Land-based casino to complement Internet site
By staff
Australia’s Pacific Star Resorts is planning to raise £19.2 million ($35 million Australian) through a public share offering to build a casino resort in Vanuatu, but if not enough funds are raised, the money will be used to set up just the internet casino – provided that a minimum of $6 million ($3.29 Australian) is raised.

The centerpiece of the share offer is The Grand Hotel Casino, under construction on the harbour at Port Vila in Vanuatu.

However, Pacific Star executive director and chief executive officer John Wicks said that the main focus of the float was the land-based casino. The Internet side was just a bonus.

Mr Wicks said the resort would look to attract tourists from Australia, New Zealand and eventually South-East Asia.

Peter Bridge, managing director of Lasseters Corporation was involved in setting up Lasseters Casino, in Alice Springs, another venture in a strong tourist centre that had land-based and online gaming. Bridge said that establishing trust with customers was the main challenge facing new operators.

'The customers need to know, in case of any dispute, that there is a good regulator - somebody able to work with them and ensure there's a resolution to any problem,' he said.

Mr Bridge agreed with Pacific Star's suggestion that the existence of a land-based casino would help to attract people to the Internet site.

'We have seen a number of operators operating out of places like the Caribbean with unregulated sites,' he said. 'You don't know who you are gambling with, and quite often you see them close their doors and take their players' accounts with them.'

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