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8683.0 - Casinos, Australia, 1998-99  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/12/1999   
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Casino profits up


Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today indicate that the Australian casino industry recorded an operating profit before tax of $93 million during 1998-99, representing an operating profit margin of 3.4%. This profit margin was a significant turnaround from the minus 10.8% recorded in 1997-98.

The total income of casinos was $2,781 million with takings from gambling ($2,218 million) constituting 80% of total casino income. This was only a slight increase on the takings from gambling of $2,165 million recorded in 1997-98. Of the $2,218 million in takings from gambling $1,327 million came from gaming tables, $867 million from poker/gaming machines and $24 million from keno. The takings from poker machines of $867 million represented a 24% increase on the $700 million recorded in 1997-98. In contrast the takings from gaming tables of $1,327 million represented a decrease of $105 million (7%) since 1997-98.

An important component of takings from gaming tables for casinos is the contribution from overseas premium and other rated players. In 1998-99, these overseas players accounted for $365 million of takings from gaming tables, which was a reduction of 32% since 1997-98. The balance ($962 million) of takings from gaming tables (after allowance for overseas premium and other rated players) represented a net loss of $69 per head of Australian adult population during 1998-99. The takings from poker/gaming machines ($867 million) represented a net loss of $62 per head of Australian adult population during 1998-99.

At the end of June 1999, 20,342 persons were employed in Australia's casinos, 12,015 permanent as full-time employees, 3,528 as permanent part-time employees and 4,799 as casual employees. While this was only a slight reduction on the 20,531 persons employed at the end of June 1998, the composition of employees has changed with a 5% reduction in the number of permanent full-time employees, a 10% increase in the number of permanent part-time employees and a 4% increase in the number of casuals.

Casinos operated by the four largest enterprise groups (casino businesses under common ownership and control) accounted for 81% of employment at the end of June 1999 and 85% of total income during 1998-99. This concentration has decreased since the previous year when the largest four enterprise groups accounted for 84% of employment and 88% of industry income.

Further details can be found in Casinos, Australia, 1998-99 (cat. no. 8683.0) available from ABS bookshops. A summary of the publication are also available on this site. The ABS encourages media organisations with online news services to link to the main findings. Please phone us if you need assistance to do this.

If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication telephone 02 6252 5249.

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