Clubs Queensland today calls on the Premier to take a stand and stop the development of an additional casino on the Gold Coast, which is currently proposed for the Spit.
“Our concerns have been independently confirmed in terms of the impact a second casino on the Gold Coast will have on community clubs, the local community and particularly the financial impact this imposes on community clubs,” Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart said.
“The Synergies Economic Consulting report confirms that 30 Gold Coast community clubs are at very high risk of financial failure as a result of the expected competitive battle for patrons between the existing Jupiters Casino and a new second casino on the Spit as part of the proposed IRD development by ASF.
“The number of community clubs in the ‘high risk of financial failure category’ equates to 44% of the 67 licensed community clubs on the Gold Coast that currently have a gaming offer, and is forecast to displace approximately half a million club members. What this means for Gold Coast locals is – your local RSL, footy club, surf club and the services they provide may genuinely disappear,” Mr Flockhart said.
“Further it is projected that profitability across the community club sector will fall by almost 25% after construction of a new IRD is completed, whether that be at the Gold Coast or Brisbane. This equates to approximately 230 million ripped out of local communities statewide for important community projects such as children’s sporting opportunities, legacy, surf lifesaving, social infrastructure and more.
“Community club members are young families looking for a safe and friendly environment to enjoy a meal, the elderly who enjoy a social outlet to mingle with people their age in a convivial environment, those with mental and physical disabilities, those with an interest in sports looking for facilities to practice, community groups seeking a meeting place or financial support for those who need it most.
“A key point often glossed over is that the majority of casino patrons are locals, i.e. in this case those who reside on the Gold Coast. This fact was further confirmed recently with Crown advising the media and their shareholders that just 12% of all visits to their Australian casino offer is from China, which many (including ASF) are conveniently suggesting are the majority of their custom or will be for any new offer. Any new casino entrant on the Gold Coast will seduce locals from existing establishments across the coast, as without them they will not be viable. This will be to the detriment of existing gambling and hospitality offers right along the Coast,” Mr Flockhart said.
“Enough is enough. Queensland already has 4 casinos with the smallest population on the Eastern Seaboard at about 4.7 million residents. Compare this to NSW with a population of 7.5 million, which has one casino and one on the way with table games only, or Victoria, which has just one casino with 5.8 million residents.
“There are two key issues at play here. Firstly a second casino on the Gold Coast will wipeout existing community clubs which will be to the detriment of the communities they support.
“Secondly, development on the Spit has been discussed at length and continues to be a political football with neither the Local Council or State Government seemingly prepared to protect the future of this iconic land from opportunist developers.
“We call on the Premier of Queensland to declare the proposed ASF development on the Spit a NO GO, and to also confirm there will not be a second casino in any location on the Gold Coast, given the confirmed impact of additional IRD gambling offers.
“Of course all new development is enticing when you are trying to grow an economy, however the impact another casino offer (that includes thousands of pokies) can only be described as an ARMAGEDDON outcome which will severely impact Gold Coast communities and the community clubs that service them,” Mr Flockhart concluded.
Media Contact: Doug Flockhart, Clubs Queensland, 0418 784 576.