Australian casino operators to face increased regulatory oversight in coming years: Fitch
Australia’s government is making moves to shore up its gaming industry after a series of scandals and an economic downturn. According to the leading credit ratings agency, Fitch Ratings, Australian casino operators are facing greater regulatory oversight as well as increased costs in order for their businesses stay afloat when all eyes turn towards them now that Crown Resorts faces intense scrutiny from authorities nationwide due to ongoing financial crimes investigations.
A new report by Fitch Rating has revealed some concerning statistics about Australia’s gambling scene; according to the company which focuses on measuring risk worldwide – 84% of Australians who gamble do so at casinos while only 3% play sports betting or online poker (Fitzgerald). Furthermore, out of these gamblers 64% visit more than once per
Crown, a company which was this year deemed unsuitable to hold an NSW casino license pending significant corporate changes, is currently facing two concurrent Royal Commissions in Victoria and Western Australia – the latter of which has already unearthed concerns around tax payments. The Australian regulator for money laundering also lists Crown as one of many companies with potential non-compliance with their AML and counter-terrorism legislation. Alongside competitors Star Entertainment Group and SkyCity Entertainment Group (both major operators), it’s clear that these are not good times for Crown Casino
The recent crackdown on casino operators is likely to lead to greater long-term scrutiny by regulators, which will impact their bottom line. Fitch’s report said: “We expect compliance costs for gaming operators to climb given the heightened scrutiny, which is likely to increase regulatory oversight and investment in compliance systems…Some elements of the operator’s businesses may also be forced out of operation entirely, leading them towards a less lucrative business model that could dampen revenue generation ability and margins.”
Sydney’s well-known casino business has been hit hard by the recent junket bans, and Fitch analysts do not see this trend changing anytime soon. However they are optimistic that VIP revenues will be able to keep up because Australian casinos rely mostly on local players for revenue.
The Chinese government wants to reduce the nation’s addiction rates by outlawing junkets, which has led to a significant decrease in VIP revenue. While this may hurt gambling establishments that rely heavily on wealthy players from China and other Asian countries for their profits, it will hopefully curb some of the negative effects these casinos have had across Asia.
In the Australian gaming industry, VIPs make up less of a proportion than mass market betting. In addition to this being more stable and generating higher margins for operators, it also means that any decline in revenue will be at a lower level as well. The only foreseeable problem is if there are declines due to pandemic restrictions on properties which has been seen recently with some closures across various states causing both top-line and bottom-line issues but not too much concern overall because they’re so few in number compared to domestic operations.
The most recent issue within the Australian gambling industry is those who place high stakes bets called “VIP” players -they have historically made up smaller proportions of earnings among slot machine operators when compared domestically against other types such
After being closed to outside visitors for over a year, it seems that the Las Vegas strip is finally getting back on its feet. With Covid-19 restrictions slowly creeping in across America and Europe alike, hotels have taken this as an opportunity to return their focus towards catering exclusively within themselves rather than relying primarily upon meeting with guests through public venues like the casino floor or lobby bar.
Following two years of dedicated social distancing policies imposed by governments worldwide due to fears about spreading contagion from individuals infected with Covd-19 virus (Covid), most properties reported healthy return at profitability level progressively during 2H20 – highlighting market’s resilience even when operating under such restriction conditions,” said Rian Whitton head analyst le London Capital Group “