Australia-listed casino slot machine maker and digital casino games provider Aristocrat Leisure Ltd appears “well-positioned” to expand the market for its online-delivered product during a near-worldwide pause in land-based casino operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, says a Monday note from JP Morgan Securities Australia Ltd.
“As casinos close around the world, there is evidence of players migrating online. Aristocrat Leisure looks well positioned to take advantage of this trend, with its top-three social casino titles surging in the U.S. Android game rankings during March,” wrote analysts Donald Carducci and Abhinay Jeggannagari.
Macau is one of the few major casino markets in the Asia-Pacific region to remain open into April, albeit with greatly reduced revenue expected for this month according to a number of brokerages.
JP Morgan’s Australia gaming analysts noted on Monday regarding players migrating to online product amid the shutdown: “It is unclear whether this theme leads to longer-term behaviour switching, but if casino closures continually extend, it is possible customers change habits.”
In November the brokerage had said in a research report that Aristocrat Leisure – best known for its slot games popular across multiple casino markets – had successfully managed an adjustment to offering digital online products.
Aristocrat Leisure had said in its fiscal-year 2019 results issued in November, that nearly 41 percent of its AUD4.4-billion (US$2.7-billion) revenue for the 12 months to September 30, had been from the digital segment.
The company said in mid-March it had decided to withdraw the group’s business-outlook statement for its fiscal-year 2020, including its suggestion of continued growth in net profit after tax and amortisation. The decision on withdrawing the outlook statement was due to “uncertainty as to the extent and duration of the impacts” of the Covid-19 pandemic, stated the firm at the time.
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Alvin Chau Cheok Wa
Chief executive of privately-held VIP junket business Suncity Group