Happy New Year everyone. Starting the new year off right we thought we would revisit the Australian land based casino scene. Last year the Aussie casinos were a huge source of news and gossip for us, and who can forget the world famous Australian casino wars (still raging), with James Packer's Crown Casino VS Tabcorp's Star City still being the main event. Revamps worthy close to a million dollars are still a major point as the battle for high roller super whales, dolphins and the entertainment and tourism dollar continues and now security, "biometrics" an government deals are stealing some of the spotlight. Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 take you on a journey to the Australian land based casinos, 'Casino Jack' style...
Australia is still home to some of the world's great casinos, hotels and resorts (and pokie palaces).
While the land down under has over a dozen land based casinos, there's only three that both rate highly and grab the majority of headlines on a global stage. Enter James Packer's Crown Casino in Melbourne, Tabcorp's Star City in Sydney, and Jupiters Hotel & Casino on the Gold Coast.
Mind you, Casino Canberra, Cairns' Reef Hotel and Casino and Perth's Burswood Entertainment Complex have been making a lot of noise recently, but its really a battle between the 'big two'.
Media Man and Gambling911 have readjusted our eye in the sky and further looked at the landscape of the Aussie land based casino sector, and let us tell you maties... its a you beaut and fair dinkim!
Readers will be aware that there's quite a "casino war" in the land of kangaroos, koalas and goannas. You would have to be Blind Freddy not to know about the ultra competitive showdown (and hunt for whales and dolphins) between Packer's Crown Casino down south and Tabcorp's Star City in 'Sin City' Sydney.
Crown Casino and Star City are following the global trend, largely driven forward from Las Vegas, Macau and the Philippines, of offering a total entertainment experience... not just gambling... you know, slots, poker, table games and the like. Whales aka high-rollers, have also demanded the changing face of the sector. Don't get us wrong, the gambling aspect remains vital to the business model and to the punters, but for a variety of reasons Australian casino kings have employed a more holistic model. The reasons include being more government friendly, legal eagle elements and complimenting the larger casino, entertainment and lifestyle sector. Crowns' James Packer won last year's Media Man 'Australian Casino Entrepreneur Of The Year' award, and his casino won the Australian land based casino award. Gossip And News: Opening Aussie batsman Phil Hughes has been slammed for attending a function hours before play on Boxing Day. Hughes, who opened the batting at the MCG and was dismissed for just 16, attended the Shane Warne Foundation breakfast at Crown casino along with vice-captain Michael Clarke. "It's one of the most disgraceful things I've ever heard," said fiery former Australian Test star Rodney Hogg. "You've got the opportunity to come back in, you're going to be in front of 80,000 people. "You should get out of bed, have your breakfast and do your normal preparation. "You don't run off to those sorts of mornings. Even though he's young, the fact is it probably makes him a little more apprehensive and a bit more nervous (about the Test match) after going and doing that sort of thing. "It's not a normal morning's preparation for him." Clarke, who is close mates with Warne, was joined by sporting stars Billy Brownless, Aaron Hamill, Mark Taylor and Ian Healy at the breakfast. The two Australian players were interviewed briefly by Warne around 7.30am before they returned to their nearby Quay West hotel.
Some of the ramped up services and offerings as part of the industry development include but are not limited to:
Entertainment complex upgrades (including securing more world class acts, more often, to attract the crowds and keep all clients and business partners happy)
Hotel suite refurbishments
Private gambling room upgrades for high rolling VIP's
Sports bar upgrades
Enhanced security - technology and more staff
Gulf Stream Jets aka Lear Jets for international high rollers in a hurry and who demand and casino afford the best
Aussie Casino News Bytes
Crown Casino: Hosted a number of players from the Australian Cricket Team recently, just as The Ashes were on the way. Packer's midis touch didn't help Clarke's and Ponting's luck on the field unfortunately. Crown Casino will host the world famous 'Aussie Millions' Poker Championship this January, and already a number of online poker rooms are holding satellite qualifiers and the like. Media Man insiders reckon that many folks want another guest or journo of Crown hosted TV Logies awards to be fired for misconduct again this year, for Twitting journos and comedians out there, be careful you hear us now. Crown Casino is continuing to upgrade their website which is a very smart move in the currently environment. Management in regular contact with sister casinos, City of Dreams Macau and Altira Macau. 100s more staff to be employed, some of which under the GenerationOne employment initiative, dedicated to helping get Indigenous Australians back into the workforce. Up to $500,000 being spent on major upgrades in the next few years.
Crown Casino Entertainment:
28 January 2011
Choirboys – Never Gonna Die 30th Anniversary Tour
29 January 2011
Making their return this summer for what will be the sure-fire summer tour of 2011
Freddie Mercury - Let Me Entertain You
4 - 5 February 2011
It's Queen, sort of!
