Echo Entertainment


Echo Entertainment

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Echo Entertainment

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The Star The Darling Jupiters Hotel and Casino Treasury Casino And Hotel Tabcorp Holdings

News

Echo Entertainment may kill James Packers bid to create a high roller casino at Barangaroo
- 9th April 2013

Marquee's first birthday party: Jennifer Hawkins leads celebrities; Sydney, Australia -
29th March 2013

Las Vegas casino boss takes over Echo Entertainment - 12th December 2012

News

Genting sells half its shares in Echo Entertainment - 20th September 2012

The battle for control of Echo Entertainment Group, the operator of Sydney’s Star casino, has taken a new twist, with Malaysia’s Genting selling down half of its 10 per cent stake.

Genting, which operates casinos in south-east Asia, told the stock exchange last night that it had entered into an agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Australia to dispose of a 4.8 per cent stake in Echo at $3.99 a share, a 2.7 per cent discount to yesterday’s closing price of $4.10. That values the stake at around $158 million.

"This comes after a review by the company to rationalise its investments portfolio," Genting said in a statement. "The disposal is not expected to have any material effect on earnings per share for the current financial year," Shares in Genting rose 2.5 per cent in Singapore trade.

Genting and Crown have been circling Echo for its Sydney Casino, which attracts scores of Asian high rollers and last night’s move may allow Crown to close in on what is Sydney’s only casino operator. Crown, which owns a 10 per cent share in Echo, has sought regulatory approval to boost that holding to 25 per cent. An exit by Genting opens the door for Crown to increase its stake.

"The market, looking at the share price, welcomes this [move]. People didn’t understand what the strategy could be in Australia," said Lucius Chong, an analyst at CIMB Research. "This removes a lot of uncertainty because Genting is good at building casinos, looking at emerging growth, whereas Australia is a mature market," Mr Chong said.

Crown, which operates casinos in Melbourne and Perth, has amassed a 10 per cent stake in Echo, and has sought regulatory approval to go to 25 per cent.

Echo also operates casinos in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Townsville in Queensland. Echo in August reported a net profit for the 2011/12 financial year of $42.2 million, well down on the previous year’s $226 million. Echo recently spent $870 million redeveloping its main asset, The Star, including a $100 million payment to the New South Wales government for exclusivity.

Crown has been lobbying the NSW government to build another casino in Sydney at the Barangaroo redevelopment near the CBD, just across the harbour from The Star.

Malaysian-based parent Genting Group built its stake through its subsidiaries in Singapore and Hong Kong in June, sparking talk of a potential bidding war. Genting had also sought regulatory approval to increase its holding.

It was not clear whether Genting has withdrawn the application. A spokesman for the regulator was not immediately available to comment on the matter.

 

News

Echo Entertainment - The Star and Crown Limited AGM Pokie Cap Talk, by Greg Tingle - 11th November 2011

Times are a changing.

Echo Entertainment, with a capital E for entertainment, and its The Star (no longer Star City Casino)...red headed stepchild... are in some talks with James Packer's Crown Limited about... you guessed it - poker machine cap limits. The fierce rivals have found some common ground, or is it more about bit of a common enemy.

The "Aussie casino wars" as they have been described in gaming business circles have taken on a bit of a new angle, with Australia's 'Big Brother' government cementing itself on the battlefield, taking fire from Echo, Crown and the Liberal - National coalition party. One Media Man news-hound joked "It's bigger than the release of Call of Duty 3. They should be an Aussie casino war videogame".

There's been some good news for Echo coming out of its AGM. The integrated entertainment complex and land based casino owner advised revenue was stronger in the first quarter of 2011-12 and earnings are tipped to surge in the second half.

Mr Packer, perhaps a touch busier than usual, thanks to both his AGM in Melbourne, friend Shane Warne doing his thing with Club 23 at the casino, and insider, golf champ Tiger Woods doing his thing in and around Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth, got to share his mind to shareholders (this writer being just one of them).

The famous Australian gaming billionaire showed his interest competitor Echo Entertainment, of which Crown Ltd snatched a 4.9 per cent stake in the Tabcorp spinoff last June.

