Fri, Sep 28, 1:58pm by Staff Writer
The Star is hoping to lure Chinese tourists to a $500 million hotel and residential tower at its Sydney casino site in Pyrmont.
The development is proposed to include residential apartments and a luxury Ritz Carlton Hotel.
The tower is expected to be 237 metres tall and feature library and function spaces.
The development promises public transport upgrades and a renovation to the Star casino itself, which has irked many.
There are concerns about the height, floor space and zoning restrictions of the tower, with Alex Greenwich, the independent member for Sydney remarking that the tower is ‘inappropriate and destruction’.
Locals are angered by the proposal, with many unsure as to why people would seek residential accommodation in a building associated with the casino itself.
It is also set to increase traffic congestion and cause reflective glare, according to local Elizabeth Elenius.
The Independent Planning Commission will consider the Star’s proposal, with more than 25 submissions receives that oppose the tower received by the Department of Planning and Environment.
The Star hinted at the need for high-end hotels to cater for increased tourist number as China’s middle-class demographic rapidly increases.
The Star is currently the second largest Casino in Australia after Melbourne’s Crown Casino and opened in 1995.
It features two gaming floors, eight bars, seven restaurant, 351 hotel rooms and 130 serviced and privately owned apartments.
Rich gamblers are turning their backs on Crown Casino Perth, with a revenue loss for the entertainment complex of almost 10 per cent in the last 12 months.
James Packer redeveloped the complex for $650 million, but revenue for the enterprise fell to $564 million as of June 30, 2018.
There was an enormous fall in the revenge taken from the card game baccarat.
The game is wildly popular with Asian gamblers and is the game of choice for many high stakes gamblers.
It is a competing card game where the player and the banker each have a role. There are three possible outcomes in each round with a player win, banker win or tie.
Revenue’s from baccarat have fallen 24 per cent in Perth to $163 million.
The peak revenue from the game came in 2014-15, when it made $383 million in revenue.
Since then, it has dropped 57 per cent or more than $200 million.
The key reasoning behind Mr Packer’s redevelopment of Crown Casino Perth was to lure wealthy Asian gamblers to his casino.
Luxury accommodation and VIP gaming services have done little to attract the big players in recent times, after a Chinese government crackdown on foreign gambling companies.
Baccarat is not the only game experiencing a downturn in revenues for the casino, with pokies machine turnover falling to $263 million.
There were also declines for blackjack and roulette, although they were not as steep as those from baccarat.
Mr Packer owns nearly half of the casino and resort giant, but stepped down from its board in early 2018 citing mental health problems.
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