New Brisbane Casino Gets Green Light

to begin work on the Queen's Wharf project, which includes the construction of a casino and other entertainment facilities.

The consortium, which is led by the Australian gambling giant Echo Entertainment, as well as Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium, will spend $2 billion constructing the Brisbane casino, as well as five hotels, 50 bars and restaurants, three residential towers.

The government believes that the new casino will boost the state's economy and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that it had the potential to attract millions of tourists to the city each year.

"The flow-on effects will be felt for decades come," said the Premier.

Echo, which owns Brisbane's only casino, was favored by the Premier because the group's proposal made use of large public spaces by the river. Echo beat a combined bid from Crown and the Chinese property developer Greenland Group.

Relocation of Headquarters

In order to oversee the new project, Echo Entertainment is making plans to relocate its headquarters to Brisbane.

The Queen's Wharf project will create thousands of new jobs in the state, including 3,000 construction spots and 8,000 permanent jobs once the complex is complete.

Chief Executive Officer of Echo Entertainment, Matt Bekier predicted that the casino project would "be the next mining boom."

"If we look in Asia in terms of the aspiration of where people want to go, Australia stands out as number one in terms of aspiration and desire to go," he said. "But we're about number 14 of the places they actually go."

"There's a huge opportunity."

Opposition to New Brisbane Casino

Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the new Brisbane casino plans, however. As can be expected, Australia's most vocal anti-gambling campaigner, Senator Nick Xenophon pointed out that none of Queensland's existing four casinos have managed to spur economic activity.

"Having a state development model based on gambling is chasing fool's gold," he said. "There's no question that this project will lead to more aggressive marketing by other gambling venues trying to compete with it."