Fitch Ratings Inc says Australia’s gaming sector could face structural change as casino operators face increased scrutiny.
Australia.- Fitch Ratings Inc has said the casino industry in Australia is at a turning point due to increased scrutiny following a series of media reports and subsequent inquiries and regulatory responses.
According to analysts, this situation could lead to structural change in the sector.
In a new report, “What Investors Want to Know: Australian Gaming”, Fitch discusses the risks posed by greater regulatory oversight and a ban on junkets as well as the impact of border closures and rising tensions with China.
Analysts stated: “Some elements of the operators’ businesses may also be forced to cease, which could dampen their overall revenue generation ability and margins.”
Most of the changes would stem from Patricia Bergin’s final report on Crown Resorts’ suitability to continue holding a casino gaming licence in New South Wales.
Bergin suggested the establishment of an Independent Casino Commission (ICC) as a new regulator with the powers of a standing Royal Commission.
She also suggested amendments to the NSW Casino Control Act and a ban on junket operators in New South Wales.
The possible merger between Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment is also mentioned as this could prompt a new independent casino authority in NSW, which would likely ban junkets and demand enhanced requirements for suitability.
Both companies have agreed to introduce cashless gaming to help tackle money laundering and make their operations more transparent.
AUSTRAC has launched an investigation into Australia’s three main casino operators: SkyCity, Star Entertainment Group and Crown Resorts.