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AUSTRAC expands VGCCC, Donaco Int & Tab NZ partnership

Date: 29.04.2022

Victorian Gaming and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has expanded its partnership with the Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) by signing an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The reason for signing the document was the increased concern of the government about the volume of financial crimes in the region. The updated package of by-laws will allow AUSTRAC and VGCCC to share data on key financial indicators of the gambling industry. The purpose of the memorandum is to protect the Victorian community from malicious acts of criminal gangs, reduce the volume of financial crime, and combat money laundering.

The Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center is an Australian government agency established in 1989 to combat money laundering and counter terrorist financing. Bank cash transactions of $10,000 or more must be reported to the center. The Agency has previously established cooperation with a number of regions, including New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territories.

AUSTRAC delivered a positive verdict on the performance of the Victorian Gaming and Casino Commission and praised the agency’s efforts to protect the integrity of the region’s gambling industry.

CEO Nicole Rose believes that the gambling industry is a way to launder money obtained by criminal means. CEO AUSTRAC stressed the importance of the think tank, regulator and state government working together to protect the gambling industry from criminal capital inflows.

Donaco International reported a drop in revenue in difficult market conditions

Major casino resort operator Donaco International has reported disappointing first quarter 2022 earnings figures. Quarterly report data showed a drop in profits.

Donaco International posted group EBITDA of -AU$1.4m (-$993,132). Revenue was AUD 0.2 million with a cash position of AUD 3.5 million as at 31 March 2022.

The company considers the consequences of the pandemic, closed borders and restrictions on the movement of tourists to be the main reason. Despite the fact that the main part has now been withdrawn, the business environment has not recovered. The tourist flow has not returned to its previous, pre-pandemic values.

NED Donaco International Paul Portnat believes that there is reason for optimism and international tourism will recover to its previous volume after a while. At the moment, the corporation continues to reduce costs, takes measures to control costs and automate business processes. Now the Donaco Aristo Casino – the largest entertainment center in Vietnam – is still operating under lockdown conditions. The coronavirus pandemic is at its peak, leading to a new wave of bans on attending public events and traveling around the country.

The shutdown of the Star Vegas casino (owned by Donaco International) in Cambodia negatively affects the profitability of the corporation. The establishment has been closed since April 2021.

To protect the balance sheet and maximize profitability, the company decided to early repay a loan in the amount of AUD 131.6 million to the Mega Bank International Commercial Bank banking system. This measure helped maintain the shareholder value of the brand.

Tab NZ Reports NZ$ 4.7M Profit Growth in March

TAB New Zealand, New Zealand’s largest racing and sports operator, posted sharply positive financial data. Turnover growth exceeded the wildest forecasts and amounted to 4.7 million New Zealand dollars. This value exceeds the results of February 2022 by 16%.

It should be noted that initially the current situation in the region was not conducive to improving the business environment. Due to the outbreak of Omicron in New Zealand, bans on attending public mass events have resumed. However, by the end of February, the volume of bets on horse racing and sports recovered to the previous level.

Turnover in March 2022 amounted to NZ$215.9 million. This value is 2.2% higher than the budget. Gross betting revenue (GBR) also beat the forecast by NZ$0.9m or 2.6%.

The company explains the stabilization and improvement in financial performance by the development of online and retail, which had a certain impact on the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in February-March. The operator’s press service reported that coronavirus restrictions reduced attendance and profitability at retail outlets, but by the end of March, the figures had recovered to their previous values.

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