Speaking on behalf of Crown at Echo's shareholders meeting yesterday, long-time Packer confidant, Guy Jalland, quizzed the Echo board whether its talks with NSW and QLD governments had covered ridding Echo's ownership caps which currently limit investors to a 10 per cent stake.

"At the time of the demerger that matter was raised with governments of each of those jurisdictions," advised Echo Entertainment chairman John Story. "Each government indicated it wished to continue the current caps."

Mr Jalland went on to ask whether these ownership caps are in the interests of shareholders.

"It's up to the government to determine that outcome, that's not of our making," said Mr Story.

After the meeting, Echo chief exec Larry Mullen, was probed about if there was any discussions between Crown Limited and Echo Entertainment to which he disclosed that the two outfits have only had talks on common business issues such as the new poker machine regulations.

It's clear that on this point Packer's Crown and Echo (E for Entertainment) have evidently found common ground, if not a common target.

Story stayed on message as JP (that's James Packer) when he railed against the pokie reforms and how it would hit the casino and gaming industry at a time when Echo and Crown are spending a combined $4 billion on new "tourism infrastructure"...that's including the redevelopment of Echo's flagship Sydney land based casino, The Star.

He advised the tipped reforms (pre-committing being a big part), "are unproven and untargeted proposals, which are at risk of adversely impacting the casino and tourism industry without the desired improvement in the occurrence of problem gambling." He said they along with many members of the casino sector are in talks with the government to find a more effective solution.

Swinging back to the Echo AGM, Mullen told investors that trading for the current financial year was in line with expectations and "solid" given the cautious consumer environment and disruptions from its redevelopment program.

Revenues at Echo were up 15.2 per cent from July 1 to October 31 he said.

Mullen pointed out that while benefits of the redevelopment of The Star will be evident from this quarter, earnings for the half year will be impacted by $30 million worth of pre-opening costs and higher initial operating expenses.

Even in the casino business, you have to sometimes spend quite a bit of money to make money, and the stakes are often higher for the casino company than for the punters that might come in to try their luck on Cleopatra, Sinatra, Monopoly, Wheel of Fortune or any other one of hundreds of game titles.

Media agencies such as Media Man and Casino News Media are currently obtaining information from the public at large as to whether The Star or Crown Casino are seen at number one in Australia as well as if both casino groups are more about gambling or entertainment, or both. Information gathers and analysts at the likes of Roy Morgan and the Australian Government are expected to be very interested in the findings.

 

Websites

Echo Entertainment

Star City Hotel and Casino official website

The Darling Future Star

Profile

Echo Entertainment Group emerges as a dynamic organisation with four vibrant businesses - hospitality, dining, nightlife and gaming – that combines the strength of one of Australia’s largest publicly listed gambling companies with the drive of an entrepreneurial start up.

Through perceptive partnerships and seasoned execution, Echo Entertainment Group will bring fresh to the old and redefine the concepts of escape while delivering memorable experiences. Echo Entertainment Group is driven by the relentless pursuit to make happy happen to each and every guest in each and every destination.

With our fingers firmly on the pulse of pleasure, leisure and reinvention, Echo Entertainment Group is the catalyst for your entertainment. Echo Entertainment Group is like entertainment itself … forever evolving.

Echo Entertainment Group operates four hotel and casino complexes, Star City in Sydney, Jupiters Hotel & Casino on the Gold Coast, Treasury Casino & Hotel in Brisbane and Jupiters Townsville.

 

Websites

Echo Entertainment

Star City Hotel and Casino official website

The Darling Future Star

 

Media Man does not represent Echo Entertainent

Artists impression of revamped Star City Casino

Star City Hotel and Casino (artists impression)

News

Snoop Dogg Enjoys Time In Australian Casinos; Star City In Sin City Sydney..

With hip-hop stars Snoop Dogg and Nelly have been enjoying their time down under in Australia. At an announced side-show in Sydney's Star City Casino last weekend, the two famed hip-hop stars shocked the crowd when an ensemble of acclaimed Supafest co-stars joined them on stage. Industry luminaries The Game, T-Pain, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe and Spliff Star all joined in the fun. They wowed fans with an hour of freestyle rapping. The show is already being described as the biggest hip-hop show in Australian history. Star City in Sydney is hoping to look after them again, as is the Tabcorp owned sister casino on the Gold Coast - Jupiters Hotel and Casino.

