As gambling is arguably the most popular pastime in Australia, its implications and stake in the Australian economy are bigger than anyone could have anticipated. The downfalls are steep, though, as more and more competitors and new companies, independent nor not, appear every day. Big names like Ainsworth and Aristocrat are getting more and more pushback from companies that start every day and want to make a name for themselves. Many even achieve great success from their very first releases, transforming them into hit-makers in an instant.
As gambling is all about the numbers, we’re happy to present you with the latest updates and news in the game, just so you get the bigger picture.
Ainsworth Game Technology CEO steps down after a lengthy reign
The CEO of Ainsworth Game Technology has stepped down earlier this summer from the role he has been holding for several years. Appointed back in 2007, when the company was just at the beginning, Danny Gladstone was the driving force of the company for almost 12 years, a period in which the company has risen in the ranks of Australian gaming straight to the top.
However, Gladstone will not entirely leave the company, continuing with AGT in a very different role once his replacement is brought in.
The official AGT Chairman, Graeme Campbell, has publicly stated: “Ainsworth is much stronger for Danny’s contribution. We are delighted he will continue to assist us in the future.
“A thorough and extensive search process will be undertaken to secure a new CEO who can lead AGT to the next stages of growth and profitability.”
AGT was purchased by rival supplier Novomatic back in January, but reported a 6% decrease in revenue, down to (US$193.6m), for the financial year that ended 30 June.
The parent company, Novomatic, reported a 13% year-on-year increase in overall revenue, up to an astounding $1.6bn $, for the first half of 2018.
Ainsworth Game Technology records drop in revenue
Ainsworth Game Technology has reported a 6% year-on-year loss in revenue from all activities to US$193.6m for the financial year that just ended on 30 June.
The before-tax profit took a big 10% hit to A$42.3m, while profit after tax saw a 16% drop to A$31.9m.
In terms of abroad and international earnings, the Americas contributed a hefty 91% of the total amount, which saw a decrease of 3% to A$201.9m due to a collapse in Asia and New Zealand.
On a more positive and cheerful note, the company reported sales of a hefty A$145.3m for the second part of the year, compared to A$120.3m in the first half of the year.
Australia revenue also saw a 14% decline, down to A$63.6m.
According to Ainsworth: “The decline is mainly driven by lower sales as a result of minimal business activity with large corporate customers, continuing pressure from competitors, regulatory approval delays in product submissions and further product development changes which have deferred the approval and release of previously scheduled key game titles until the first half of FY19.”
Star Entertainment rises in total revenue
Big-name Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group grew its revenue by 6% to A$2.6bn ($1.9bn) for the year up to 30 June.
Actual net profit rose 20% to A$258m, but in the meantime, statutory profit improved by 44% to A$148m. Normalized EBITDA increased 14% to A$588m, all while the statutory EBITDA dropped by 19% to A$484m. This is attributed to a lower win rate.
The sudden boost in revenue and net profit numbers and figures are partially down to the return of the esteemed and always-welcome VIP players to the Australian casinos, as VIP turnover grew 54% to A$61.2bn, with revenue of A$827m, an increase of 52%.
Stars Entertainment ChairmanJohn O’Neill said: “The group completed a further year delivering on our growth strategy.
“Record normalized revenues and earnings for the company in FY2018 reflect ongoing operational improvements across the group and early performance benefits from new and upgraded assets at the Gold Coast and Sydney.”
Victoria proposes new and improved online tax regarding gambling
Treasurer Tim Pallas had a new proposal in the Australian State of Victoria that would involve seeing online gambling companies taxed 8% their net revenue.
The main reason for the tax is to help raise around $22.6m to help hospitals, schools, and gambling-problem-troubled individuals. Mainly conservatory In nature, at least in recent history, Victoria has adopted a more stern stance in regards to online gambling.
Currently, online gambling websites that can be accessed from within Victoria do not pay a standard tax rate, a feature that apparently is considered to offer an unfair advantage for foreign operators, not to mention it drives taxes from the State Government.
Online bookmakers had already rallied together to support the group Responsible Wagering Australia in order to argue of the economic impacts that a 15% levy would have.
Tim Pallas, Victoria’s treasurer, is considering the 8% tax as being a meet-you-in-the-middle type of compromise that both of the pressure groups would be happy with.
Commenting on the new taxes introduction, Pallas said: “Essentially you’ve got a situation applying at the moment where online gambling operators are effectively avoiding tax — they don’t pay a cent of tax when they are providing product into this state. They are not paying their fair share and have an unfair advantage against the domestically based product.”
The tax still needs to pass in the legislature’s upper- house before it can come into effect.