of the card eats into Crown's profit - 23rd Feb 2013
the house doesn't win. Over some games of baccarat,
a card game favoured by Asian high rollers and fictional
spy James Bond, Crown Casino in Melbourne got taken
for $14.2 million, while another $18.3 million went
into gamblers' pockets at its Aspinalls Club in Mayfair,
only a pittance compared with the $1.5 billion in
revenue recorded for the first half, up 1.1 per cent
for the period, or the near $31 billion in turnover
generated by its VIP patrons in the six months to
December, the luck of the gambler did hurt Crown's
Packer's company, which owns casinos in Melbourne,
Perth, London and Macau and is trying to muscle its
way into the Sydney market, on Friday reported its
interim profit fell by 34.1 per cent to $180.775 million.
lucky gamblers weren't annoying enough, the sharemarket
wasn't too kind to Crown either, with a fall in Echo
Entertainment's share price triggering a mark-to-market
loss of $52 million on Crown's 10 per cent investment
in the rival casino group. Mr Packer could learn soon
if Crown will be granted a casino licence for its
mooted $1 billion Barangaroo project.
out the lucky streak by some gamblers at its Melbourne
and London betting tables and other significant items
such as its Echo play, Crown Limited posted a 15.1
per cent increase in normalised net profit to $243.5
executive Rowen Craigie said the VIP market at casinos
in Macau and Singapore had picked up towards December
after a quiet start. ''The Melbourne result is a bit
reflective of what was happening in Macau and Singapore,''
Craigie said the overall first-half results for Crown's
Australian casinos were ''reasonable'' given disruption
caused by refurbishments, particularly the expansion
pre-tax earnings at Crown Melbourne rose 8.4 per cent
to $291.9 million while non-gaming earnings (food,
beverages, conferences and hotel) rose 3.3 per cent
to $204.4 million. At Perth, normalised earnings lifted
5.4 per cent to $122.9 million. Non-gaming earnings
increased 9.3 per cent to $108.4 million.
financial officer Ken Barton said it was hard to pinpoint
an exact day or the VIP players that swung Crown Melbourne's
theoretical win rate below the previous period's level
of 1.5 to 1.23 in the first half of 2012-13. ''It's
$24 billion of volume [business] and it will be a
series of days and a series of players. No individual
would be big enough to significantly move that dial
on that level of turnover.''
Barton said since Crown's opening 16 years ago the
theoretical win rate has been 1.35 per cent.
we have been mostly above that, there have been periods
like the last where we have been below.''
Craigie could not provide commentary on trading due
to the timing of Chinese New Year and the impact of
that on Crown's VIP customers. ''We're halfway through
our traditional Chinese New Year visitation period,
so I think when we're through that we'll have a better
sense of how the second half is looking,'' Mr Craigie
shares rose 20¢ to $11.75.