STAR PLANS TO CLEAN HOUSE, BUILD MUSCLE & CHANGE THE GAME
Casino executive Matt Bekier says The Star will be doubling its efforts to capture an increased share of the Chinese tourist dollar.
Mr Bekier, chief executive of The Star said it was important to target the Asian tourist dollar given Chinese visitors spent $8.9 billion in Australia in the year to June. That spend is broken down to an average of $8100 per visitor. “Twenty five per cent of them find their way to one of our casinos and on average they spend about $150, so out of that big wallet, we only get a very small proportion … It should be double digits.”
“It’s a very attractive customer … the big lever is to change the $150 into a bigger number and for that we need (extra) hotel rooms,” Mr Bekier said.
He added that his goal was to make The Star Australia’s leading integrated resort company, highlighting that being the largest, or global, was not on his radar.
“I want to be leading in terms of performance,” he said.
Mr Bekier, said the company planned to achieve this in three ways: “clean house”, “build muscle” and “change the game”. “Clean house” meant making sure the company could grow profitability.
“In previous years we had grown the size of the business but we had not grown earnings,” he said. Build muscle involved marketing and fuelling growth.
“We are probably 50 per cent through the potential of cleaning house and 25 per cent through our building muscle potential but we are now at the point of thinking about innovation and changing the game,” he said.
“There are different avenues (for changing the game) and for some it’s about acquisitions and online. For us it is all about the tourism story and re-positioning our properties as vessels to receive that tourism flow,” he added
Mr Bekier said to add the international tourism element to its strategy, the casino company had to increase non-gaming attractions — food, beverage and hotels.
He said the problem with the non-gaming assets was that in isolation they were lower returning assets than the casino, which was why The Star had engaged Asian joint venture partners to support those developments.
“We want the flowthrough traffic onto our core gaming facilitates. So rather than be fully integrated and own every part of the business, we just need to maintain control over gaming activity.”
STAR SHORTLISTS ARCHITECTS
In further Star news, the casino has shortlisted three architectural firms to compete in the design process for its new $500m tower in Sydney.
The Star said that BVN, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp and Grimshaw Architects have been selected to submit designs for the tower, which is scheduled to open in mid to late 2020, at least a year ahead of James Packer’s new Barangaroo casino across the water.
As well as around 20 new food and beverage venues, the new tower will include a 220-room hotel, 150 apartments and further work to link it to the existing casino property. As part of the design process The Star has set up a design panel which will review the submissions by the three firms and the company will also invite community feedback an all three designs.