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Crown Casinos In Las Vegas Venture

James Packer, Australia’s casino mogul, is prepared to confess that he has something of a soft spot for Las Vegas. The Vegas Strip might not enjoy the sort of international dominance that it once did, with the rise of the Macau casino hub eclipsing Vegas in terms of sheer volume of business, and Australia’s own casino resorts part of a new trend that has seen the hotels of Las Vegas out-done for luxury, for facilities, and for first-rate casinos, too.

But there is still a little bit of magic associated with Vegas, according to Packer: ‘You can’t be in the gaming industry and not have a special reverence for Las Vegas – that’s where it all began.

As we have built Crown Resorts into a thriving international company with successful casino ventures in Australia, Macau, and London, we’ve always kept our eye on Las Vegas. And while we fell short in past attempts to enter that market, we now have the ideal opportunity – with a great local partner in Andrew, a leading financial investor in Oaktree, and the perfect piece of property.’

He’s talking about one of the most famous sites on the old Las Vegas strip, a site that was once the home of the Frontier Casino. And he’s talking about a second foray by his Crown Resorts group into the Las Vegas market. The first was a victim of poor timing, and folded in the recent global financial crisis: Packer will be hoping that the stars are a little better aligned for this attempt to expand his interests into the spiritual home of the casino.

And there’s a fitting sort of tone to a company like Crown Resorts looking to expand its business into the Las Vegas market. There’s a sense of things having come full circle in the world of casinos. The casino resorts in Australia, Singapore and elsewhere have been the innovators for a number of years, changing the nature and the perceptions of what a casino is and what it brings to the local community as well as to a wider audience.

Las Vegas has, in fact, lagged behind in reaching the new markets and new customers that have been bringing money into the coffers of the Australian Casinos. Perhaps it’s because they haven’t faced the same competition from online casinos and been forced to innovate to survive. Perhaps it’s just a natural cycle. But maybe a little bit of an injection of the Australian style of casino resort will be good for the Vegas strip – we know it’s been good for Australia’s cities!


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