17 Crown employees remain incarcerated in China months after being arrested
Australian land casino operators are taking a far more cautious approach to attracting Chinese high rollers following the arrests of 15 Crown Resorts Chinese employees and three visiting Aussie execs last year and their continued incarceration, but the Chinese clampdown on big spenders is in any case impacting business.
This week the Star Entertainment Group Ltd. reported that wagering from international VIP clients declined 27 percent in November and December, and opined that the October detentions in China have created "uncertainty" and "caution," and resulted in international VIP turnover falling 11.9 percent to A$20.8 billion.
Consequently, the company is looking elsewhere in South East Asia in a bid to reduce its reliance on Chinese VIP gamblers, CEO Matt Bekier revealed, saying:
"We continue to assess the North Asian VIP business as the China situation develops. We are executing our strategy of diversifying our international revenues."
Bekier said that Star's earnings from the VIP business were also impacted by the sales and marketing costs associated with diversification.
However, normalised net income after tax in the six months ended December 31 more than doubled to A$141.8 million, partly because a higher win rate was achieved against VIP gamblers, although observers pointed out that this was still a 17.7 percent decline on the same figure a year ago.
Historically, 80 percent of Star's VIP business comes from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, Bekier revealed.
Rival Crown Resorts said in December that turnover from its high-wagering, top-priority customers at its Australian resorts slumped 45 percent from a year earlier in the most recent 23-week period.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa