Star VIP revenues give lift to Echo


Profits for Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. nearly doubled to A$83.5 million ($75.4 million) in the year to June 30 as revenues rose 9.3 percent to A$1.85 billion. VIP gains drove the improvements, with revenues up 42.8 percent to A$386.8 million, which Echo credited in part to renovations at The Star casino in Sydney. VIP turnover there rose 31.7 percent to A$24.9 billion, offsetting a 13.5 percent decline to A$2.45 billion at the company’s three Queensland casinos. The VIP gains have continued into the new fiscal year, with the company reporting a total revenue rise of 6.8 percent for July 1-August 18 from last year. Echo said it spent A$5 million on its proposal to reinvest further in The Star and extend its exclusive rights beyond 2019, which New South Wales rejected in favor of Crown Ltd.’s proposal to build its own casino in Sydney.