A NEW WAVE of casino liberalisation is sweeping Australia. The Queensland state government has announced that it is seeking expressions of interest for a casino development in Brisbane, and that it is considering offering two further licenses.
This move was foreshadowed in May last year, when it was announced that government’s “master plan” for Brisbane might include another casino, after years of lobbying for casino expansion by Echo Entertainment and James Packer.
But with recent research suggesting that poker machines in casinos are more dangerous than those in clubs or hotels, there is good reason to worry that the expansion of existing casinos and the development of new ones will only increase the harm gambling does to the Australian community.
The idea of a second casino on the Gold Coast has also been advocated by the area’s mayor for some time, with the Queensland state government giving qualified approval. A recent proposal for a new casino in Cairns has been granted a streamlined approvals process.
This news out of Brisbane comes days after SkyCity and the South Australian state government finalised a deal to increase the size of the Adelaide casino, with 505 more pokies, 95 additional table games and 300 new automated gaming table terminals.