SkyCity's proposed plans to expand its Adelaide Casino has been given the green light by the Development Assessment Commission (DAC). The $300 million expansion project will include an 80-room luxury hotel overlooking River Torrens and could employ up to 1,000 people once it is complete.
SkyCity's chief executive, Nigel Morrison said that the expansion would stimulate growth in the area, and vowed to keep the adjacent Adelaide Railway Station, of important heritage value, intact.
It is believed that construction will begin on the project in the middle of the year. It is expected to become a "world class, integrated entertainment destination in Adelaide, attracting both international and domestic visitors", according to Morrison.
The existing casino will also be expanded.
Casino Boss Addresses Concerns
Morrison spoke about the benefits of the expansion project and the steps that SkyCity will take to ensure that nothing will affect the heritage elements of the railway station.
"The SkyCity Adelaide expansion will be a positive addition to the Festival Plaza re-development project that will bring both short-term and long-term employment to many South Australians across several industries," he said.
"SkyCity has worked in close collaboration with the planning authorities to secure our vision for this development, ensuring we took on board concerns that were relayed to us about the heritage-listed railway station, which will remain intact under the approved plans."
Opposition to Adelaide Casino Expansion
As can be expected, Australia's most vocal anti-gambling campaigner, Senator Nick Xenophon came out against the expansion plans, predicting that it would lead to "increased gambling losses and with it more gambling addiction in South Australia."
Xenophon warned that small local businesses would be affected by the expansion and he foresaw increased gambling advertising and more "aggressive promotions" as suburban pokie operators tried to maintain their market share.