Australia is poised to become a gambling heavyweight as growing wealth in Asia, coupled with VIP gambling spending, could boost the country’s casino revenue to as much as $6.2 billion by 2020.
Market researcher IBISWorld made the claim, saying that Australia’s three in-development casinos – one in Sydney, two in Queensland – could bring more of Asia’s richest gamblers to the Land Down Under. IBISWorld senior industry analyst Spencer Little told the Australian that the opening of Crown Resorts’ $1.3 billion VIP-only casino on Sydney Harbour and the two casino projects in Queensland – Aquis Resorts’ $8 billion development in Cairns and ASF Consortium’s $7.5 billion project in the Gold Coast – have the potential to jump-start Australia’s casino industry, which hasn’t had a new venue since the Reef Hotel Casino opened in 1996. Incidentally, Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung’s Aquis Resorts was in line to purchase the casino before the deal fell through late last year.
With the opening of these new casinos, Australia could turn into a premier gambling destination in the Asia-Pacific region with the capacity to compete against the likes of Macau, Singapore and the Philippines.
Despite the increased competition brought about by more casinos opening in the region, IBISWorld believes Australia can more than hold its own, thanks in large part to “high levels of domestic spending and increasing levels of foreign gambling dollars.”
Whether these expectations bear fruit will depend on the progress these new casino projects have relative to their respective timetables. Crown Resorts’ VIP-only casino license isn’t expected to get a license until late 2019 while the development of the two Queensland projects has stalled because of the new state government.