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March - April 2000
Asia & Australasia

30th April  Sydney  Source: SMH
  
The Sydney Morning Herald carried two stories on the 26th and 28th that highlight casinos are far from immune from the problems that face the wider society. The articles also show the problems states face when they perhaps rely too heavily on gaming revenues. The NSW Gaming Authority chairwoman has been asked to explain remarks made apparently regretting the barring of drug dealers and criminals from the Sydney Harbour Casino in 1997. One player subsequently found guilty of Heroin smuggling had a turnover of A$94 million during 1996.
Casino loses Face with high roller
Country clubs for high-rolling crooks? You can bet on it
 

26th April  Antigua/Philippines  Source: Press release


    Another tie up between the traditional gaming world and Internet casino operators has been announced. Waterfront Promotions Ltd. that operate luxury hotels and casinos in the Philippines is linking with Antigua based InterContinental Casinos Ltd(ICC).
    ICC operate among other sites the New York Casino & USA Casino websites that both use software provided by Sweden's Boss Media. The initial plan is for a branded "play for fun" casino with the  version coming online later in the year.
 

12th April  Sydney  Source: Dow Jones


   Staff at the Star City Casino in Sydney have voted to strike for 24 hours in support of their pay claim. The Strike starting on Saturday at 4am is in protest at the companies pay increase offer of 8.75% over 3 years. Star City is owned by Tabcorp Holdings Ltd and 1,850 union members work at the property.
Workers At Tabcorp's Star City Vote To Strike
 

3rd April  Korea  Source: Asia Pulse


   Statistics relating to entertainment spending released by the Bank of Korea show that the countries citizens spent 1.21 trillion won ($1.1 billion) on casinos, lotteries and other gambling during 1999 a rise of 11% on 1998's figures. Expenditure on entertainment and leisure services as a whole was 18.9 trillion ($17.15 billion) up 15% from 1998.
 

30th March  China  Source: Yahoo Asia News


    Police raids in the Chinese province of Chengmai in the Hainan province have led to the closure of three casinos. They also resulted in the sacking of the towns Communist party leader for "turning a blind eye to gambling". In the raids, police found HK$940,000 and arrested 1,377 people.
Town's boss sacked after casino raids
 

25th March  Singapore  Source: Yahoo Asia


    Three men who had conspired with the casino manager of Star Cruises ship the Superstar Aquarius to steal $880,000 have had their sentences increased.
    The manager who had already been sentenced, stole warrants for chips that were then forged and handed to the three acomplices. They then collected the cash chips and plaques from the cashier. After gambling for a while the chips were cashed in for company cheques and $180,000 in cash.
Chief Justice increases sentences of three men in Star Cruises scam
 

13th March  Brisbane  Source: Dow Jones/Yahoo Asia


    Casinos Austria International Ltd. posted gross revenues of A$68.7 million for 1999 and a net profit of A$11.3 million. The Palestine & Canada results were said to be "outstanding". The company owns or manages 14 land based casinos plus cruise ship concessions and is 67.5% owned by Australian listed Casinos Austria International Holdings GmbH. (Quote)
 

13th March  Tokyo  Source: Yahoo Finance Asia


    Casinos in Tokyo!. That could be a future possibility as Governor Shintaro Ishihara is apparently looking for innovative plans to raise much needed tax revenue for the city. "Mr Ishihara has now broached the idea of building casinos in Tokyo, undeterred by the need to revise existing laws if gambling is to become legal in Japan."
Tokyo's governor proposes casinos in new reform plans for metropolis
 

10th March  Australia   Source: AFR


    Lasseters Holdings Ltd. the owners of Lasseters online casino are planning a floatation of the company. One third of the total stock will be offered to the public. For the financial year the traditional casino in Alice Springs is expected to contribute A$22.6 million of the companies A$29 million gross revenues with Lasseters online $6.6 million.
    Surprising is that Lasseters online that opened in April 1999 will show a loss after expenses and taxes despite having over 37,000 registered customers and  recording over A$47 million in bets. Lasseters traditional casino originally opened it's doors in 1981 and was bought out of bankruptcy in 1997.
Lasseters aims at $40m in float

  Also from Australia on the 7th March software developer Online Gaming Systems was very up upbeat about the companies future in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. With 3 contracts already signed and a further 5 pending.
    Australia has 5 states presently where online gaming is permitted but with stricter licensing regulations than the Caribbean. Tax rates varying significantly from 50% in Queensland,  25% in Tasmania and only 4% on Norfolkisland.
OGS finds a gambler's delight
 

9th March  Wellington, NZ   Source: Dow Jones


    New Zealand's Sky City, the recent successful bidder for the Adelaide casino has announced that construction will begin on the Hamilton Casino. Located on the north island it is approximately 100 km south of the companies showcase Auckland Casino. Sky will have a part share in the project along with Perry Developments and Maori Indian groups.
Sky City Begins Hamilton Casino Build
 

6th March  Australia  Source: Sydney Morning Herald


    The guilty verdict in New York against internet casino and sportsbook operator Jay Cohen on the 29th February will not affect Australian operators. That is the theme of an article in the SMH from March 1st revealing that Australia's sole licensed casino Lasseters has taken A$47 million in bets from 37,000 customers in its first 10 months of operation. Lasseters is licensed by the Northern Territory State Government, several other companies are presently waiting for approval in other states.
US applies betting law to Antigua operation
 

6th March  Kuala Lumpur  Source: Dow Jones 


   Genting Bhd. the Malaysian casino operator on March 1st revealed 1999 profits higher than expected. The company that also has interests in property and paper made a combined profit of MYR 1.1billion ($290 million). The Genting Highlands casino outside Kuala Lumpur showed results down 19% in the first half but up 4% in the last six months. Visitors for the year were down 2% on 1998.
Malaysia's Genting Casino Revenue Up In 2H '99 -Analysts
 

4th March  Melbourne  Source: Reuters 


    The Victoria State Government proposes to introduce legislation that will cap the number of gaming machines in the state at 30,000 Reuters reported on March 1st. There are also set to be limitations on the location of 24 hour gaming venues. The Melbourne Crown casino presently has 2,500 machines. Ownership is split between Tabcorp Holdings Ltd and privately owned Tattersalls for the other 27,000.