A team of Queensland government officials will fly to Las Vegas and Macau next week in a bid to lure the world’s biggest casino developers to the state.
Led by tourism minister Kate Jones, the contingent will meet with representatives from major casino chains like MGM Grand and Caesar’s Entertainment to discuss two casino licences – one for Cairns and one for the Gold Coast.
If successful, the mission would see two ‘super casino resorts’ built in Queensland, complete with accommodation, restaurants, gaming and entertainment venues and shops.
“Our strategy is all based around attracting more visitors who stay longer and spend more in Queensland to create jobs for locals,” Ms Jones told 9News.
“I have been approached by some of the world’s most successful entertainment companies keen to invest in Queensland. But we’re working to make sure we get the balance right for Queenslanders.”
Opposition ministers have questioned the timing and nature of the taxpayer-funded trip, as the tourism group’s mission coincides with Jeff Horn’s world title bout in Las Vegas on June 9.
Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington has labelled the trip a junket.
“Is this an affront to spend taxpayers’ money to go on a jaunt to watch Jeff Horn fight?” she asked.
Kate Jones’ office issued a statement saying the innovation minister was already planning to be in America for the world’s largest innovation convention, the Bio International Convention, from June 4 to 7.
“The date of the fight changed. The Minister is paying for her own accommodation in Las Vegas,” it said.