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New survey puts feather in Crown’s casino cap

July 12, 2013 Headline News, Hotel News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59With Sydney apparently set to become the first Australian city with two casinos, James Packer can enjoy new research showing that Crown Melbourne much more popular than Sydney’s The Star.

Packer, Australia’s third-richest person, was delighted to learn last week that his Crown Resorts has been given the go-ahead to proceed with plans to develop Sydney’s Barangaroo site into a AUD 1 billion hotel and ultra-luxury VIP-only casino. The swish gambling facility will boast 120 tables and electronic gambling games but no poker machines. Banner 250x250px

Packers Crown Ltd has been asked to pledge that it will pay AUD 1 billion in taxes and licence fees to New South Wales in the first 15 years of the project.

The decision hit Crown’s competitor, Echo Entertainment (owner of The Star casino at Pyrmont) and its share price fell on the news.

In Queensland, meanwhile, Crown wants to build a new casino in the Brisbane CBD. Echo operates three casinos in Queensland, including Brisbane’s Treasury Casino.

Treasury Casino managing director Geoff Hogg says there is already fierce market competition but Crown disagrees. Packer, Crown Casinos chairman, has labelled Echo’s operations a “disgrace”, ABC News reported.

Now, seemingly by coincidence, comes release of the latest Roy Morgan Gambling Monitor survey, headed cheekily: “Crown Melbourne more popular than Star City? You bet!”

The news is not good for Star, and Roy Morgan makes it worse by referring to The Star as “Star City” (its former name) throughout.

The survey found that in the 12 months to March 2013, 8.8% of Australian adults (or 1.6 million people) gambled at a casino at least once, with Crown Melbourne their top choice by far.

Nearly 450,000 Australians aged over 18 (2.5% of the adult population) gambled at Crown Melbourne at least once; Crown Perth was the second most popular casino, with 1.3% of Australian adults trying their luck there.

The Star in Sydney and Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast also attracted healthy crowds, with 1.2% and 1.1% respectively having gambled at these venues as at March 2013. So Crown Melbourne attracted more than twice as many Australian punters as The Star.

The Star is the second largest casino in Australia after rival Melbourne’s Crown Casino.

International director of tourism, travel and leisure for Roy Morgan Research, Jane Ianniello, points out that the two Crown casinos in Melbourne and Perth attract more gamblers than any of the Echo Entertainment Group’s casinos (The Star, Jupiters and Treasury).

“With Crown’s successful application to build a casino and hotel complex at Barangaroo in Sydney, as well as their plans to develop an integrated casino in Brisbane’s CBD, competition between Crown and Echo is set to heat up even more.

“Crown’s development plans come at a time when the incidence of casino gambling by Australians has declined. Whereas 13.5% of Australians reported gambling at a casino at least once in the year to March 2013, this figure had fallen to 8.8% in March 2013.

Written by : Peter Needham

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