In just one night – in what has been described as an ‘unusual run of luck’ – the Star Casino has completely wiped profits at the Star Casino in Australia. Six high-rollers each playing baccarat at $500K a hand has placed scrutiny on the Star and finance executive Chad Barton.
Over the last six months $22 billion has been staked in the VIP section alone. This is where some of the wealthiest players in Australia come to try their hand at hit games such as blackjack, baccarat and roulette. It has, throughout operations, become a key part of the Star’s business model.
When all is going to plan the Star can look to take around $1.43 for every $1 gambled. Unfortunately, when VIPs have Lady Luck on their side this return can drop to a net LOSS of $0.88 per $1 gambled. Leaving the VIP punters walking away with a tidy profit.
And that is exactly what they did this Tuesday, resulting in $80 million worth of profit disappearing overnight. Of course, this has led to the Star’s finance executive Chad Barton coming under fire with recent comments from one stakeholder commenting on the size of Barton’s fingernails.
Chief executive Mark Bekier has hoped that this is only a one-off, claiming it to be a ‘freakish result.’
‘It was about six individuals who accounted for most of that loss. They were high rolling, big risk taking individuals who happened to have a lucky run here.
They were high rolling, big risk taking individuals who happened to have a lucky run here. They are individuals who are well known to us – who have been coming here for many years – and normally we are well ahead but this time they ended up ahead.’
He warns analysts not to look into this too much though, suggesting it to be a pattern of bad luck.
“We obviously do a lot of analysis on the play and the probability of that play. We’ve looked at it every which way – we looked at the distribution of bets, we looked at who, we understood the lifetime history of the players that won it – and it’s just bad luck. And bad luck and good luck are not sustainable. So this will normalise.”
Barton has insisted that a repeat of this would not break the bank, as all scenarios have been factored in.
“If we continue to have that low win rate over a period of time, the balance sheet can sustain it,” he said. “Obviously our belief is it will return to more normalised rates over the medium term period.”
Despite taking a battering via the VIP section the Star is set to deliver a 26% increase in profits over the first half of the year, coming in at around $142 million. So, not all bad news for the Star then.