Cairns casino looks towards improvements

The Reef Casino Trust is looking towards new marketing initiatives and a partial revamp after the abandoned takeover bid by Aquis.

The operator of the Cairns casino hopes to boost its visitor numbers through a new loyalty program as well as marketing in Singapore and southeast Asia.

The Reef Casino Trust, which was subject to an abandoned takeover offer by Hong Kong suitor Aquis in 2014, says the lapse of the bid means that management can focus on capital investment.

Chief executive Allan Tan says the casino plans to introduce a new tiered loyalty program in the middle of this year to take advantage of good momentum in electronic gaming at the casino.

The casino will also market itself to high-rollers in Singapore and southeast Asia now there is a new direct flight service from Singapore to Cairns.

"The board has given me clear instructions post-Aquis, to press on and continue to build our business, without deviating from our long-held strategic ambition of delivering consistent and reliable earnings growth," Mr Tan told shareholders at the trust's annual general meeting in Cairns.

Loyalty programs at the casino's five star hotel were expected to improve room revenues, the casino complex had been repainted, a new car park system installed, the signature Tamarind restaurant would have a makeover, and staff would get new uniforms.

Management was also considering options to renovate public areas on the ground floor of the complex including the hotel lobby, the casino lobby, Vertigo bar and show lounge.

Mr Tan said the outlook for electronic gaming at the casino was positive, based on new promotions, games and the improved loyalty programs.

The performance of table games, popular among Chinese tourists, depended on the Chinese economy, he added.

A recent anti-corruption crackdown in China was not expected to have a major impact on the casino.

The lower Australian dollar and the new direct flights from Singapore to Cairns were also positive developments.

"Overall, the outlook is neutral to positive," Mr Tan said.

Chairman Ben Macdonald said the trust's profit in the year to date was ahead of the same period last year and reflected a solid performance for the first four months.

Units in Reef Casino Trust closed steady at $3.22.

2 min read
Published 25 May 2015 at 12:22pm
Source: AAP