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Government Shuts Down Idea to Close Queensland Casinos Early

Queensland Casinos will not need to shorten their operating hours, following the government’s decision to vote no on the idea to close early. The proposal was to have casinos close early in order to limit the sale of alcohol. However, the Government will not entertain this idea, because the casinos play such an important part in Queensland’s tourism market.

Queensland Casinos Spared from Reduced Alcohol Sales

Queensland Casino’s Too Important

The proposal was made in an effort to limit the sale of alcohol, in order to reduce violence caused by overconsumption of alcohol. However, the Queensland Government decided not to consider the proposal. The reason being, that the state’s casinos already have significant security and greater scrutiny.

In addition to this, the state’s casinos operate 24/7, and reducing this would go against the plans to turn Brisbane into a ‘New World City’. The Government had this same position back in 2019, when it said it would look at how to involve the casinos in the new Safe Night Precinct Safety Management initiative. This initiative saw alcohol sales stopping at 3 am, instead of 5 am, in areas designated as Safe Night Precincts.

Positive Impact from Initiative

This initiative has already shown some promising numbers. There has been a 49% drop in serious assaults between 3 am and 6 am on Fridays and Saturdays throughout Queensland. In addition to this, there has been a 52% drop in assaults in Fortitude Valley, which is one of the most popular Safe Night Precincts in all of Queensland.

Despite the success, the government felt that closing all venues that sell alcohol, namely casinos in this case, would be counterproductive. However, there was one part of the proposal that did meet with approval. Any venue selling alcohol after midnight will be able to access a list of people banned from entry to public venues. There are around six casinos in Queensland that will be able to access this list, along with bars and other venues. The casino can then decide for itself whether to allow or deny entry. People can be added to the list for several different reasons, which include public intoxication and violence.

Queen’s Warf an Important Development

Star Casino, which runs Brisbane Casino, has been one of the biggest backers of the Queen’s Warf development project. The Queen’s Ward development is valued at over AU$3.5 billion and will become a major tourist attraction. Star Casino is set to move its Brisbane Casino from the current location to a new building, which will be a major part of Queen’s Warf. The new casino will offer around 2500 gambling machines and hundreds of table games.

However, all this is dependent on Star Casino retaining its casino license in Queensland. Star Casino has been involved in an inquiry in New South Wales, which has already showed Star Casino was not honest with its reports to financial and casino regulators. It was also discovered that it was guilty of being involved with money laundering.

Star Casino’s competitor, Crown Resorts, went through a similar inquiry, it had its New South Wales license revoked and was put on probation by two other states. However, it is unlikely that Star Casinos will lose its Queensland license, as the state has invested too much in Queen’s Warf to risk revoking the license.