Entertainment Complex and Casino
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February to 29 March
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Burswood Entertainment Complex is located on the
Swan River some five minutes from the city of
Perth, Western Australia, and is owned by Crown
Limited. The complex includes a 24-hour casino,
seven restaurants, eight bars, a nightclub, two
international hotels (a luxury 5-star InterContinental
and a 4-star Holiday Inn), a Convention Centre,
Theatre and the Burswood Dome. Burswood Train
Station, near the Burswood Dome, provides a public
transport link to the Perth CBD.
1984, the Western Australian Government proposed
at the suggestion of Perth businessman Dallas
Dempster that a casino complex be constructed
at Burswood Island on the Swan River, 3km east
of the Perth city centre. This was the site of
a large landfill facility, which posed difficulties
in the proposal, design and construction phases
due to the risk of subsidence resulting from decomposition
and also the risk of release of effluent into
the adjacent river as a result of pile driving
for the construction.
winning bidder to build the complex was Tileska
Pty Ltd, a joint venture between Dallas Dempster
and Genting Berhad, a Malaysian casino operator.
At the time, there were allegations by rival bidders
of misconduct between Dempster and his friend,
Western Australian Premier Brian Burke.
consortium planned a two-stage construction. The
first stage was initially expected to cost A$200m,
and involved futuristic-looking buildings comprising
a 135-table casino, 400-room hotel, 18-hole golf
course, convention and exhibition centre, tennis
courts, amphitheatre and other amenities, together
with a beautification of the Burswood Island area.The
second stage of the plan involved the A$100m construction
of another hotel on the site, but no time schedule
was ever set for this and the second hotel was
not constructed until two decades later.
Tileska joint venture took up 60% of the capital
in the Burswood Property Trust, which was to own
the complex. Genting would run the resort, having
experience operating casinos in Malaysia's Genting
of the resort was approved by the Western Australian
Parliament in March 1985. It was hoped that the
hotel-casino complex would be ready in time for
the 1987 America's Cup race, to be hosted by Perth
and construction was to be to a tight schedule
in order to achieve that deadline.
Burswood Property Trust was listed on Australian
stock exchanges on 30 May 1985.
it opened on 30 December 1985, Burswood Island
Casino (as it was then known) was the largest
in Australia, and third-largest in the world.
It was expected to receive two to three million
visitors per year and have an annual gross profit
of A$100m. The public interest in the casino proved
so much in its early months of operation that
it posted a gross profit of A$1 million per day
for its first two months, far outstripping expectations.
In its early weeks of opening, people were reportedly
forced to queue at the entrance for hours as the
gaming floor was at its full legal capacity.
Burswood Island Casino was opened several months
ahead of schedule, and the other parts of Stage
1 (including the hotel, conference centre, theatre
and indoor stadium) remained under construction
throughout 1986 and much of 1987.
January 1987, the complex recorded its three millionth
visitor. Not sharing in this financial success,
the Burswood Property Trust encountered financial
difficulties and sold the hotel operations in
the under-construction Burswood Island Hotel to
Japanese investor Brisney Pty Ltd, a joint venture
between investment company Yunan Development Co
Ltd and hotel operator Kanematsu Trading Co Ltd.
28 August 1987, the Burswood Dome indoor sports
stadium was opened to the public, and was noted
as being by far the largest auditorium in the
hotel's opening was delayed by 85 days, largely
as a result of inclement weather and industrial
disputes. This delay meant that the hotel and
conference centre was not available during the
early stages of the America's Cup race, necessitating
refunds to overseas visitors.
the 417-room Burswood Island Hotel opened its
doors to the public on 4 October 1987, the hotel's
management reportedly allowed one of the casino's
highest rollers to stay there a day early, during
which time he won A$1.4 million, which was
believed at the time to be the highest amount
ever won by an individual in an Australian casino.
Burswood Convention Centre was opened on 20 November
1987, and on 8 April 1988, the entire Burswood
Island complex had its official opening.
casino was expanded in 1990, and an improved International
Room (for high-rolling punters) was unveiled in
1995. 1998 saw the corporatisation of the Burswood
Property Trust, and also saw the complete renovation
of the Burswood Theatre.
1999, the management of Burswood undertook an
extensive refurbishment program of the hotel rooms,
to maintain Burswood's reputation as Perth's best
2000, a $96 million resort renovation and improvement
program was undertaken.
and 2002 saw the opening of the Ruby Room nightclub
and Champion's Bar, both within the casino, and
also the opening of the Grand Ballroom.
