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Australia's Gambling Industry Deteriorated

28 July 2003

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: “The outlook for the gaming industry has deteriorated significantly in the past 12 months, with more than two-thirds of pubs and clubs expecting turnover to fall at least 5 per cent this year, a survey has found.

“Factors include the introduction of smoking bans, reduced operating hours and increased taxes.

“Stockbroking house Deutsche Bank surveyed 118 gaming managers in 212 pubs and clubs in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, which have 86 per cent of Australia's gaming machines, to gauge among other things the impact of recent regulatory changes.

“…Almost 80 per cent of managers expect revenue from gaming machines to fall more than 5 per cent as a result of smoking bans, compared with 51 per cent of managers last year.

“Only 33 per cent of managers expected to increase spending on gaming machines, compared with 42 per cent last year.

“This is expected to significantly affect poker machine makers such as the embattled Aristocrat.

“…The survey's findings were backed up by ABN Amro analyst Sean Monaghan, who last week met with 10 representatives of gaming associations, lobby groups, suppliers and clubs and hotels.

“…Mr Monaghan said smoking bans would eventually affect all gambling companies including NSW TAB, Tabcorp, Unitab, PBL and Burswood.”

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