Australian casino operator Crown Entertainment saw a 15% drop in profits for the full year ended June, Asian news service Asia Gaming Brief reports. According to the official numbers, the operator’s yearly profits were hurt by a large drop in VIP turnover, which fell down by 48.9% following the arrests of 18 of Crown’s marketing staff members last year.

Crown’s normalized net profit for said period amounted to AUS $343.1 million (US $272 million), with normalized revenue from Australian operations reaching AUS $2.82 billion, or 12.7% less than the previous year. However, the operator’s net profit amounted to AUS $1.87 billion (US $1.49 billion) during the 12 months, as the sale of their Macau venture, Melco Crown Entertainment, brought them a gain of approximately AUS $1.7 billion.

During the full year ended June, VIP players accounted for only 17% of the total gaming revenue, where last year they were responsible for 27%.  Reflecting the drop in VIP play, operations revenue at the company dropped to AUS $3.34 billion, or 7.5% less than the previous year, while main floor playing saw a drop of 1.4% to AUS $1.65 billion. On the other hand, non-gaming revenue jumped up by 6.5% to AUS $71.85 million.

Crown’s Melbourne resort suffered a 13.7% drop in total revenue to AUS $1.99 billion, with VIP revenue down by half. Numbers from Crown’s Perth casino show a similar decline in VIP turnover, which was down by 46% during the period, while the total revenue dropped by 10% to AUS $830 million.  Crown’s digital operations, however, showed strong performance, noting a gain of nearly 32%, or a total of AUS $303 million.

John Alexander, Executive Chairman at Crown Resorts, stated that the company’s full year numbers from the Australian operations were indicative of “difficult trading conditions”.  Nevertheless, Crown will be proceeding with their Sydney resort project as planned, which is scheduled to open in 2021.