Star CEO optimistic about VIP future, but locals still important

Despite the company recently reporting a downturn in VIP turnover, Star Entertainment CEO Matt Bekier said he is optimistic about the VIP tourist market over the years ahead.

During a presentation at the Gaming, Racing & Wagering Australia (GRWA) conference in Brisbane, Mr. Bekier said he forecasts an upwards trend in Chinese VIP tourist arrivals and spending over the next decade.

When asked by Asia Gaming Brief about how the company is better positioning to capture the Chinese VIP market, Bekier said the company is working to grow the Chinese experience VIP player market, described as a growing segment of VIP gamer that is looking for superior travel-related experiences alongside their traditional gaming needs.

The chief executive also noted an observed growth in VIP players coming out of North Asia.

That being said, Bekier said the company continues to rely on the domestic market, noting that as a whole, Australia only captures only around 4 percent of global VIP business.  

“If you run a casino you need a sustainable slots business… you need the locals,” said Bekier.

This is also relevant for attracting international tourists, adds Bekier. “Because they don’t want to go to a ghetto that’s only made for tourists. They want to go where locals go.”

During FY19H1, the company posted a 6.3 percent increase in slots revenue during FY19H1, while domestic tables were up 6.4 percent, largely driven by its Queensland property.