New Queensland casino won’t call itself casino

By Mia Chapman Updated
Queen’s Wharf wins building award

Construction has commenced on the new Queens Wharf Brisbane Integrated Development project earlier this year, following its approval back in 2015, The $3.6 billion project is expected to open in 2022. have reported an interesting observation that the casino has managed to eliminate the term ‘casino’ from all its paperwork, advertising and official filings.

The gambling nature of the project doesn’t even show up in the government wording. Following its approval in 2015, the announcement focused on highlighting the four luxurious hotels, its 50+ restaurants, cafes and bars, over 2000 condos and the expansive public spaces that will be home to entertainment, design and shopping.

The Destination Brisbane Consortium is promoting the space by focusing on the resort side, rather than the casino side. The word “casino” is also absent on the official project’s landing page, however is noticeable upon reading further..

This level of communication hasn’t amused anti-gambling campaigners, who claim that the project is mainly a casino which will serve as the central point for the development. Anti-gambling expert Stephen Mayne believes this move is disingenuous in an attempt to attract tourism. “It’s a joke,” Mayne says. “It’s clearly a casino.”

The term ‘Integrated Resort’ (IR) has become popularised in recent times to identify casino resorts in markets where gambling is either banned or heavily regulated. This is the case across many places in Asia, including China and Singapore where citizens may consider gambling a touchy subject.

Not using the term ‘casino’ is a marketing tactic used to sell the place as an entertainment destination, rather than a place where you just go to gamble. Therefore, it gives the project a more socially acceptable image where the gambling element to the development can be less scrutinised.

The resort will bring incredible revenues for the Queensland government where Star, the company behind Destination Brisbane Consortium, has agreed to pay the government $1 billion over the next 15 years, which serves mainly as payment for the prime real estate land it will occupy on the riverbank.

Same licencee as the Brisbane Treasury casino

Star already holds the casino license to operate the Brisbane Treasury casino with the new casino, they are transferring the current license over. The only change to its license will be its increase in poker machines. The original casino license allows for up to 1,632 machines with the new license allowing 2,500.

“Excavation work will conclude in 2019 ready for the commencement of car park foundations and basement foundations” according to the developers website update.

Next year the project will move into its final phase which includes construction of the core of the development. “This will be the major focus with much work being done to complete the structure to finishing height,” the website says. “The exterior will continue to be worked on over the next couple of years.”

As part of the project development, a free community BBQ breakfast with coffee and entertainment will be held on 30 October to officially open the new section of rejuvenated riverfront.

The opening will include a 500 metre section of upgraded Bicentennial Bikeway, the above-water Mangrove Walk and new recreational facilities in Waterline Park beneath the Riverside Expressway.

Destination Brisbane Consortium Project Director Simon Crooks said everyone is invited to come to the opening and enjoy the new spaces.

“Firstly, I want thank residents, commuters, bikeway users, near neighbours, QUT students and everyone who uses Gardens Point Road for their patience and support over the last 15 months,” Mr Crooks said.

“Please join us for a community opening celebration from 6am to 9am on Wednesday 30 October to come and see what we have built, plus enjoy a free breakfast.”

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