Federal Group reveals redevelopment plans for its Hobart casino but there’s a catch: the Tasmanian government would have to extend its gaming monopoly.
Federal Group is stepping up its negotiation efforts to extend its gambling license in Tasmania as it unveils $70 million make-over plans for Wrest Point complex.
The proposal includes new dining outlets, more bars and a VIP gaming room to attract international gamblers.
Federal Group CEO Greg Farrell said the project would create a “new era” for tourism for both Tasmania and Wrest Point. The project is also expected to create 100 new jobs.
Aside from Wrest Point, the company will also add $20 million to develop a luxury hotel in Port Arthur and $10 million to renovate Country Club Tasmania.
In total, Federal Group would be spending $100 million throughout Tasmania. However, all of these projects were put on hold until the government decides on the future of its gaming license.
“If the licenses were not renewed, then it would entirely inappropriate to spend $70-plus million building spaces and developments for casinos that may not exist into the future,” said Farrell.
Federal Group’s license is scheduled to be reviewed in 2018, five years before it expires, but the Federal Group is not willing to wait until then, expecting negotiations early next year.
David Walsh to push with MONA casino
Earlier this week, owner of Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) David Walsh has also revealed its $75 million expansion plans, which would include a hotel and casino.
Despite the uncertainties on Federal Hotel’s future gaming monopoly in the state, Walsh is going to push with building a high-roller casino called Monaco.
“If we were to build the hotel without the casino building now, we couldn’t put the casino building there because we wouldn’t have access,” said Walsh.”So, I’m going to build it anyway… it’s a building and buildings have a purpose.”
Walsh added that it would operate the casino once he get a license but until that time, it could be a bar or an accommodation.
The pressure is not working
With all the plans brought to the table, Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff said that the government is not feeling the pressure to deal with both Federal and Walsh’s project.
“There is plenty of time to speak and talk with investors about what their future plans may well be,” said Rockliff. “What’s great is that people, investors, are putting forward plans every week for Tasmania because they see great opportunities, particularly in our tourism and hospitality sectors.”