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Gambling tourists to provide a much needed boost for the Australian economy

Gambling tourists to provide a much needed boost for the Australian economy

The price of the dollar is at all-time low on the international market, yet casino bosses believe that gambling tourism could well provide a much needed boost. More specifically, they aim to attract more wealthy Chinese visitors to our shores. In fact, many experts believe that China holds the key to the recovery of our struggling economy.

Both regional authorities and politicians here appear ready to welcome the potential that new casino resorts deliver In addition, Queensland Echo Entertainment have just won the rights to build a casino-based resort at the Queen’s Wharf waterfront development on the Brisbane beach front.

by Ian Murphy

This project was sanctioned by the authorities on the basis that hundreds of thousands of visitors from China and other far Eastern countries are making their way our shores as tourists every year. According to reports, these visitors are apparently desperate to enjoy high-class gaming opportunities and all of the luxuries that many high rollers have come to expect.

While Australians will be very welcome to stay and gamble at these resorts, it is widely believed that they will not be so enamoured by the bright lights of these casinos. Aussies are by no means against gambling. In fact, the figures show that as a nation, we are the most avid players, pretty much anywhere in the world.

However, the figures also show that Australians prefer online gambling sites, with the slot machines on 32Red website proving a particular favourite, in addition to others like Foxy Casino and Betway.

Why do Australians love online casinos?

As previously stated, the domestic marketplace caters extensively to Australians who love to gamble. Australians have become accustomed to enjoying the thrills of a big night out without all of the additional expense that a visit to a real casino entails. This in turn has led to a taste for 32Red and other online gambling sites.

The performance of many existing casinos across Australia has been pretty lack lustre in terms of overall revenue growth and operating profit. This is perhaps unsurprising given our nation’s apparent apathy for such resorts. This is obviously another reason why casino bosses look specifically to tourism as a way of turning things around. It seems the Chinese will play a key role in helping them to achieve this…

Why is China so significant to the Australian economy?

In 2014, just under a million Chinese visitors came to Australia, either as holidaymakers, or as visitors. This figure represents a 21.7% increase on 2013. While more New Zealanders visited last year, it is perhaps unsurprising that Chinese tourists proved to be the bigger spenders. Indeed, their arrival on our shores bought in a whopping $5.7 billion - 19% more than in 2013!

Chinese investors are also looking to invest in Australia’s burgeoning casino market. Hong Kong company, Aquis Casino Acquisitions Ltd (owned by billionaire Tony Fung), has plans afoot to build an $8 billion casino near Cairns.

Meanwhile, ASF China Property Consortium, a group of companies which includes state-run Chinese giants China Communications Construction Company, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited, Guangzhou Dredging Co Ltd was successful in applying for a permit to build a $7.5 billion casino and cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast.

What are the benefits for Australians and the country as a whole?

Experts believe that by catering more to these visitors, Australia will soon begin attracting ‘millions’ of visitors from China on an annual basis. This will create thousands of jobs, as well as encouraging further investment.

The Australian economy is currently benefiting greatly from Chinese interests. Indeed, reports say that the Chinese have helped to drive a 33% jump in Australian home prices as a result of their investment. This apparently comes as a result of China’s hunger for overseas real estate as its wealthy businessmen look for alternatives as way out of increasingly unstable markets in their homeland.

In addition, these shrewd Chinese businessmen know how to attract Chinese tourists. In allowing Chinese investment, authorities in Queensland and elsewhere obviously see this as a great way of capitalising on the growth of tourism from that particular nation. As stated in an article from back in 2013, it is ‘important that Australia offer a product that [the Chinese] are interested in’ to keep the revenue coming.