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Echo Entertainment VIP business hit by low win in two months to end-Oct.


Australia’s Echo Entertainment says its international VIP business in fiscal 2016 through to end Oct. declined 33.8 percent due to an unusually low win rate of just 1 percent. On a normalized basis the VIP business was down 8 percent.

Total domestic revenue rose 8.7 percent, CEO Matt Bekier said in an address to shareholders.

“The main driver of our continued growth is the solid expansion of our domestic business, especially here at The Star,” he said, referring to the group’s Sydney property.

Echo, which recently beat out a rival consortium led by James Packer’s Crown Resorts for a license for a casino in downtown Brisbane, is counting on increased tourism from Asia to boost revenue at its properties across the country.

“The increasing wave of Asian tourism, particularly from China, has the potential to be our next mining boom,” Bekier said. “We are looking at a trend of long duration, driven by the rapid expansion of an affluent middle class, that is increasingly seeking to experience the world.”

The Queen’s Wharf project in Brisbane is being developed with Hong Kong-listed Chow Tai Fook, which has interests from property to jewellry.

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