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8683.0 - Casinos, Australia, 1996-97  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/1998   
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Casino profits fall by over 7 percent


Profit margins for Australia's casinos have dropped from 8.9 per cent in 1995-96 to 1.2 per cent in 1996-97 according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

The 14 casinos operating in Australia at the end of June 1997 generated an operating profit before tax for the year of only $27.4 million in 1996-97.

The casino industry generated $2,308 million in income during 1996-97, of which 85 per cent ($1,951 million) was takings from gambling. This represented a 4 per cent increase in the takings from gambling from 1995-96.

Takings from poker/gaming machines in 1996-97 increased by 20 per cent to $556 million reflecting a 14 per cent increase in the number of machines to 9,408 machines and a 5 per cent increase in takings per poker/gaming machine. In contrast the takings from other gambling (table games) decreased by 2 per cent to $1,357 million in spite of a 18 per cent increase in the number of tables to 1,171 gaming tables.

Between June 1996 and June 1997 there was a 22 per cent increase in employment in the industry to 22,508 persons, which was dominated by a 69 per cent increase in part-time employees. This increase in employment was reflected in a 13 per cent increase in labour costs to $674 million, with labour costs being 29 per cent of total expenses. Casino gambling taxes of $372 million (16 per cent of total expenses) were another major expense.

During 1996-97, the industry had a 30 per cent increase in assets to $5,032 million and a 42 per cent increase in liabilities to $2,409 million. However, compared to 1995-96, the return to assets decreased markedly in 1996-97 from 5.1 per cent to 0.5 per cent and return on funds decreased from 7.8 per cent to 2.4 per cent.

Details are in Casinos, Australia 1996-97 (cat. no. 8683.0) available from ABS bookshops.

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