2003, Burswood entered into a deal with land developer
Mirvac Fini for the residential development of
vacant land between the complex and the Graham
up from the long-neglected Stage 2 of the Burswood
development plan, in the early 2000s the management
of Burswood made various plans to build a second
hotel on the site. Eventually, in 2003 they entered
into a joint venture deal with the InterContinental
Hotels Group to run the existing Burswood Resort
Hotel (to be re-branded as Burswood InterContinental
Hotel) and a new, 291-room Holiday Inn hotel to
be constructed adjacent to the Burswood Theatre.
2004, PBL acquired full control of the Burswood
International Resort Casino, and in 2005 re-branded
the site as "Burswood Entertainment Complex".
1 August 2005, the Holiday Inn Burswood opened
for business after 29 months of construction.
Construction finished three months early and was
A$2 million under budget. The promoters proclaimed
that it was "Perth's first purpose-built
hotel in more than 12 years".
2006, Burswood closed its renowned fine-dining
Windows Restaurant in order to make way for a
newer, expanded VIP room for high rollers. This
new facility, called The Pearl Room, opened in
late 2006 featuring 180 degree Swan River views.
It replaced the old International Room which closed
its doors following the unveiling of The Pearl
2007, Burswood opened The Riviera Room - a new
gaming room featuring higher stakes open to the
general public. The Riviera Room is located at
the site of the old International Room, and has
been refurbished to feature a contemporary design.
an exclusive late night bar, accessible only by
a hosted lift at the entrance of The Riviera Room,
opened in August 2007. Carbon Sports Bar opened
in December 2007 and features a giant 12.5 x 4m
wide screen and 16 x 52-inch plasmas.
Casino at Burswood Entertainment Complex operates
24 hours, 7 days a week. It is the only casino
operator in Perth, Western Australia. There are
1,500 coin operated game machines with a variety
of games such as Keno, Video Poker and others
involving dice, dominoes and balls. Jackpots are
linked to many of these games. The reel-slots
popular elsewhere in Australia and the rest of
the world, operated with a pull down lever, are
not permitted in Western Australia.
table games include Baccarat, Mini Baccarat, Blackjack,
Roulette, Poker (Texas Hold'Em, Omaha), Three
Card Poker, Casino War, Progressive Texas Hold'Em,
Ultimate Texas Hold'Em, Four Card Poker, Pai Gow,
Money Wheel, Sic Bo and Caribbean Stud. The Blackjack
tables in the main casino use Continuous Shuffling
Machines, but in The Pearl Room most of the Blackjack
tables offer hand shuffled 8 deck games dealt
from a shoe. All Australian Blackjack games are
played without a hole card.
Casino at Burswood Entertainment Complex is a
smoke free venue with designated semi-outdoor
smoking terraces near most bars. The terraces
lead outside but do not allow patrons to exit
the premises. Although Perth now has a law that
bans smoking inside of all pubs and clubs, the
casino implemented this rule long before they
were legally obliged to. The Pearl Room (for VIP
guests), is the only area inside the casino that
allows smoking on and around the gaming floor.
To cater for this exception, a state-of-the-art
ventilation system was installed during its construction.
area surrounding the Casino is known as Burswood
Park and is managed by the Burswood Park Board.
Originally a rubbish tip from the mid 1940s, the
construction of the casino complex also saw the
parklands regenerated into a public recreational
facility. Today the park contains wildflower displays,
a heritage trail with various statues, and the
Burswood Park Public Golf Course.
Burswood Dome is a large enclosed venue for entertainment,
sporting, or special events. The dome is 8,800
square metres in size, with seating for 13,600
people (or 8,000 during tennis matches). The whole
arena is pressurised so that the fibreglass roof
is suspended 35m above the ground.
has played host to a range of international and
Australian performers and shows including Michael
Jackson, Iron Maiden, U2, Coldplay, Mariah Carey,
Elton John, The Boy From Oz, Guns N' Roses, The
Wiggles, Justin Timberlake, Billy Joel, AC/DC,
Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and more.
Burswood Dome was originally due to be demolished
after hosting its last contracted Hopman Cup in
2007. Due to the Burswood Peninsula apartments
being opened, it was announced the Delta Goodrem
concert in July 2005 would be the last concert
held at the Dome. The WA government have since
come to an agreement to hold 10 concerts a year
up till December 2007, and extend the Hopman Cup
contract till 2008. This was later extended to
2011, until the completion of Perth Arena.
Perth Wildcats basketball club have also played
occasional games at the Burswood Dome when their
regular venue was unavailable.
A-League football (soccer) team Perth Glory is
considering using the Dome as their home ground
during the 2007-08 season, although the club in
negotiation with regards to capacity at the indoor
venue, as they are aiming for an average of 12,500
people at each home game. (Credit:
Mediaman does not represent Burswood
Entertainment Complex and Casino