Melbourne headquartered Crown Resorts has reported shrinking revenues, as the firm again denies allegations of inappropriate practices amid increasing regulatory scrutiny.
The firm has slammed a “deceitful campaign” in it home country, with a Nine Network investigation alleging links to drug traffickers through junket operators, as well as the fast tracking of visas for Chinese gamblers.
Turnover from VIP play tumbled 26.1 per cent to AU$38bn for the period ended June 30, 2019, with the figure having the potential to plummet further still with the allegations subsequently referred to Australia’s integrity watchdog.
John Alexander, executive chairman of Crown, commented: “It comes as no surprise that various regulators and other agencies have launched inquiries given recent media reports and the sensationalist nature of the allegations raised.
“Crown has zero tolerance for criminal elements, and we view these inquiries as an opportunity to continue our cooperation with regulators and other agencies.”
Net profit for the year fell just below analyst expectations at AU$368.6m, a 4.7 decline from AU$386.8m, with operating revenue down 9.9 per cent from AU$3.4bn to $3.1bn.
Alexander added: “Crown’s Australian operations’ full year result reflected subdued market conditions. Total normalised revenue across Crown’s Australian resorts decreased by 5.4 per cent on the prior comparable period.
“This decline was primarily due to the reduction in VIP program play revenue in Australia, which was down 26.1 per cent. Main floor gaming revenue increased by 0.5 per cent, with modest revenue growth in Melbourne offset by continued softness in Perth, particularly for the table games business.
“During the 2019 financial year, Crown again made a major contribution to the Australian economy through its role in tourism, employment, training and its corporate responsibility programs. Crown’s contributions risk being overshadowed by recent media reporting which has unfairly sought to tarnish Crown’s reputation.”
Crown also issued further insight into its ongoing Crown Sydney Hotel Resort construction, which it this week reached a settlement over following a dispute with Infrastructure New South Wales.
Progressing on schedule for completion in the first half of calendar year 2021, costs also remains unchanged, with the gross project expenditure projected to be approximately $2.2bn and net project cost anticipated to be in the region of $1.4bn.