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Some good news for the embattled casino operators - they've been doing it tough lately :sadsmiley02:


Berejiklian delivers on a jackpot day for Sydney casinos

Sydneyâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s two casino giants have hit the jackpot after the Berejiklian government dropped a legal case that threatened Crown Resortâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s interests at Barangaroo, and the Premier intervened personally in support of an apartment and hotel tower at The Star casino in Pyrmont.


But Gladys Berejiklian's incursion into the debate about The Starâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s proposed $500 million tower has exposed her to criticism that she risks undermining the credibility of the stateâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s planning system.



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Crown profit slumps 28pc as high rollers leave the table

Key points:

Crown's VIP gambling revenue fell by 26pc as high rollers abandoned gaming rooms in Melbourne, Perth and London

Crown chief John Alexander said "subdued business conditions" were to blame

Mr Alexander complained that allegations relating to criminal activity and international money laundering "overshadowed" Crown's contribution to the economy


Crown shares were 1.2 per cent higher at $11.56 by 2:20pm (AEST) in a generally falling market, having seen its market value fall around 10 per cent since the Nine Newspapers allegations were aired.


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OPINION - Elizabeth Knight

Insider selling: When executives sell shares, they better have a good reason

There is really no successful way to spin the news that a company's senior executives or directors have sold some of their shares.


The case of Kogan aside, research released last year by stockbroker Wilsons found that there was a correlation between insider sales and market underperformance.


Two of Australiaâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s largest insider sales are worth looking at in this context.


The first is James Packerâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s sale of 19.9 per cent of Crown Casino at the end of May. Mr Packer may not be technically be classed as an insider because he was not on the board when the agreement to sell shares was made.


But given he was previously a director and (even after the sale is completed) remains the largest shareholder, he will be viewed as someone with a clear understanding of the business.


He agreed to sell his stock for $13 a share - a slight discount to the prevailing price.


Since then the share price has bounced around but is currently sitting much lower at $11.74.


Several factors have pushed the Crown share price around. An investigation undertaken by Nine Entertainment pointing to links between junket operators used by Crown and organised crime sent the casino groupâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s share price down. And it took another leg down when gaming regulators announced investigations into Crown operations.


More recently Crown released a disappointing earnings result - showing VIP turnover had fallen 26 per cent in the 2019 financial year.


There were clear signs of weakness in VIP revenue before Mr Packer sold down. In the half year earnings to December, which were reported in February VIP turnover was down 12 per cent.


Thus Crownâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s share price fall since Mr Packerâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s sell down fits neatly with correlation between market underperformance and insider selling.


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Agh, the ethics involved with gambling institutions.

From The OZ


Crown Resorts will push ahead with the payment of a $205m interim dividend to investors, including about $70m to major shareholder James Packer, despite standing down 11,500 employees and registering for the federal governmentâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s JobKeeper payment scheme.


Rival The Star Entertainment Group also said on Thursday that 8500 of its staff were being stood down, meaning the two casino giants have stood down a combined 20,000 employees.


The move means about 95 per cent of the respective workforces of the gambling and hotel resort companyâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s are out of work.


Crown is going ahead with its dividend given it has already been declared, its shares have traded ex-dividend and a new $1bn in debt refinancing gave it a relatively strong balance sheet that will include about $300m in cash after the 30c-per-share dividend is paid on Friday.


Crown also said 1300 people remained on the construction site at Barangaroo in Sydney, working to complete the $2.2bn Crown Sydney casino and luxury hotel development by the original target of the end of the year, despite some recent temporary stoppages after some workers tested positive for the coronavirus.


Both companies also revealed pay cuts for senior executives and board members, though The Star went further than Crown, which said chief executive Ken Barton would take a 20 per cent pay cut at least until the end of June as part of a raft of measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.



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The Macao casino story was doomed to get kneecapped by the Centre, one day. Money laundering on an industrial scale.


Just an anecdote here, from a degree or 2 of separation. My wife was from HK, and relatives knew the daughter of Stanley Ho. We were invited to visit the hotel, spent a short time in the top suites. This is 10 or more years ago, and China had (still has) currency restrictions. But purchases could be made in the shops. So, the standard practice was to enter the hotel, buy a Rolex on a mainland Chinese bank credit card, go to another shop and sell the same watch for about 5% less, and take the local currency to go to the tables. Win, win. Everyone won !


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