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Australian Operator Warns of Short Term Difficulties

19 September 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the West Australian: "Perth casino and resort operator Burswood Ltd today warned operating conditions would remain difficult in the short term.

"However the company's improved facilities had positioned it for strong growth, chief executive John Schaap and chairman David Young said in Burswood's annual report released today.

"`Looking to our future, while our operating environment will continue to be difficult in the short term, the company's investment in new and improved facilities has positioned Burswood strongly to grow and deliver long term value for shareholders,' they said, adding further efficiency improvements would also improve earnings.

"…The poor full year performance was blamed on the resort's major capital works program well as the fallout from September 11 and the Ansett collapse.

"Mr Young and Mr Schaap noted in the annual report new seats allocated by Qantas, and new routes into Perth by Virgin Blue and Emirates were providing a much-needed boost to the tourism industry.

"They also said talks with the Western Australian government towards a revised operating agreement were well advanced.

"…Issues under discussion included the ICB's 15 per cent tax rate - which compared to about 10 per cent for most other Australian casinos - the group's 10 per cent shareholding cap and the Burswood Dome, home of the Hopman Cup.

"Mr Young and Mr Schaap said today the Dome's disappointing performance was expected to worsen in the years ahead…"

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