Categorized | National News

Atlantis Not Opposed To Casino Gambling For Locals

Although Prime Minister Perry Christie has already dismissed the option of legalising casino gambling for locals, Kerzner International’s President and Managing Director George Markantonis said if the government ever decides to legalise it, the resort would welcome Bahamians into the country’s largest casino.

“We follow the rules of the country and as I’ve said before if it is ever legalised for locals, we’d love to have them in our businesses as I know so would know so our colleagues at Baha Mar and probably in Bimini and wherever else we have gaming,” Mr. Markantonis said.

“But I don’t anticipate this is likely to be approved in the short-term. Nonetheless we are just spectators in the process.”

Casino gaming is pretty big business for Atlantis, accounting for 27 to 30 per cent of the resort’s revenue and varying between 15 to 27 per cent of hotel occupancy.

Mr. Markantonis noted that the resort’s peak gaming times tend to be the major holidays, particularly Christmas through New Years.

In fact, the company’s president said the property is made up of probably 95 per cent casino customers, who are coming to celebrate at the New Year holiday.

That’s part of the reason why Mr. Markantonis said the company spends millions of dollars annually upgrading its current stock and buying new games, all in an effort to ensure that its casino customers are happy.

“We find that casino customers tend to want to play the newest versions of whatever is out there,” he said.

“We can track which machines are more popular and which do better. We follow what happens in other gaming jurisdictions, so if they have games that are very successful in Atlantic City or that are very successful in Las Vegas it stands to reason that our customers that come from North America will like them too.”

Additionally, Kerzner’s president said the resort turns over between 100 and 150 slot machines every year in order to make room for the new ones.

Upgrades and infrastructural changes to the casino floor are also made on a continual basis.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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