Crown Casino spins the globe - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

CROWN casino will be the centrepiece of a global gaming empire under a new deal with the State Government.

The casinos parent company PBL will be allowed to use the brand name Crown for all its business ventures, with the Government agreeing to remove the "single purpose restriction" of its original agreement.

While PBL chairman James Packer has assured Perth its Burswood casino and resort would keep its identity, future gaming ventures in Macao, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Britain are expected to carry the Crown name.

A Crown spokesman would not comment last night on the possibility of an international chain of Crown casinos, but said it planned to use its name to help it expand.

Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos said PBL had agreed to spend at least $170 million on the Melbourne casino complex in the next five years.

PBL has also agreed to:

SPEND $5 million a year marketing the casino and Melbourne overseas as a tourist destination.

COMMIT to using Melbourne as its international gaming headquarters.

KEEP Melbourne as the dominant high-roller casino in Australia.

Mr Pandazopoulos said the Government believed the Crown brand was valuable for Victoria in overseas markets.

Mr Packer said Crowns Asian networks would help promote Victoria as a big tourist destination.

"Given our undoubted experience in the Asian market and China in particular, we hope to expand tourist numbers to Melbourne for the benefit of the whole community," he said.

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