Guam looks at Cairns casino performance
By abigail
In Australian city Cairns, its landmark casino has not proven the resounding success that planners thought it would be. The Reef Hotel Casino was developed seven years ago, largely to attract Japanese tourists, and although it is nor producing profits, the venue has not proven to be quite the boom industry for the city it was originally predicted to be.

The moderate success of the site is having a knock on effect for neighbouring Guam, which is currently looking at the possibility of legalising gambling there, and potentially opening their own casino. A main motivation behind the initiative proposing a Guam based casino is to capture that tourism trade from Japan on their way to Cairnsís casino. The disappointing tourism trade to the Cairns casino is now a dissuading factor for Guam, who cannot help but factor in to their own decision the lack of trade generated by the North Queensland venue.

While the Cairns casino is now making a profit, it has not become the tourist attraction that was hoped, with experts believing that tourists visit Cairns for reasons other than gambling. Sandy White an executive officer of the Cairns chamber of Commerce explains: 'The casino was originally built for the high-rollers in the Japanese market, but it never really took off,' White said. 'It's only been in recent years that the casino's actually turned a profit for its shareholders.' 'The casino itself doesn't play a huge role in attracting tourists,' White said. 'It does put dollars into the place, but I don't think it's the reason that people travel to Cairns. ... It's just one of those things that people expect to find when they travel to an international destination.'

Another factor in the limited success of the casino, is the dress code which has been imposed, which White believes has limited the volume of the cityís localís population visiting the site, who are faced with other options which do not require a more formal state of apparel. 'When the casino started here in Cairns, the poker machines had been here for some time previously. So those that would have gambled in the casino were already using their local clubs and pubs and poker machines,' White said.

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