 

Star City getting $800,000 upgrade to attract casino whale VIP high rollers

iGB Down Under On Today - 24th March 2010

Casino magazine Hugh Jackman feature story

Live game show at Star Casino

Chicago The Musical showing at Star City

Catherine at Star City reception impresses Media Man Australia director with world class service with a smile

Artists impression of revamped Star City Casino

Profile

Star City is a five star complex with a casino, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, hotel & apartments, and banquets & conference centres.

 

News

NRL South Sydney Rabbitohs: Star City Casino Partnership!, by Greg Tingle - 28th January 2011

G'day punters, journos, high rollers, sports nuts, casino and football team owners, entertainment news junkies, politicians, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journos... one and all. Today we probe the new and exciting deal between the legendary Aussie NRL footy team, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the "partnership" with Tabcorp's Star City Casino.

This follow the recent deal between the NRL's Penrith Panthers and Centrebet, with the teams football ground now known as Centrebet Stadium, in a $5 million dollar deal, tipped to secure the financial future of the club. Other clubs and plugging into the lucrative gambling and betting dollars, with more win - wins on the way, but at what cost? Can NRL and betting co exist in a sustainable fashion, without more sports betting scandals on the way.

Centrebet Stadium, PartyGaming Cricket Ground, Paddy Power Park, Betfair Entertainment Centre?! Who know what may be around the corner. Media Man and Gambling911 kick a goal between the posts with this special report...

The tie ins between the National Rugby League and gambling, sports betting et al, continue this week with South Sydney celebrity owner Russell Crowe, tipped to present the Bunnies' new 5-year, multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with Tabcorp's Star City.

A press conference including Crowe has been scheduled for the Pyrmont's Star City. Souths also yesterday announced the bookmaker, Luxbet (linked to Tabcorp), as a corporate partner for 2011. The online agency will run in house tipping service Bunnybet, taking over from Betezy, which launched the gambling website portal as a joint venture with the Rabbitohs in 2009, in a media campaign pushed far and wide by the Media Man agency, which covers the sector in a fair and balanced fashion, and known to focus on the positives, while also doing hard nosed coverage on the potential dangerous of excess gambling - betting.

The Souths Rabbitohs deals comes only 5 days after the Penrith Panthers announced their Australia-first venue naming-rights contract with a sports betting and gambling company, rebranding their home ground Centrebet Stadium Penrith. The northern beaches based Manly Sea Eagles will also this year have the Centrebet logo on their jumper. No word yet what's happening to the Full Tilt Poker logo that was on East's Rooters players shorts.

This bush tucker bag of NRL - gambling news comes at the same time that a high-profile NRL player is battling a huge problem, dropping at least $1500 a week at Star City. In addition, a police investigation, as well as New South Wales Crime Commission hearings, is not yet complete into irregular betting patterns reported in last year's round-24 match between North Queensland Cowboys and and Canterbury Bulldogs aka 'The Doggies' in Townsville. 'The Doggies' still struggle to live down a football betting and sex scandal from years ago, with the obvious sexual reference tie in off 'Doggie style', a often preferred sexual position of women.

Souths' Rabbitohs new commercial deals also equate to a bit of a back down from Crowe and co-owner Peter Holmes a Court since they proposed to to remove the pokies aka 'one armed bandits' from Souths Leagues Club in 2007. "There is a time and a place for gaming and I don't believe that South Sydney is the time or the place," Holmes a Court said way back then. The club has faced serious cash flow challenges, not to mention a poor win rate over the past years, despite having a club history second to none.

Current Souths chief executive Shane Richardson would not comment on the Star City sponsorship yesterday. NRL chief executive David Gallop mentioned that many of the NRL clubs have corporate partnerships with betting firms and the NRL itself is aligned with TAB Sportsbet, for which that company pays a product fee of 5 per cent of profit on rugby league punting.

Overseas operators such as PartyGaming, Paddy Power and others are said to be keen to get in on the action, and in the meantime the international headlines add fuel to the fire.

