Casinos need to be part of resorts to attract high rollers: Consultant

Casinos need to be part of resorts to attract high rollers: Consultant

Although Macau, and now Singapore, have been able to lift their economies with casinos, their strategies show that casinos alone are not enough to make really big profits.

Eishi Harada, senior consultant at the Daiwa Institute of Research, talks about what else casinos need to do to attract high rollers. And with a casino-legalisation debate heating up in Japan, he even gets into how the nation might be able to prevent a rise in the number of gambling addicts should Japan go in that direction.

Q: Casinos are booming in Asia. What is notable about the trend?

A: Singapore is showing a particularly big jump. The country legalised casinos in 2005, and two casinos opened in 2010. In 2013, the number of inbound visitors marked 15.57 million, up 60 per cent from 2009, a year before the casinos opened. Tourism revenues more than doubled.

Singapore has succeeded with a strategy of providing casinos in two types of integrated resorts so as to attract a wide range of tourists, not only gamblers. One type is for business travelers going for meetings, conventions and exhibitions. The other, an entertainment complex with a theme park, is for holidaymakers. The strategy has worked well, helping Singapore reach out to visitors from Europe, the US and the Middle East, in addition to Asia.

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