Sunday, December 15, 2013

Australia's Crown Faces Slot Machine Levy - December 2013

SYDNEY--Shares in Australian casino company Crown Ltd. (CWN.AU) came under pressure Friday after lawmakers proposed a new tax on slot machines at its flagship Crown casino in Melbourne.

Victoria state proposed an annual levy of A$22,175 (US$19,800) per slot machine to raise A$56.8 million a year, as it attempts to fund infrastructure developments such as roads and schools while holding onto its AAA credit rating.

Crown shares fell as much as 6% in Sydney before closing down 4.3% at A$15.90 in a overall strong market.

"In these challenging economic times the coalition government must maintain a disciplined budget to ensure we can continue to invest in the critical infrastructure and services that Victorian families and businesses deserve," the state's Treasurer, Michael O'Brien said in a statement.

Any changes to tax arrangements between Crown and the Victorian government need to be agreed by both parties.

Crown, which is controlled by billionaire James Packer, confirmed that it was in discussions with lawmakers and expects talks to conclude early next year.

Describing the discussions as "positive", Mr. Packer said he hoped they would create an outcome that allowed the casino to continue competing effectively with international and interstate rivals.

"Both Crown and the Victorian government would like to see the Crown Melbourne resort continue to grow and to attract more overseas and interstate tourists," Mr. Packer said.

Still, the decision comes at a tough time for Australia's gambling sector, which is being hurt by fragile consumer confidence as the country's long mining boom fades.

Crown's underlying profit for the year through June, which removes one-off items like asset sales, swelled by 14% to A$473.2 million. The result, however, was boosted by a large jump in earnings from the company's joint venture in Macau with Lawrence Ho.

Crown Melbourne remains the biggest contributor to the company's profits and suffered a 12% decrease in operating earnings last financial year.


Crown Melbourne

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Richard Branson quotes

One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes. From Richard Branson's blog ‘Learning from mistakes’ on the Virgin Website

My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of, “Oh God, I've got to do this today.” From his interview in The Guardian newspaper, 20th September 2008

I became an entrepreneur by mistake. Ever since then I've gone into business, not to make money, but because I think I can do it better than it's been done elsewhere. And, quite often, just out of personal frustration about the way it's been done by other people. As stated in an interview with Martyn Lewis in his book, Reflections on Success (1997)

My philosophy is that if I have any money I invest it in new ventures and not have it sitting around. From his interview in The Sunday Mirror, 16th January 2000

Making money never was my incentive. I just want to fight big companies. From his interview in The Sunday Mirror, 16th January 2000

If you want to be a Millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline. Quoted by P. Greenberg, “Why JetBlue will be different,” MSNBC as cited in Gittell and O’Reilly (October, 2001) Harvard Business School Press Reprint No. 9-801-354

I was born under a lucky star, and I have nothing whatsoever to regret. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. In his interview with Nina Myskow for Saga magazine, July 2007

Richard Branson (Virgin Enterprises Limited) and Greg Tingle (Media Man)