Betting agencies associated with the game must sign integrity agreements that insist on co-operation.

"Gambling on sport is as old as sport itself. We have to accept that being able to bet on a game adds a very enjoyable aspect to viewing," Gallop said. "The arrangements that we now have with betting agencies put us in a lot better position not only in terms of being compensated for the use of our intellectual property but also in our ability to access information about irregular betting. We've worked hard with all the sports to get ourselves to that position and indeed some of the matters that have been investigated and are currently being investigated - those investigations have only been possible because of those arrangements. Our ability to get to the bottom of issues … is greatly improved by those arrangements."

Gallop, however, listened to concerns that issues such as "spot betting" were a concern, as was hard core promotion. NRL broadcaster Channel Nine has been criticised for the past 12 months for its commentators' plugging betting options during broadcasts of the game.

"In terms of the promotion of gambling we do have restrictions. Individual players can't endorse individual agencies. There are elements that are concerning such as types of bets and aggressive promotion."

'Gambling Man' (MM tag) Gallop said he was not alarmed by reporting of players with gambling problems. "Our players are a cross-section of the community and there are going to be players with social problems, be they gambling , alcohol or drugs," he said.

Media Man and Gambling911 will continue to revel more details as they come to hand, so don't change your dial.

 

News

ANZPT success forces weekly tournaments to be postponed!

The ANZPT Sydney Championships are in full swing at Star City, with six events being played over the last seven days and the Main Event almost a sell out!

Come in over the weekend and be a part of the action. Sunday 3rd May is set to be a very busy day for Poker at Star City with the final table of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event, a Teams Event, Mega Satellite into the next ANZPT event as well as the filming of a final table to award a place in the new reality TV show, ‘The Poker Star’.

Following the huge effort put in by our staff and the enormous support of our regular players throughout the tournament, our weekly Monday and Wednesday tournaments for next week will be postponed. Of course regular cash games will still be available.

Check out www.biggamepoker.com.au for the complete results of the ANZPT Sydney Championships, along with ALL the events information, and a photo gallery of the winners. Visit the site now...but only if you’re game

 


Article

Star City's $475 million facelift with largest outdoor gaming area, by Justin Vallejo - 24th September 2008
(Credit: The Daily Telegraph)


Sydney's famous skyline will undergo a major facelift as part of a $475 million upgrade to Star City.

But hidden among the glitz and glamour of the new-look casino are plans for the largest outdoor gaming area in NSW.

Once ridiculed as the "Pyrmont Workers Club", the aging casino will undergo a complete overhaul - with these artists impressions revealing the first look at the dramatic changes.

The expansions plans of "Project Star", going on exhibition today , reveal a giant reshaping of the casino to face towards the harbour and Sydney's city views.

A new 309 room hotel on vacant land next to the casino will be the first major five star hotel build in the CBD since the Olympic Games.

Tabcorp's Chief Executive of Casinos Walter Bugno said Star City was now more than 10 years old and was in need an overhaul.

"This is our chance to build a world-class casino and entertainment complex," Mr Bugno said.

"For the first time, Star City will be facing the harbour and the city and that will give us an advantage that no other casino in the world can match."

Star City has included the outdoor gaming proposal in its major development application before the NSW Planning Department after it was rejected by City of Sydney Council in July.

At the time, Lord Mayor Clover Moore called the outdoor gaming area an appalling development that "would prey on the most vulnerable of society" while the NSW Health Department said it failed to meet smoke-free legislation.

It is understood that substantial changes have been made to the original proposal that was withdrawn from the council to ensure it complies with the state's unenclosed space laws.

While new licensing agreements will allow Star City to operate additional tables subject to approval, there will be no increase in the number of poker machines above the current 1500 cap.

About 750 construction jobs will be created over the next three years while another 900 hotel and casino jobs will be created when the expansion in complete in 2011.

A new grand entry to the casino on the harbour side will replace the current staircase while the existing ballroom will be expanded to hold at least 1200 people.

The final floor plans are still being designed but Mr Bugno estimates there would be around 17 restaurants and 11 bars in the new complex.

 

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