No chance of pokies at Crown Barangaroo

Crown Resorts’ new VIP casino that is planned for Barangaroo in Sydney will not be permitted to operate pokies, even though the high roller market has weakened significantly since the property was first envisaged, local media reports.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said even if James Packer could not lure the clientele he was hoping to in the numbers he envisaged, the venue would not become a regular casino with poker machines. “The policy hasn’t changed — that’s a VIP room,” Berejiklian was cited as saying.

In the half-year to the end of December, Crown reported a 9.1 percent drop in normalized profit after tax to $191.3 million, while normalized revenue was down 12.5 percent to $1.48 billion. Main floor gaming revenue was down 0.8 percent, but the company reported a 45.3 percent plunge in VIP program play turnover.

VIP revenue had been helping to fuel growth at Crown and other Australian casinos in recent years, though has fallen sharply following the arrest of 18 Crown employees in Mainland China last year.

It is expected that Crown Sydney will be completed in 2021.