This year has certainly been an action-packed one for Australian casino mogul James Packer, and aside from the recent split with his wife, it seems he can do no wrong. So far the year has seen Packer and his Crown casino brand win the bid for a new development in Sydney, solidify plans to expand into Sri Lanka, and he is now even looking into a possible future development in Japan with Melco Crown.
Multmillion Dollar Renovation a Success
Not only have new developments been on Packer’s agenda, but he also took a heavy gamble by ambitiously shelling out $750 million to renovate the Crown Metropol Perth at the beginning of the year. Fortunately for him, his gamble has paid off, as statistics show that attendance figures have risen more than two million on the gaming floor for the last fiscal year.
The 36 percent jump from last year’s figures means that the venue has seen a total attendance of more than 7.7 million punters walking through the casino doors, and financial figures published by the Gaming and Wagering Commission recently show that customers have spent more on electronic gaming machines in 2012-13 than ever before, at $269 million, which is $23.6 million up on last year’s figures.
More Machines, More Non-Gaming Add-Ons
Crown Perth was able to improve these figures after the Barnett Government gave the go-ahead to increase the number of gaming machines from 1885 to 2100, as a part of a deal which will see Packer invest in the development of a 500-room luxury six-star Crown Towers hotel in time for 2016.
Yet despite also seeing an increase of $12.7 million from the roulette wheel, Crown Perth did see a drop of $74.5 million to $171.3 million from baccarat, a game generally most popular among Asian high rollers. That being said, revenues from the game did double in 2011-12, so these figures could possibly be simply settling down after such an increase the previous year.
While the Gaming and Wagering Commission showed that gross revenues for the casino fell from $634 million in 2011-12 to $598.8 million in 2012-13, Crown Limited’s annual report showed that the overall profits of Crown Perth before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization increased by 6.4 percent ($240.8 million), which can be attributed mainly towards the $215 million growth in non-gaming revenue as a result of the overhaul of the venue’s restaurant and bar offerings.
“Crown Perth’s revitalized offerings – including luxury hotel rooms, high-end restaurants and bars, gaming facilities, convention centre, spa and spectacular resort pool area – add a new dimension to Perth’s tourist offerings,” said the casino group’s annual report. “The extensive capital expenditure program has reinvigorated the resort.
“The transformation of the resort has been all-encompassing, and developments have included the addition of internationally acclaimed restaurants such as Rockpool Bar & Grill, Bistro Guillaume, and Nobu,” the report added.
The statistics show that the renovation of the venue was a bold move, but clearly one that is paying off for Packer and Crown Perth, as the most successful operations for the company for 2012-13 lie in the services which are away from the casino floor.
As a result, Crown Perth has been added to the list of possible attractions for a wider customer-base, rather than the usual casino-goers which has led to a flow of foot traffic reaching over 20,000 people daily, an increase of 36 percent on last year’s statistics.