Casino and James Packer News, by Greg Tingle - 9th
most successful gambling - media tycoon and billionaire,
James Packer of Crown Casino fame is spending up big
on casino revamps and is eyeing a number of internet
companies down under. Media Man's Greg Tingle with
Packer Whacks Another $100 million Into Crown Casino
Crown Ltd is set to disclose details of a $100 million
expansion of its gambling operations at Melbourne's
Crown Casino as it looks to take its business to the
Crown Casino powers that be boardroom meeting just
last week is understood to have green lighted plans
for a new gaming, food and drinking area at the west
end of the casino.
plans are understood to include a new casino targeted
at a younger patrons, utilizing the additional gaming
table licences made available to the casino after
the state government's extension of its overall licence
to operate in 2009.
the terms of that deal the government extended the
number of tables permitted under Crown Melbourne's
licence by 150, in exchange for a higher tax on electronic
the deal, Crown is paying $132m in extra taxes over
four years to raise the number of gaming tables allowed
at Crown to a health 500.
development will help broaden the appeal of the complex
to the growing mass-market," a leak said.
details of the new project, understood to be valued
at about $90m, are expected to be announced in roughly
and its competitor Tabcorp Holdings, owner of Sydney's
Star City and Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold
Coast, are spending billions on big revamps, with
a focus on VIP's and the entertainment dollar.
Crown is investing more than $300m this year to refurbish
the casino in Melbourne and the Burswood casino in
Perth. It will invest another $700m in the next two
2009 and 2013, it will have invested in excess of
$1.5 billion on upgrades and the like.
holding 43% in Crown Limited, advised Rupert Murdoch's
The Australian newspaper last March that the investment
would be a key focus of the business over the next
two years. "To be honest, the cap-ex in Australia
has been more expensive than any of us thought it
would be. For the next couple of years getting our
cap-ex program right in Australia and continuing to
see the improvements we are seeing in Macau is the
main priority. That cap-ex is vital to help Crown
fend off growing competition at home and abroad."
has opened private VIP gaming areas or "salons"
and VIP "villas" in its Crown Towers hotel
to help combat a drop in its high roller business
after last year's opening of two competitor casinos
opened in Singapore, the $4.4bn Resorts World Sentosa
and $5.94bn Marina Bay Sands, both world class.
is doubling the size of its premium gaming floor,
the Mahogany Room. It has a big presence in the Chinese
gaming enclave of Macau through a joint venture with
Lawrence Ho's Melco.
is also investing in its Star City in 'Sin City' Sydney
and has up and running its first personalised jet
service for high rollers.
of the latest spending comes as speculation continues
that Packer may use some "creep laws" in
the Corporations Act to boost his interest in Crown
October, he spent in excess of $200m to increase his
interest and has bought more shares since mid-April.
"I was happy to increase my shareholding at that
time," he said back in March of the October purchase.
He was unsure if he would buy more.
James Packer And Late Father Kerry Packer Keen On
are a special breed of gambler - very big fish. The
late, great, Kerry Packer was one himself.
one might imagine, it makes good sense to do your
best for "whales", if your in the casino
or larger gambling industry.
Age newspaper out of Melbourne was lucky enough to
get a gander at luxury gaming salons at JP's Crown
Casino, and the team down there have done a fine job
by all accounts.
gambling tables have been crafted beautifully, yet
are practical. They even boast an exhaust extraction
system, allowing "whales" to puff away while
gambling at full tilt, stacks of chips... the works.
Fairfax Media publication went to print with a ripper
rang me up and all I heard was a voice saying, 'What's
wrong with the porn in this hotel?'," recalled
the well-known Melbourne raconteur. "It's not
the real stuff, it's the fake stuff."
was disappointed with the quality of the late-night
programming - the porn. The employee tired hard to
explain to the king of the whales that state laws
prohibited the distribution of hard-core pornography,
and that he would likely go to jail if he started
screening it in the hotel. KP explained that his query
was not for his own entertainment, of course, but
for his high-rollers guests. "He said these high-rollers
expect the best of everything." Yeah, porn included.
We're not going to get into room service or black
JP Eyes A 'Catch Of The Day' Online Venture...
gambling and media billionaire James Packer looks
about ready to buy almost half of the company behind
mega popular coupon websites Catch Of The Day and
Scoopon, as the tycoon ramps up with the view to penetrate
a market sector estimated to make half-a-billion dollars
in three years.
is fully expected to announce the details of a deal
to buy 40% in the red hot websites next week, reported
the Fin Review.
Aussie firm behind the websites, which Mr Packers
offer values at $200 million - models itself on a
US internet coupon service known as Groupon, which
last year amazingly turned down a lucrative $6 billion
takeover offer from internet giant Google.
two websites Catch of the Day and Scoopon offer daily
discounts on products or services, which become live
after a number of people commit to buying it online.
news comes a month after Packers private equity
firm Ellerston Capital was rumoured to be in talks
to buy discount e-tailer Deals Direct.
a strong sign the online coupon biz is becoming red
hot, analysts at telecommunications consulting outfit
Telsyte at the time said group-buying websites were
expected to make half-a-billion Australian dollars
in revenue by 2014.
is following the lead of venture capitalists across
the globe, who are now cashing in big time via online
start-ups at the fastest rate since the internet bubble
burst more than a decade back.
excess of $US5 billion ($4.7 billion) of investors
money has been spent on internet companies so far
this year, according to a study released by Thomson
Reuters Deals Intelligence.
leave this dotcom space as we continue to report the
news on one of Australia's most liked and respected
billionaires and his growing empire.
writer is a shareholder in Crown Limited