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Australian land based casinos continue their entertainment push, with big name celebrities and more expensive casino re-vamps in the works. The massive casino image make-over may have started in 'Sin City' Sydney and spread to Melbourne, but now Perth is centre stage, but not without the usual hassles that are known to hit casinos. As they say, high risk, high rewards, and sometimes even the house doesn't win, which is good news for punters.
Crown emergency as toddler almost drowns - 12th December 2011...
A three-year-old boy who almost drowned in a pool at the Crown casino complex had been signed into the area by an adult.
Staff members found the boy floating face down in the pool just after 5pm yesterday.
Crown spokesman Gary O'Neill said a trained pool attendant responded to a call for help.
The boy was pulled unconscious from the water, he was treated at the scene and emergency services alerted, Mr O’Neill said.
It is understood family members were close by.
Mr O’Neill said, as was policy in the area, the child had been signed into the pool complex by an adult.
Intensive care paramedic Alan Eade said the boy was unconscious when he was pulled from the water.
"Staff put the boy on his side and tilted his head back, which helped open his airway [to] ensure he was breathing," Mr Eade said.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade continued providing the boy with oxygen until paramedics arrived.
The boy was discharged from the Royal Children's Hospital.
Crown casino car fire sets off sprinklers - 13th December 2011...
A car on fire in the underground Crown casino carpark has sent plumes of smoke through one of its levels.
MFB fire crews were called to the scene about 4pm after the engine caught alight, setting off the basement's sprinklers.
Five fire crews were unable to drive trucks into the carpark and were forced to hook up to hydrants set up inside the basement.
The cause of the fire, which destroyed the car, is unknown.
An MFB spokesman said smoke extraction fans were being used to clear the smoke, which was billowing out the basement doors.
Burswood Entertainment Complex To Become Crown Perth...
James Packer has confirmed the Burswood Entertainment Complex will be renamed Crown Perth and "new and exciting" projects were coming up for the entertainment and gaming hotspot.
The new branding would place Burswood in a better position to compete with world-class integrated resorts popping up throughout Asia, and reinforced his belief in the complex and its future, Mr Packer said.
Speaking at the Burswood Convention Centre, the Crown Ltd boss said Australia was falling behind Asian nations such as Singapore, Macau and the Philippines in the increasingly lucrative but also competitive international tourism market.
One hundred million Chinese were expected to travel overseas by 2020, spending $800 billion per year.
Asian governments were playing a more active role in boosting their tourism sectors, funding multi-million dollar tourism infrastructure projects and heavily promoting their new integrated resorts in state tourism campaigns, Mr Packer said.
Macau, for example, had overtaken Las Vegas as the number one destination for gaming tourists. Singapore was projected to do so next year, while the Philippines had stated its aim to become number two in the market.
In return for the public investment, Singapore reaped its largest ever growth in global domestic product, 14.5 per cent.
Mr Packer said Australia was missing out and governments had to be more proactive in improving the country's international tourism appeal or the potential would slip away.
In particular, he called on the federal government to relax its policy on direct flights to Asia, improve the ease of access to Australian visas and make airports more efficient.
"We must listen to the customer and increase investment in tourism infrastructure and related services and activities," he said.
Crown Perth To Power Ahead
Burswood is half-way through a $750 million refurbishment instigated after Crown purchased the 26-year-old site in 2004.
It is due to be completed by the end of 2012, at which time it will become Crown Perth.
"I'm determined that this property will be at least as good as Crown Melbourne or Crown Macau," Mr Packer said.
"[The rebranding also would help] create two of the best integrated tourism resorts in our region and assist Australia to become a more attractive tourism destination for the critical Chinese tourism market.
"We don't think we're there yet in terms of this facility (Burswood). Putting the Crown brand on it is a statement that we are going to get there."
Mr Packer admitted his company would benefit financially from the state government's planned sports stadium at the site but said he had not been approached to pitch in for costs and nor would he have if he was asked.
"If asked, our response would have been we're not in the stadium business, they're not a good business," he said.
"Now that the Premier has decided to put it there, we're very grateful.
"It's going to fundamentally change the Burswood Peninsula."
Mr Packer all but confirmed the present golf course would have to go to make room for the stadium but said he would like to see it rebuilt at a later date.
"It's highly likely that we will, in time, develop new and exciting projects that aren't included in the $750 million capital expenditure," he said.
"Things like golf are part of trying to build a tourism destination that is truly world class.
"We want to do much more here. We believe in this city, we believe in this state, we think as a company we are lucky to be here."
The Perth waterfront redevelopment
Mr Packer said the state government's massive waterfront redevelopment would do wonders for the city's tourism appeal.
"This city has an almost unique opportunity to take some of the waterfront that is still available and to fantastic things," he said.
"One of the things that always excites me is to see that there's so much land available and so many great things that could be done with it."
Mr Packer said many of his customers would eventually engage more with Perth if their experience was good.
They would potentially send their children to education here or for medical services.
Crown Casino 'Aussie Millions' Poker Tournament In January; PartyPoker Offering Qualifiers...
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*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited