July 16th, 2012 by
The Star Casino located in Sydney, Australia and owned by Echo Entertainment was recently in the news, when the state’s gambling watchdog decided to conduct an inquiry on the marketing and promotion strategies that were being deployed by the Casino.
The Casino came in for criticism when it decided to use models as marketing magnets to lure more customers. The Sun-Herald ran an article in June, showing how the casino hired attractive young models to go out on the streets and target ”L-plate” gamblers. These young women were authorized by the casino to give away free $5 betting chips as well as vouchers for complimentary blackjack classes as an incentive for getting people to step into the casino.
The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority released a statement which said that this was the first time it had witnesses such public inducements. These marketing practices also received flak from anti-gambling campaigners such as the independent senator Nick Xenophon, who labeled them ”grubby tactics”.
The authority’s spokesman, Mark Nolan, said ”The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has confirmed that the Star casino’s promotion – comprising an invitation to a ‘Learn to play blackjack tournament’ and a $5 free bet voucher for use on gaming tables – does not breach statutory requirements. ‘Although there is no prohibition on the casino offering free bet vouchers for gaming tables, the authority notes advice from the Star that it has no plan to repeat the type of distribution method used recently in some parts of the CBD.”
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