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Tabcorp calls for easier entry for Asian casino high rollers

Larry Mullin, the Chief Executive of Casinos at Tabcorp, has called for the federal government to make it easier for Asian high rollers flying into Australia by streamlining customs and immigration processes.

Mullin, who recently launched a personalised jet service for high rollers, is backing his counterpart at Crown Casino, Rowen Craigie in this call for easier visa legislation and VIP lounges at airports to allow high roller customers to avoid the queues. Mr Craigie has said the improvements were necessary in order for Australia to tap into the lucrative middle and upper-class Chinese tourism market and compete with Singapore.

He quotes a similar arrangement in Singapore where high rollers are picked up in a golf cart and taken to a private receiving area for fast-tracking. Revenue from Singapore’s two casinos opened last year is already close to $US5 billion ($4.98bn) a year.

Tabcorp generates less than 10 per cent of its casino revenues from high-rollers, but it is the fastest-growing segment of its business, with revenues from VIP customers up 36 per cent to $32.9 million in the December half. The company is reported to be spending $160m in its domestic and international VIP businesses to upgrade accommodation, expand private gaming facilities and lease two private jets.

With a $960m spend in place to renovate its flagship Star City casino in Sydney, Mr Mullin also said Tabcorp, which plans to demerge its casinos division by mid-year, was planning to work with the NSW government on tourism campaigns targeting potential casino customers. "As our project gets more mature we would like to get better placed in that," he said.

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