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Dramatic Changes Expected for Australian Casino Industry

19 Jun 2006

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australia Courier-Mail: "Australia's $3 billion casino industry is poised for a wave of mergers and acquisitions not witnessed for several years which would dramatically change the gambling landscape.

"The likely shake-up of ownership of the country's 13 casinos follows large-scale rationalisation of Australia's TABs ahead of expected changes to the ownership of the lottery organisations.

"It comes as Tabcorp (the fourth largest gaming group in the world behind Harrah, Ceasars and MGM) and Tattersall's battle for control of the Queensland-owned UNiTAB.

"…The exclusive licences to operate casinos given to Conrad Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast expired seven years after it opened 23 years ago.

"…Citigroup is one major finance house tipping a move by James Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Limited (PBL) to acquire more casinos in Australia after the group's bold and expensive acquisition of the Macau Casino licence.

"…Any move by PBL would certainly face the scrutiny of the country's corporate watchdog, the ACCC, although the commission has historically been fairly generous to the gambling industry in terms of allowing mergers and acquisitions…"

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