THE timing could not have been worse, but Jupiters Casino has hosed down suggestions that managing director Aaron Gomes has quit his post in the wake of the Gold Coast being granted a second casino licence.
Gomes, who joined Jupiters in 2012, is understood to be returning to his native US.
However, no reasons are given for his departure which comes just four months after fellow American John Redmond quit as CEO of Jupiters owner Echo Entertainment Group (ASX: EGP).
Echo says current managing director and Echo senior executive Geoff Hogg will take Gomes’ place and oversee the proposed expansion of the group’s casino facilities on the Gold Coast and the bid for a second casino in Brisbane.
“This change will ensure Echo is leveraging all resources in the best interest of the Gold Coast and Brisbane tourism markets,” the company says in a statement.
“A crucial part of Echo’s growth is the company’s current project that sees the investment of $345 million into the redevelopment of Jupiters Gold Coast, to be delivered in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, including new six-star hotel facilities, day spa and improved gaming offering,” it says.
The planned refurbishment of Jupiters is poised to be swamped by the proposed $7.5 billion casino-resort and cruise ship terminal proposed by the ASF Corporation for the Southport Broadwater.
Gomes has previously told Gold Coast Business News that he does not see the Gold Coast being able to sustain two casino properties.
However, it is understood his decision to leave Jupiters was not linked to the State Government last night anointing ASF Consortium with the city’s second casino licence.
Gomes is understood to have told staff of his departure yesterday.
Echo says it now plans to consolidate its leadership structure in south-east Queensland to help meet its vision for growth.
Hogg’s says he will focus on delivering the capital investment program for Jupiters and support Echo’s bid to build a new casino in the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane precinct.
The State Government has yet to decide on the preferred bidder for a new Brisbane casino, with James Packer among the contenders.
TIME FOR JUPITERS TO LIFT ITS GAME, SAYS TATE
JUPITERS Casino has been put on notice to lift its game after the State Government announced overnight that Broadwater cruise terminal proponent ASF Consortium has been awarded the city’s second casino licence.
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