Over the course of the last year, we have seen plenty of buzz about the new casinos that will be coming Cairns and Brisbane. These multi-billion dollar resorts promise to bring in new tourism, but industry analysts are dubious. A report in the Courier Mail notes that industry experts are concerned about the new casinos that will be built in the country in coming years.

Tony Fung’s $8 billion Aquis Casino Resort promises to bring in plenty of tourism from wealthy Asian gamblers, but analysts are worried that the venue will fail to attract enough patrons to keep the casino going. The venue will feature eight high-end hotels, a convention centre, several casinos and a golf course. The goal is to attract wealthy gamblers all year around, but there is not enough local demand for a resort of this nature or size.

“The proposal for Cairns is widely regarded in the industry as being non-viable, and if this was to go ahead it would end up being a much scaled-down version,” says Roy Wheatly of Global Consultants. “There is no resident population to support a development of this size (and) access to the area from Asia is many years away from being able to support it.”

Dr Sudhir Kale, a consultant from Macau, has noted that the casino would have to attract over 75 000 patrons a day in order to be considered successful and profitable. However, analysts are doubtful that the venue will be able to maintain this type of patronage over time. He has expressed doubts that the casino will be viable as a luxury destination for high rollers.

As such, Wheatley is concerned that the venue will become yet another ‘pokie palace’, home to hundreds of poker machines that will attract local visitors instead of the wealthy clientele that will boost the local tourism department.