Wednesday 4. November, 2015

Casino Being Considered for Geelong Waterfront

Casino developer, John Haddad, has put forward a $1 billion private bid to build a casino on Geelong’s waterfront in Victoria. The Andrews Government is reportedly considering the proposal, although Haddad has admitted that the idea is still in its very early stages.

Haddad, who was involved in the development of a number of casinos around Australia, including the Crown at Melbourne and the Wrest Point in Tasmania has suggested that international tourists may be attracted to Geelong with a casino complex and boutique-style hotel. The waterfront is ideally located in close proximity to Avalon airport and tourist attractions.

Fierce opposition by anti-gaming groups and community organizations is expected against any plans of a second casino with likely arguments to discuss the negative impact a second gaming venue would have on a city that already struggles with unemployment and poverty.

According to Jane Garrett, Gaming Minister, “If a second casino was to ever be built, there would have to be a huge amount of work done, a huge amount of community consultation, none of that is taking place. At this point it is just so beyond hypothetical, it is such a thought bubble.”

Currently, Crown Resorts has a monopoly in Victoria and a second casino there would undermine that. Crown Melbourne’s license was extended from 2033 to 2050 by Premier Daniel Andrews in a deal from the former Napthine Government which he honoured in exchange for an extra $910 million in taxes to be paid by Crown. While a 1991 law limited Victoria to one casino, an amendment to that law last year made Crown unable to claim damages if the government awards a second license and the government has refused to grant license exclusivity to Crown.

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