Half of Star slots operational on opening: JP Morgan

Half of the slot machines were in operation on the first day of opening to the general public of Star Entertainment’s property in Sydney, though business appeared to be brisk, according to analysts at J.P. Morgan.

The analysts visited the casino on July 1st and noted 385 slots were active, about 54 percent of normal main floor capacity. 

“Overall, we were impressed with the level of activity yesterday, however, we returned today and noted activity levels were lower,” the report said.

The firm said daily visitation at Star Sydney in recent years has been about 30,000 people, with 11 million annually. The new capacity restraints allow only 5,000 in Sydney, 2,600 at Gold Coast and 2,300 in Brisbane. 

The analysts said that the majority of Star’s earnings are from domestic clients and with international borders shut, it doesn’t expect earnings to return to 2019 numbers until 2023.

“Execution of a global tourism hub / casino seems distant with sustained border closures,” it says, though adds that the upside may be improved margins due to the lack of high VIP costs.