In Australia and local casino operator The Star Entertainment Group Limited has released a trading update covering the first five months of 2021 and showing that its domestic gaming revenues had improved by about 37% year-on-year.

The Sydney-listed firm used the filing (pdf) to detail that the recovery came after its The Star Gold Coast, Treasury Brisbane and The Star Sydney properties were forced to close for a ten-week period from March 23 of 2020 due to fears associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The operator explained that the recent revival had included a bump of 3% year-on-year in slot receipts to help push its accompanying company-wide revenues up by 35%.

Queensland prominence:

The Star Entertainment Group Limited moreover revealed that the recent recovery was most pronounced at its two venues in the northern state of Queensland with The Star Gold Coast having seen gaming revenues swell by 18% year-on-year.  The company also divulged that attendant receipts from its nearby Treasury Brisbane property improved by 3% although business at its The Star Sydney enterprise posted a 22% decline owing to the more recent implementation by officials in New South Wales of tighter coronavirus-related restrictions.

Cautious optimism:

Despite all of this good news and The Star Entertainment Group Limited conversely disclosed that its aggregated gaming revenues remained 10% down on the same five-month period in 2019 as overall group receipts sat lower by about 12%. The firm nevertheless proclaimed that ‘trading is exhibiting improving trends as the coronavirus-related operating restrictions are eased’.

High-value dearth:

Finally, The Star Entertainment Group Limited stated that ‘VIP turnover remains negligible given the border closures’ that currently limit foreign travel into Australia with growth rates from its large selection of gaming tables tracking at below pre-coronavirus levels. Nevertheless, the company sounded a positive note by revealing that receipts from its estate of electronic gaming machines have returned to heights not seen since early March of last year.

Coronavirus controversy:

The Star Entertainment Group Limited, which is currently involved in bringing its $2.3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development to a 23-acre plot of land in central Brisbane, was criticized last autumn after it decided to honor some $997,000 in annual executive bonuses at the same time as receiving roughly $46 million in financial support from federal authorities. The firm subsequently defended the move by asserting that ‘every dollar’ it had received via the JobKeeper Payment scheme was ‘used for the purpose the government intended’ with some 85% of the cash going ‘directly to team members who were stood down or working reduced hours‘.