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A$5,888-a-night room with karaoke reveals Australia's China bet

[SYDNEY] Star Entertainment Group's newest luxury hotel reveals the Australian casino operator's own naked bet on big-spending Chinese gamblers.

A penthouse at the Darling hotel on Queensland's Gold Coast, an hour's drive south of Brisbane, costs A$5,888 (S$5,973) a night. Eight is the luckiest number in Chinese culture. Three of the digits denotes triple good fortune.

The 253 square-metre suite includes a dedicated karaoke lounge, a free-for-all staple of after-dinner entertainment in China. Next door to the hotel: a casino with refurbished private gaming rooms.

"There's a growing, growing international market coming into Australia and particularly guests out of areas of Asia and China," Star's managing director for Queensland, Geoff Hogg, said.

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"This is the sort of experience they're wanting to have."

The 57-suite hotel, which opened on Thursday, is part of a planned A$850 million development at the site by Star and its Hong Kong partners, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd and Far East Consortium International Ltd.

Sydney-based Star, which once relied on China for almost all its high-roller income, now aims to generate half of it from other Asian nations. Star has a market value of A$4.5 billion.

"VIP gaming is a diverse group," Mr Hogg said. "There's been a lot of growth coming out of South-east Asia."

A spokesman for Star didn't immediately respond when asked whether the room price was intended to appeal to Chinese visitors.

BLOOMBERG

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