Echo Entertainment’s posted a 5.3 percent dip in net profits to $68.09 million in the six months to December 31 due to higher taxes paid and higher depreciation after the renovation and expansion of the company’s flagship Star casino in Sydney. Echo is negotiating with the Queensland government to relocate the Treasury casino. A new location could cost as much as $1.02 billion, the company said. Echo, which holds exclusive casino rights in Sydney through 2019, has long been subject to take-over speculation. Melbourne-based rival Crown Ltd has expressed its intention to raise its 10 percent stake in Echo up to 25 percent and announced plans to develop a high end property in Sydney.