David Walsh plans high-end casino for MONA

The millionaire owner of Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), David Walsh, wants visitors at his popular attraction to take a gamble.


Walsh, who made his wealth at card tables, hopes to open a high-stakes mini-Casino at the museum on the outskirts of Hobart and has launched discussions with stakeholders.

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The interior of MONA, a $100 million private museum and gallery outside Hobart.

The interior of MONA, a $100 million private museum and gallery outside Hobart.

“I would be very happy indeed to have a little high roller, tourist-only, no-pokie casino to be part of the Mona package,” Walsh has told The Mercury newspaper.

And the name for his new project? Monaco.

Walsh envisages no more than 12 gambling tables, targeting super-wealthy international art lovers who would get a kick out of playing blackjack in highbrow surroundings.

Since Mona opened in 2011 it has built a global reputation and boosted the Tasmanian tourism sector.

Walsh said the casino would help underpin the museum’s finances.

Tasmania has two casinos operated by the Federal Group, which has an exclusive state licence.

Walsh doesn’t believe his proposal would impact on current casino operations but he will need to get the state government on side to push ahead with his plans.

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