Big win for Star
Star Entertainment has signed a deal with the New South Wales (NSW) government that will prevent its rival, Crown Resorts, from being able to have slot machines at its new casino in Sydney, Australia until 2041.
As per the deal, Star will be the sole casino operator in Sydney permitted to house slot machines. If Crown does get the go-ahead from the government to install slot machines before June 30, 2041, Star will receive compensation. The amount of any such compensation has not been announced, and Crown has not made any public comment on the matter.
it de-risks our business for the next 21 years, which is a great thing”
Star’s chief executive, Matt Bekier, said of the deal: “It guarantees the operating environment for which we’re paying our taxes, and it de-risks our business for the next 21 years, which is a great thing.”
New tax deal
The casino group also secured a new, lower tax rate for its Sydney operations. In the 20-year agreement, the tax rate for table game revenue will be 29% starting in 2022. The rate for slots revenue will start at 32% and increase to 34% after six years.
Though that projection is higher than at casinos in other parts of Australia, it is a better deal for The Star Sydney than what it has had up until now.
Star’s Brisbane and Gold Coast casinos have average tax rates of 25.6% and 26%, respectively. Crown Resorts has an average tax rate of 21% at its Perth property and 26% at its Melbourne casino.
With coronavirus pandemic restrictions starting to ease across Australia, The Star Sydney opened with reduced capacity on Monday afternoon, after having been closed since March 23.
give everybody confidence that you can ease up without it blowing up into new outbreaks”
Seating will be provided to only 500 members of the loyalty club, all of whom must have received an invitation. Once the casino fully reopens, approximately 700 people will be able to return to work. Bekier believes it will take at least a month or two before that can happen, saying: “The way to look at the next month is really just to give everybody confidence that you can ease up without it blowing up into new outbreaks.”