Packer can work with operators to create popular site

In Australian Cultural Exports, Australian Domestic Tourism, Government, National Headlines, New South Wales, Transport

12th November 2013

Whilst James Packer cites ‘tourism’ as a justification to build a gambling mecca on Sydney Harbour, The Tourism News is collecting opinions from actual tourism operators on the effect the monolith casino will have on local business.

With the final building approval for the Packer casino on Sydney Harbour confirmed on 11th November 2013, the consensus amongst Sydney Harbour tourism operators is that harbour traffic with increase overall. Local tourism operators are not holding their breath for a positive impact on their businesses, but there is a lot of potential for the new casino to create solid business relationships and build, not just a huge, but popular tourist attraction.

Alex Stimpson, a one-man water taxi operation, says that even though any increased business is good, the social impact of casinos weighs on him.

“The casino will help business, directly or indirectly’, Stimpson told The Tourism News, ‘but it’s definitely bad for society’.

Mark Henley from the Gambling and Public Health Alliance International told Fairfax that ‘It’s almost certain that 40per cent of the profits which come out of this enterprise will be from people with a gambling problem.”

Water taxi operator Stimpson had heard media reports that the casino would be invitation-only, and if only Asian high-rollers are invited, then the peripheral tourism operators would not benefit.

Packer now has the opportunity to woo the City of Sydney by demonstrating a willingness to cooperate with local business.

Ryan Harrison from The Rocks Ghost Tours can not see how he would benefit from the Barangaroo casino even though his tours are run just blocks from the Barangaroo site.

‘85% of our business comes from Australians, and that’s not who Packer is targeting’, Harrison said. “(Packer)’s trying to get Chinese companies in there, average Australians don’t see that money.’

Veronica Hope






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