I Can’t Believe it’s not COUNTDOWN, It’s a Musical Comedy
10 – 19 February 2011
Don’t miss a night of reminiscing, laughter, music, big hair and shameless parodies.
Star City: Has expanded their budget by another $100,000 or so. Total budget for upgrade is now very close to $1 million dollars! Is ordering a few more Lear Jets to help better compete with Crown Casino. Upgraded website. Did get Oprah Winfrey, Bob Geldof and Bon Jovi late last year, so they are doing something right, or maybe just have friends in high places. World class sports bar and entertainment amenities. They are right on side with the NSW Labor government, so give the devils their due. Star City was awards last year's runner Media Man 'Australian Land Based Casino' award. Gossip And News: A beer loving poker player used his "poker face" to fool Star City Casino staff into serving him 42 beers in a single 17-hour sitting. The unnamed gambler put in a marathon innings, downing five beers every two hours. Three waiters were happy to oblige the cashed-up player with as many drinks as he requested and failed to keep track of the seriously high level of alcohol the man was ingesting as he sat at the same card table in the main gaming floor from 2.30am. It was not until the card table closed at 7am that Star City staff realised the man was wildly intoxicated. "He didn't appear to be steady on his feet. He was dozing off at the table and the manager had to help him collect his chips so he could cash them in," bar waiter Helen Mikhael-Ghanime, who was sacked for her role in serving the man 15 beers in seven hours, said. The casino will be careful to to make the same mistake again. Generally not good for PR and this sort of thing attracts heavy fines. The casino authority said the $10,000 fine had been reduced because of Star City's otherwise good record in dealing with drunken gamblers. It evicted 6717 intoxicated patrons in 2008. "[The authority] considers this matter to be a serious breach of Star City's responsible service of alcohol obligations," the authority said to Star City. "In determining the pecuniary penalty, due consideration was given to Star City's record in relation to the responsible service of alcohol and the action taken to prevent similar incidents in the future."
Entertainment At Star City:
Don't miss this explosive new musical romance at the Lyric Theatre from 11 February 2011.
MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
A new theatrical event featuring Andrew Lloyd Webber's most timeless songs performed by the current stars of Australian musical theatre.
Jupiters Gold Coast: Upgraded their poker room to the tune of a few hundred thousand dollars. Is trying to live down the story that they are Australia's 'most dangerous casino', and is beefing up security. Jupiters is nearby to the beaches where major surfing competitions take place annually. Dreamworld (Hollywood On The Gold Coast) is only a short drive away from the casino. Upgraded website. Recent management shake up, all the way up to director level. Should be strong year for them.
Burswood Entertainment Complex: Upgraded security. Burswood is known to put on fantastic community fundraisers. American pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan drew a massive crowd at Burswood late last year for his charity work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Virgin's Richard Branson has also done some impressive fundraising on site. Branson's Virgin Games (not available in Australia) remains keen to expand the gaming globally, and perhaps his face to face meetings with the media and political savvy Aussie Casino king, James Packer, won't go astray. Security has been beefed up yet again and more world class acts continue to get booked.
Casino Canberra: Galaxy Nightclub - Canberra's hottest nightclub opens from 9pm every Saturday with the beats of the 70's and the best of the 80's. Come and hear the soundtrack of our lives. Galaxy has a NO GLASS policy! Is currently pushing to get 200 pokies to help kick business along.
The Reef Hotel Casino: This is like paradise. One of Australia's most beautiful and scenic casinos. Claymore, a hot Celtic band brought in the new year for our friends.
Lasseters Hotel Casino: If your in that neck of the woods checking out Outback nature, you need to step in and play Cleo, and why not stay the night to see if you "get lucky". Then enjoy a breakfast of champions as your journey continues. Oh, a Slots Tournament every Tuesday night You've got to spin to win!
Australian Casino Directory List
New South Wales
Star City Casino (Sydney)
Crown Casino (Melbourne)
Conrad Treasury Casino (Brisbane)
Jupiters Hotel & Casino (Gold Coast)
Jupiters Townsville Casino (Townsville)
The Reef Hotel Casino (Cairns)
Skycity Adelaide (Adelaide)
Burswood Entertainment Complex aka Burswood Casino (Perth)
Wrest Point Hotel Casino (Hobart)
Country Club Casino (Launceston)
Australian Capital Territory
Casino Canberra (Canberra)
Lasseters Hotel Casino (Alice Springs)
Skycity Darwin (formerly MGM Grand Casino) (Darwin)
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered
*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited