Hard Rock International Interested in Australia’s Gold Coast

Hard Rock International Interested in Australia’s Gold Coast

Hard Rock International is reportedly interested in acquiring the second casino license for Australia’s Gold Coast.

According to the Gold Coast Bulletin, Hard Rock International sent emails to the local state government, city council, and Gold Coast tourism leaders expressing their interest in the license. The email outlined plans for an “entertainment-centric” resort, instead of a straight up casino resort.

Edward Tracy, CEO for Asia Pacific of Hard Rock International:

“We believe Queensland has a strong market potential for a new product paradigm, one that is more entertainment-centric, not merely in physical amenities themselves but how they are delivered to customers. People flock to the Hard Rock because of the lifestyle element the brand exudes. The casino is but one among a plethora of entertainment options.”

Gold Coast’s Unique Casino Challenge

Australia’s Gold Coast presents an interesting challenge for those trying to acquire a license to operate. Queensland Tourism Minster Kate Jones stated that the state government does not plan to allow Gold Coast casinos to have slot machines. Knowing this, Hard Rock International still decided they wished to pursue a license to operate a resort in Gold Coast.

Jones also had this to say about any prospective casino/resort operators looking to open in the area:

“When we go to market on the Gold Coast, we’re making it clear that the focus should be on big-name entertainment, bringing the likes of Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez to the Coast to perform.”

Hard Rock isn’t the only company interested in bringing their brand of entertainment to Gold Coast. Caesars Entertainment has also expressed interest in opening their own resort in Gold Coast. Knowing this, Jones had praise for Hard Rock International and Caesars Entertainment:

“This is the model that Hard Rock is currently building in Spain and that Caesars has at destinations all over the world.”

Gold Coast Right Now

At the moment, only one casino is in operation in Gold Coast: The Star Gold Coast. The former Jupiters Hotel and Casino is currently going through a multi-million dollar expansion, highlighted by a 17-story hotel tower.

As for the authorization of a second casino, rumors of the government opening bidding for a second casino have been swirling since last year. Last summer, the local government rejected a A$3 billion bid by Chinese investors to build an entertainment complex that could have included a casino.

Hard Rock isn’t unknown in Gold Coast. The Florida-based chain has been operating a trademark Hard Rock Café in Gold Coast for over twenty years. However, the feel it’s time to expand beyond simply serving food.

Hard Rock’s Daniel Cheng, Senior Vice-President for Development Asia:

“I would like to express our company’s utmost interest and support to the very exciting Global Tourism Hub vision which we strongly believe will complement Queensland’s existing world-class tourism assets and vault the state’s tourism industry to greater heights. We look forward to participating and contributing on this journey with Queensland. We have been very busy but would like to reassure you the Queensland GTH vision continues to rank high in our attention.”

Gold Coast would only be the latest feather in Hard Rock's cap, recently opening a new casino in Atlantic City. They've also recently jumped in line to join the brand new US sports betting scene.

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