Macau slowdown benefits Australia


Macau slowdown benefits Australia - February 2015

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As China’s anti-corruption crackdown continues to deter high rollers from gambling in Macau, the top two operators in Australia are reaping the benefits.

Crown Resorts, Australia's biggest casino operator by market value, said this week that revenue from VIPs gambling at its Melbourne casino nearly doubled in the last six months of 2014. Rival Echo Entertainment Group also said VIP gambling in its Australia casinos hit a record in the same period.

The boost comes as Crown, half-owned by Australian billionaire James Packer, and Echo step up their domestic rivalry. Crown is building a US$1.56bn casino a short walk from Echo's newly refurbished Sydney waterfront complex, while the pair are also vying for government approval to build a casino in Brisbane - an Asian tourism hotspot.

"There's no doubt been some diversion from Macau," Crown chief executive officer Rowen Craigie told an analyst briefing. "You don't want to over-emphasise that but clearly those more distant destinations have benefited."