Give The Star some credit. It does at least live up to its name, even if it has to fork out megabucks to get the stars to appear.
When Star City opened in 1995, it reportedly paid Diana Ross a cool million to perform at the opening. That was a fun night. The free concert was dangerously crowded, and you had to queue for three hours to play blackjack tables with a minimum bet limit of $25.
When Star City rebranded as The Star last year, it again reportedly paid big bucks for the likes of Russell Crowe, Jen Hawkins and other big names to show up. Us star struck Sydneysiders were presumably meant to think that the casino was a fabulously exciting place to blow our money, not a depressing RSLy place to blow our money.
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A 22 year refrigeration mechanic walks into a casino… and what happens next defies belief. (You can read all about it here.)
First, he finds $200 bucks on the floor. This in itself is remarkable. Have you ever been to a casino? There are starving seagulls who swoop on chips slower than gamblers dive for loose cash in one of those hell-holes.
Anyway, the guys picks up the cash and before he knows it he’s in a holding cell for three hours. Next thing he knows, a magistrate slaps him with a $500 fine, plus court costs.
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James Packer has clearly decided that attack is the best form of defence in aiming a strident up-yours at critics of casinos - which he of the diminishing billions billed today as the unsung heroes of job creation, urban renewal, skills training and government assistance.
“Next time you read an unbalanced story about your casinos and their impact on the community, stop and think about the other side of the story,’’ the Crown chairman said at today’s AGM in Melbourne.
“The one that rarely gets reported. That is, of the contribution Crown makes to tourism, to employment, to training, to urban development, to community partnerships and to government revenues. Contributions that make us fundamentally different to many pubs and clubs.”
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