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Crown Resorts profits fall 28% as high-rollers walk away

Crown Resorts

Things are going from bad worse for Crown Resorts, which this week reported a 28 per cent slump in yearly profits.

Earnings for the 2018-19 financial year slid to $401.8 million as a result of diminished activity in the VIP sector.

Crown Melbourne (-8.6%) and Crown Perth (-10.8%) both took big hits, as did the boutique Crown Aspinalls property in London (-46.5%).

High-rollers put 26.1 per cent less money on the tables compared to the previous year, with Crown executive chairman John Alexander citing “subdued market conditions”.

He also addressed the impact of recent media reports that claimed Crown was embroiled in a multi-national corruption racket that involved money laundering, illegal immigration and various other ties to organised crime.

“It comes as no surprise that various regulators and other agencies have launched inquiries given recent media reports and the sensationalist nature of the allegations raised,” Alexander said in a statement.

“Crown has zero tolerance for criminal elements and we view these inquiries as an opportunity to continue our cooperation with regulators and other agencies.”

Foreign gamblers were already winding back their business at Crown before the corruption allegations were made public in July.

Figures released in February this year indicated a 12.2 per cent fall in VIP trade, which was attributed to the recent slowdown of the Chinese economy.

Although Crown is in the spotlight, it is not the only Australian casino operator feeling the pinch.

Star Entertainment has also suffered a steep downturn in VIP betting activity, with revenue from international high-rollers falling 31 per cent in the past year.

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