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George Clooney is the Darling of The Sydney Star Casino ultra-luxury penthouse suite

There are some serious Casinos in Australia. And they exist in an incredibly competitive market, especially since the ongoing success of casinos in Asia, and in the face of Macau’s dominance of the international gambling scene.

Tune into any interview you can find with James Packer, the billionaire owner of the Crown Casino brand, and you will hear him talk about securing the custom of the high-rollers coming out of China. They are the ‘whales’ that all the big casinos want to lure to their tables, and they can win and lose more money in a short stay than we might see in a year.

So no wonder Australia’s premier casinos are pulling out all the stops to tempt the ‘whales’ to our shores. Crown’s AU$750million re-invention of the Burswood Casino in Perth is nearing completion – ready for a re-branding as Crown Casino Perth towards the end of 2012. But if James Packer wants his newest Crown Casino to compete with The Star Casino in Sydney, the bar has been set high.

We didn’t get a chance to ask Mr. Clooney whether the bed was comfy or not, but you won’t be surprised to learn that there are other attractions to the Darling’s penthouse suite. Guests can expect to make use of a 24-hour butler service, a personal chef to cater to all their culinary needs, a media room, hand-made glassware to sip their fine wines from as they sit beside the fireplace, and more besides.

We don’t think we’d be that keen to leave all that luxury behind, but the Darling has a fleet of Bentleys on call to help guests explore Sydney, and even private jets to bring them to the hotel and take them home again in style. In short, any service you could reasonably think of is catered for.

And, in case you could forget that all that luxury is meant to lure the ‘whales’ to The Star, each penthouse suite (there will be four open by the end of this year) has a private gaming room equipped with a guest’s preferred table games. In return for all the luxury they could ever want, all The Star asks is that the VIP Casino players bring their custom to their casino – the high-rollers market in Australia is estimated to be worth as much as AU$60million every year, and The Star is keen to get as big a share of that as possible.

In case you were wondering, for the likes of us walking up to reception and asking for a room, the penthouse suites at the Darling cost in excess of AU$15,000 a night. But, as The Star's general manager of hotels Drew Schlesinger puts it, ‘if you need to ask the price, this is not the place for you.’

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