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Is Asia set to overtake the U.S. as the destination for casino gamblers?

There are some bright stars in the Pacific casinos firmament: Melbourne’s Crown Casino complex and the newly-renovated Star City Casino in Sydney are a match for any of Macau’s bustling casinos in terms of International tourists that come to Australia , and two new venues in Singapore look set to draw more and more tourists to the city.

The quality of casino destinations available to tourists from China and from further afield is consistently high – and no wonder, when the rewards for attracting the high rollers can be so lucrative.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report released this month highlighted ‘dramatic growth’ in Asia’s casino resorts, and we have seen in the news here in Australia a recent trend of optimism amongst casino owners and the companies that run the Australian resorts whose aim is to draw international gambling tourism to the country.

New casino resorts planned on the Gold Coast and on the Sunshine Coast could be crucial in making sure that Australia’s casinos are able to compete in the biggest market in the world.

The rewards on offer are huge for Australian Casinos, and for the economy here, too. Casinos already contribute a huge amount to Australian tourism – drawing in revenue that is second only to the airline companies. This month’s report predicts that by 2015, Asia’s casinos will draw in nearly US$80billion a year, and Australia’s casinos are well placed to compete for their share of the spoils.

Particularly telling is the number of VIPs – the high rollers who draw serious money to casinos – from China who are choosing not to make the trip to the US, but to stay in Asia. Where Las Vegas casinos have seen their VIP numbers falling, casinos in Macau, Singapore and in Australia have been able to draw in more and more high-value custom with luxury accommodation, five-star service and peerless gaming facilities.

Amongst the Australian Casinos best placed to compete for their share of the growing Asian casino market is Sydney’s Star. Benefitting from a recent overhaul, the Star is a prestigious casino complex that has placed itself as a real player in the ultra-competitive high-rollers market.

With hundreds of hotel rooms and serviced apartments, the Star has plenty of luxuriously-appointed space to accommodate visitors, and with a wide selection of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, it has plenty to keep them occupied, too. Of course, the real draw is the Star’s extensive gaming facilities: beyond the huge main floor waits the Sovereign Room and its Inner Sanctum, where access is by invitation only.

Even more exclusive is the Vermillion Room, with only an estimated hundred members currently holding cards. We might only be able to daydream about getting in on the games in the Vermillion Room, but the more high-rollers drawn to Australian Casino Games, the better for all of us...

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