At the end of February it was announced that Australia’s largest gaming group, Tabcorp, had submitted one of the 19 Request For Concept applications that the Singapore government received for the development of an integrated casino resort, which calls for billion dollar investment. The company is now reported to be seriously considering the possibility of establishing a research and development centre in India.
The aim of the centre would be to develop gaming technology for export to Europe and North America, and around 30 software developers would be sited in Mumbai or Delhi. Tabcorp estimates that the costs for a centre in India can be up to 40% less than at home, where it invests $100 million each year in technology development. PricewaterhouseCoopers is to conduct the feasibility study. At present India has practically no casino market and is not expected, unlike Singapore, to consider legislation for one in the near future.
Tabcorp is not standing still in Australia, either. The 20-year old Conrad Jupiters Hotel and Casino on Queensland’s Gold Coast is to get a $42 million (A$53.5) face-lift with a contemporary design. A modernised gaming floor, better food options, lounge areas, balconies with beach views and live entertainment are all part of the upgrade that will start in August and is expected to be completed by the end of 2006. In the state of Victoria the present restriction on Tabcorp holding a lottery licence is expected to be lifted when Tattersalls loses its monopoly in June 2007, and the company may enter the bidding process for a 10-year licence.
Over the last 10 years since Tabcorp became a listed public company it has seen an average annual growth of 10% and at present is the fourth biggest gaming and entertainment company in the world. It operates the TAB in Victoria and New South Wales, its media assets include the Sky Channel and radio 2KY, and it owns and operates Star City Hotel and Casino in Sydney, Conrad Jupiters, Jupiters Townsville and Conrad Treasury in Brisbane. Around 12,000 Australians are employed by the company which is one of the top 30 listed companies on the Australian Stock Exchange and had a net operating revenue of over US$1,900 million last year, up nearly 30% on 2003. (E-04.12.05)
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