,” said de Waal.

“Our destination is one of Australia’s most significant and fastest growing and we need to ensure that we continue to innovate and develop new room stock to keep pace with the global tourism growth opportunities that the next decade will provide.”

He continued that Cairns needs to look towards developing five and six-star hotels and resorts, including integrated casinos, to cater to the Asian tourism market.

In a speech to the Cairns Chamber of Commerce by Mr Pitt this week, he used the example of the sale of a suite of hotels in the city over the past year as evidence that investors are interested in Cairns.

“This is exactly the type of activity we need to see right now, especially as the tourism boom creates a potential shortage of accommodation for visitors to Cairns as demand continues to grow,” commented Mr Pitt.

The State government is expected to soon call for expressions of interest for the available casino license and it is suspected that the developers behind the Great Keppel Island upgrade will apply, as well as possibly Townsville and Toowoomba as other locations.

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