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Sky City Group Plans To Build Casino In Darwin; Aussie Casino Wars May Escalate

Written by:
Greg Tingle
Published on:
May/20/2011
Sky City Group Plans To Build Casino In Darwin

Sky City Casino has released previously top secret plans for a 50 million dollar resort - casino featuring villas which could cost as much as two thousand dollars a night.

The flashy integrated resort is to be built next to the current land based casino site, at Little Mindil, with the company also looking at the operation of a corporate jet to shuttle VIP whales between Asian cities and Darwin.

The Chief Minister Paul Henderson says it's fantastic news for the Territory.

"I'd like to congratulate Sky City for their confidence in Darwin and the Northern Territory at a time when it is a bit soft out there.

"Whilst we're waiting for the major projects to come online, a final decision from Inpex, you know the banks are being a lot tighter at the moment in terms of their lending so it's hard for developers to get projects off the ground," says Henderson.

Penny Tastula is a savvy tourism consultant specialising in domestic and Asian destinations who was involved in one of the losing bids for tourism developments at the Little Mindil site. Ms Tastula says this is a missed opportunity.

"We're not getting the high rollers in now, we've got so many huge new casinos opened up in South East Asia, the Marina Bay sands and the one at Sentosa Island, just at our doorstep, what's Darwin going to attract to bring them down, where's the Versace and all of the upper end shops?," Ms Tastula told the press.

Ms Tastula says this resort won't appeal to the majority of the domestic tourism market. "We could have had an absolutely amazing four to five star still beautiful resort, strata titled, attracting three to four hundred families to come up at a time and stay.

"I wanted to see a resort there that would ... start the mechanics into place to turn Darwin into a destination in its own right," she stated.

She advised there's lot's of hotels which allow people to come and stay for three or four days, but nowhere to attract people to stay for two weeks and really explore the Top End of Australia.

"What have we got for Little Mindil? Instead of having our catalyst, beautiful long-term holiday resort that was available for Territory families to use, available for visitors all around the world and all around Australia to use, and now we've got a venue where they can have a party for four thousand people twice a year. I mean it still makes me cringe every time I walk past."

Media Man staffers were heard saying it sounded like a "very go ahead idea".

- Greg Tingle, Special Contributor to Gambling911.com and founder of Media Man International

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