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21 May 2010

New Australian Mildura Casino Tourism On Cards?, by Greg Tingle - 20th May 2010

Casino talk, mergers, take over et al, continue to be all the rage down under in Australia, and land based casinos, online enterprises, and now even airports are buying into the excitement. Media Man and Gambling911 jet down to Victoria, in regional Mildura to catch the chit chat at the airport lounge...

A new casino for Mildura has been discussed with various levels of the community, government and business for almost a year now, and it appears that the majority of folks want a casino hotel, as it will create extra sustainable jobs and all kinds of tourism growth.

Tourism types including the airport services mob don't seem to need too much convincing of the benefits that will follow the development of a world class bricks and mortal casino in downtown Mildura. Of course you have the regular small but vocal mob of nay sayers, but roughly 80% - 90% across the board and looking forward to the first trucks rolling in, bricks being laid, and you get the picture.

Tourism in the beautiful Mildura region is enjoying an all-time high and would further rise significantly with a casino, its manager said.

CEO Bill Burke said there was a consistently growing trend of passenger numbers and last March was the busiest month in history.

Mr Burke said the airport was also introducing parking fees from June to help fuel the cost of upgrades and services, with free short-term parking for 3 hours and just $8 a day for long-term parking.

"As a hard number, we had more than 18,000 people travel through the airport in a month," Mr Burke said.

"Passenger numbers have been going up quite consistently for quite a long time. We're experiencing quite consistent growth and it hasn't tapered off with economic declines nationally. The average over the last 12 years is eight per cent per annum and through 2009 that went up to about 15 per cent due to the increase in services... and availability of a lot cheaper seats. The annual total is up to 198,000, so we will break 200,000 by July".

Mr Burke and a swag of tourism and casino experts say the record will be quite easily broken if the casino goes ahead. The casino will cost millions, bit it's likely to bring back the numbers 10 fold, even 100 fold, say many insiders.

It's yet to be determined if one can expect high-rollers aka "whales" turning up in their Lear Jets aka Gulf Stream jets, but stranger things have happened. Certainly the net cast far and wide will attract 1000s of "dolphins". Richard Branson's Virgin Blue would also likely plug right into the action and benefit.

This development in Victoria follows yesterday's report that James Packer owned Crown Casino is in talks with NRL Melbourne Storm about offering a sponsorship which would be "mutually beneficial". Sports tourism and media deals go hand in hand with the lucrative casino sector.

Eco tourism, wine tourism and sports tourism are just some of the niche sectors expected to kick on should the sleepy town get the neon lights of Vegas touch up!

Folks, the State Of Origin casino style has further ramped up with Sydney's Star City now perhaps preparing for another war down south with the Mildura "mobsters".

Australia Tourism new slogan 'There's nothing like'

Tourism Victoria slogan 'You'll love every piece of Victoria'

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen industry sectors they cover

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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