Casino man says Great Keppel Island proposal stacks up

QUEENSLAND casinos have failed to provide what the target market is looking for, according to casino operations manager George Lazenby.

Former Gladstone man and casino manager, George Lazenby believes Great Keppel Island is the only resort with the potential to attract high end gamblers.
Former Gladstone man and casino manager, George Lazenby believes Great Keppel Island is the only resort with the potential to attract high end gamblers. contributed

He believes Great Keppel Island is the only project currently seeking a license with the ability to effectively reach the target market.

"You can't provide ordinary, or worse, facilities like those in the other Queensland casinos," Mr Lazenby said.

"The target market is middle-aged, well-to-do Asians, especially Chinese, so the business is not reliant on local dollars.

"To get them, you need to provide what they want."

He said as short as possible travel time to an Australian airport and from the airport to the final destination was critical, along with excellent, safe and clean beaches, world class golf courses, first class food and accommodation, and very high-end shopping.

"And shock, horror, you need to allow smoking," he said.

Contrary to popular thought, Mr Lazenby said a casino should not be in a high density population area to minimise the negative effects on the local community.

"An additional 1% community tax on international revenue will pay for gamblers' anonymous, homeless shelters, and other special needs," he said.

"That only leaves Great Keppel, as long as it gets an airport upgrade with an international rating.

"Cairns, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville casinos have always failed, on every point, to provide what the high-end Asian punter wants."

SHOWING THEIR HAND

This week Tower Holdings' Great Keppel Island redevelopment was named as one of six expressions of interest for two new integrated resort developments with gaming licences in regional Queensland. CEO Terry Agnew said the casino aspect had set the project back 12 months. He's confident they will secure one of the licenses.

Other regional locations being considered along with Tower Holdings' proposal are:

  • Yorkey's Knob, north of Cairns
  • Airlie Beach
  • Proserpine
  • Gold Coast


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