Hard Rock Eyes Gold Coast Expansion

Tisha Walden | 07 Aug 2018

Positive Interest from Hard Rock on Expansion in AustraliaLocal news outlets are reporting that Hard Rock International has shown interest in expanding to Australia’s Gold Coast. The integrated resort company is said to be seriously considering this city as the next destination for the growth of its gaming and hotel business.

At the moment, the only operational casino in the area is The Star Gold Coast, formerly known as Jupiters Hotel and Casino. With the Gold Coast being the most popular tourist strip in Australia, Hard Rock International is not the first big company of its kind to consider acquiring property there. In the summer of 2017 reports emerged that Caesars Entertainment Corp was also looking at developing in the Coast.

No Hard Rock Project Confirmed Yet

A second casino in Gold Coast has the potential to generate huge revenue, but Hard Rock International has yet to announce any official plans to do that. Such an establishment has not yet been authorised, although there is evidence to suggest that this may be happening soon. A massive A$3-billion integrated resort, backed by Chinese investors, was proposed for the Southport Spit.

The Chinese-backed proposal was rejected but the property would have had a casino facility, meaning that there is now a vacant casino and gaming licence. In theory, the bidding process for an integrated resort could be reopened.

Additional Pokies Prohibited

Official records show that pokies machine use grew to A$27 million per month in 2017. This is the highest it has ever been, and government is making attempts to curb any further increase. To that end Kate Jones, Minister of Tourism in Queensland, has confirmed that there are no plans to allow the addition of any pokies machines to the Gold Coast.

Jones did say, however, that the government supported the idea of an integrated resort along the Coast. This is in keeping with the plan, introduced in 2017, to develop Global Tourism Hubs around Queensland.

By attracting international investors the tourism industry in the state could be boosted even more. Currently believed to support hundreds of thousands of jobs and to be worth A$25 billion, this is a vital economic resource for the state.

Positive Interest from Hard Rock

Hard Rock International said in a letter to Queensland officials (obtained by 9 News Gold Coast, a local outlet) that they were intrigued by the Global Tourism Hubs programme. They referred to the programme as a holistic model, and explained their desire to develop a property focused on different kinds of entertainment including many non-gambling facilities.

Hard Rock has casinos in New Jersey and Florida, but also operates a global restaurant and hotel chain. This could suit the integrated entertainment plan for Global Tourism Hubs well, and makes the company a good candidate to develop such a resort in Gold Coast. With the city’s Hard Rock Café having already been in operation for more than 20 years, this possible expansion of the brand is even more viable.