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Casino Not a Big Draw for Tourists
Guam’s 80-page casino initiative mentions Japanese tourists passing
through Guam to get to a casino in Cairns, Australia, as one of the
reasons Guam should legalize casinos here as well.
But the 7-year-old Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns is only a small
element of that city’s tourism industry and struggled to establish
itself, said Sandy White, executive officer of the Cairns Chamber of
Tourists come to Cairns mostly for other reasons, he said.
"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
Officials with the Reef Hotel Casino did not respond to a request for
comment on that establishment’s place in the local economy.
White noted that it is difficult to compare Guam’s tourism industry
to the Cairns tourism industry, which serves primarily domestic
visitors. Japanese visitors represent only 20 to 25 percent of tourists
there, he said.
"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
It is difficult to gauge the social effect of that 128-room
hotel/casino on the local population, since gaming machines have been
widely available to Cairns residents for a long time in pubs, clubs and
parlors. Some businesses operate several hundred gambling machines,
entire article at:
Pacific Daily News
2004 Online Casino News Archive