Echo is in a war with Crown, controlled by billionaire James Packer, over attracting a larger slice of the booming Asian tourist and gambling market.
Australia currently has 13 casinos, which only capture just one per cent of the $34 billion market for high-rollers in Asia. New casinos being green-lit in Queensland hope to boost that figure.
The war for Australian casino supremacy between Crown and Echo began earlier in 2013 when the New South Wales state government received bids for a new casino and resort developments, ultimately deciding on Crown’s pitch for a high roller room and a new $1 billion luxury hotel. The NSW state governement decision was a plow for Echo, which had planned a $1 billion dollar expansion of its existing Star Casino.
Echo shares were down 4.7 per cent at $2.45, in afternoon trade, having earlier fallen as low as A$2.28, as Echo also said subdued discretionary spending continues to impact its revenue growth.
Queensland state has four casinos currently, with Echo owning three in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Townsville, and Reef Casino Trust owning the Reef Hotel casino complex in Cairns.
The Queensland government said last month it planned to offer up to three new casino licences, with just one of those earmarked for Brisbane – leaving Crown and Echo in direct competition again.
Read more: http://www.australiangambling.com.au/gambling-news/echo-entertainment-announces-1-5-billion-brisbane-casino-upgrade/25680/#ixzz2q36ZzvUE
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