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Burswood Pushes to Keep Smoking Exemption

13 July 2005

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the West Australian: "The Kerry Packer-controlled Burswood has warned it will pull out of the multi-billion-dollar international high-roller market unless it can keep smoking exemptions deemed critical to a proposed $45 million casino upgrade.

"In an interview with The West Australian, Burswood chief executive David Courtney revealed that revenue from international business had increased 70 per cent since Burswood was taken over by Mr Packer's gambling and media flagship Publishing & Broadcasting last September.

"Mr Courtney said Burswood hoped to increase that turnover a further 30 per cent by refurbishing the international room and building an exclusive new high-roller facility for some of Asia's biggest-spending gamblers in the area now occupied by Windows restaurant.

"Those expansion plans would deliver the WA Government millions more in casino tax and create about 125 new jobs, he said.

"However, the Burswood chief warned that expansion could only proceed if Health Minister Jim McGinty allowed the Perth casino to continue with its smoking exemption in both international rooms.

"Mr Courtney said if the exemption was withdrawn, PBL would be forced to cease international business at Burswood altogether because high-rollers would no longer be interested in coming to Perth…"

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