Australia Expanding Casino Market to Target Chinese Gamblers
The constantly changing legal landscape dealing with casinos and gambling around the world opens new markets and forces old ones to do everything they can to attract new gamblers.
Chinese gamblers are one of the most targeted groups by international casinos and Australia is no different than other countries hoping to attract this profitable segment of the population.
A new project called the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort is set to be a new attraction for Chinese gamblers when it opens. It’s just one part of over $15 billion earmarked to build new casinos or expand existing casinos with an eye on increasing the attractiveness of the market for Chinese patrons.
The Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort is scheduled to have an estimated cost of $8 billion and will be located just outside of Cairns. The resort is expected to have 7,500 hotel rooms spread across eight hotels, a manmade lake, at least one golf course, an aquarium, and a rain forest.
One of the more interesting things about the resort is it appears construction will begin even though the site hasn’t been granted a license for a casino. A license would have to come from the Queensland government, and a representative stated a license would be considered for a casino for the project, but it wasn’t a guarantee.
The project is being developed by Tony Fung. Fung is a Hong Kong business person and the project is slated to break ground in 2017. His group also bought the casino in Canberra in 2014 and is getting ready to pump over $300 million into upgrading that property and adding two new hotels at the same time.
One of the main concerns for developers of casino resort properties in Australia as well as around the world is the desire of China to restrict the amount of wealth leaving the country’s borders. Casinos in Macau have already felt the financial squeeze of this, but casino owners in Australia don’t seem to be worried too much yet.
This can be seen clearly in the development of James Packer’s $2 billion Crown Resorts hotel and casino being built at this time in Sydney. It’s scheduled to open in 2020 or 2021.
So is all of the money being spent going to pay off for Australian casinos? Only time will tell, but in 2015 over one million Chinese citizens visited Australia, so the signs are good.