Townsville’s casino set for another revamp

by Charlotte Lee Last Updated
Townsville’s casino set for another revamp

Townsville’s casino has revealed grand plans for a $7 million gaming room and entertainment precinct.

Townsville Bulletin reports that The Ville Resort-Casino has unveiled plans, which would provide facilities for high rollers and a conference and entertainment venue.

Under the plan, the existing Grand Ballroom, Coral Sea Room and Boardroom will be transformed into an exclusive private gaming room, while a separate conferencing and entertainment venue will feature state-of-the-art staging and audio-visual equipment.

The property’s chief executive officer, Michael Jones, said the project was the logical next step for the complex, which Morris Group’s initial investment of $45 million to already used to redevelop The Ville.

“The Grand Ballroom was the only section which wasn’t included in that initial redevelopment so these works will bring it in line with the look and feel of the rest of the property,” Mr Jones said.

“As well as electronic gaming machines, table games, and food and beverage outlets, the new VIP gaming room will also boast stunning ocean views and a balcony overlooking Magnetic Island.

“I’m sure the upgrade to our entertainment venue will be welcome news to the many fans of our live shows but it will also give us another fantastic space for smaller conferences to complement the existing offering in The Pavillion, which has proven to be really popular.”

Marketing and VIP Services general manager Emily Roebuck said the new gaming rooms would allow The Ville to provide a unique and high-end experience for its fast-growing gaming market.

“Since the first redevelopment was completed, our interstate gaming program in particular, has been growing exponentially,” Ms Roebuck said.

“The addition of the new VIP gaming rooms will allow us to significantly enhance what we can offer our top tier members, in line with other high end gaming operators across the country.

“It will also mean we can provide an even higher level of service to our many loyal local members.”

Demolition work is scheduled to begin in December with the aim for the project to be completed in June next year.

Construction will be undertaken with no disruption to existing gaming operations or to hotel guests staying in-house.

Mr Jones said the redevelopment would provide a big boost to the Queensland economy.

“Brisbane-based design firm BSPN has been signed on to oversee the project because of their extensive experience in gaming hospitality projects like this one, including their work on Star Gold Coast,” Mr Jones said.

“North Queensland company Prime Constructions has been awarded the principal contract and has committed to using local trades and contractors as a first preference for all aspects of the build.

“We estimate this project will provide 100 jobs for local trades during the construction phase, plus an additional 20 jobs for gaming and food and beverage staff once the new wing is operational.”

Former Star gaming supervisor sentenced for fraud offences

A man who took gambling chips from Star Casino has been sentenced by a Sydney court. 

The Daily Telegraph reported in September that Justin Ly took more than $90,000 worth of gambling chips from the casino, with the court saying his scam was possible due to the complex’s poor security system.

Mr Ly will spend the next eight months locked inside his Bonnyrigg home after he was sentenced for repeatedly manipulating dealers to hand over thousands of dollars’ worth of chips.

The 23-year-old was employed as a gaming supervisor and would lie to dealers about a ‘customer’ – his criminal accomplice – who had gone to the bathroom and left behind a number of gambling chips, typically valued at about $7500.

When the ‘customer’ would return, Ly would order the dealer to pay out the ‘owed’ money in chips.

The scam was successfully executed dozens of times across months in 2019.

The court heard the scam was undertaken to fund Mr Ly’s own gambling addiction, which was already intense before he began working at the casino.

Magistrate Michael Antrum said the young man took advantage of what he believed was a “poor security system” and used his “knowledge of how the system operated.”

The Bonnyrigg man is now attending weekly sessions to address his gambling problem and is on a doctor-issued mental health plan, with a court-ordered report stating he is a low risk of reoffending.

Outside court, Mr Ly spoke of the crippling addiction which led him down the criminal path.

“Gambling is pretty bad, I guess that’s what made me do that,” he said.

Mr Ly was convicted of fraud by deception and placed on an eight-month intensive correction order, to be served by home detention.

He was also ordered to repay Star $83,500.

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