Echo planning $1 billion casino in Brisbane to help in revenues

echo-brisbane-plansEcho Entertainment Group is looking at building anew integrated casino resort in Brisbane, Australia. They’ve got plans, alright, but those plans could very well cost them well over $1 billion to see come to fruition.

Echo chief executive John Redmond told the Australian that the company is looking at a number of investment options to add to its growing portfolio in the Australian casino market, a portfolio that already includes The Star casino in Sydney, a pair of Jupiters casinos in Townsville and at the Gold Coast, and the Treasury casino in Brisbane.

“The scope of investment is being looked at across both Brisbane and the Gold Coast,” Redmond said regarding Echo’s plans of expanding, or at the very least, re-investing in the two cities. The caveat with building a new casino resort in Brisbane is that it could cost in excess of $1 billion, a number Redmond threw out as the kind of investment needed to build an establishment that would “make sense” for the market.

Redmond also noted that Brisbane can only support one casino and with plans for a new integrated casino resort in the city, the company, together with the Queensland government, are already in the process of evaluating potential sites for the Treasury casino’s relocation.

The hope is that a new integrated casino resort in Brisbane would not only fulfill the company’s goal of offering more hotel accommodations, as well as retail, dining, and entertainment options that would supplement the casinos and turn the city into a premier gambling and entertainment destination that can hold its own against Sydney and Melbourne.

Despite the optimistic outlook of a new casino destination in Brisbane, Echo remains cautious, especially in light of the company’s recent struggles that have made these kinds of investment decisions that much more difficult. That much was evident after Echo’s net profits in the six months to Dec. 31 fell to $66.5 million, a figure that represented a 5.3 percent decline from the $70.2 million it generated in the same time frame from the previous year. Compounding matters is the continuing struggles the company is experiencing in the second half of the financial year with revenues down 16.7 per cent from the same period in the previous year.

Ultimately, Echo Entertainment is banking on focusing its strategy on trying to improve its revenue numbers and cut costs. The company is hoping that the planned $1 billion integrated casino resort in Brisbane can accomplish one while minimizing the other.

Although not impossible, that’s a task that’s easier said than done.