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Roll of the Dice Favors Galaxy Entertainment
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Casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, one of Macau's six license holders, said yesterday its first-half net loss narrowed.


The result came as increased contributions from its casino operations offset costs associated with the amortization of its casino license.


Galaxy Entertainment reported its net loss for the first six months was HK$267.82 million (US$34.4 million), compared with a loss of HK$734.45 million a year earlier.


The Hong Kong-listed company, controlled by the family of Hong Kong businessman Lui Che-woo, said it booked HK$495 million in amortization of its casino license in the first half.


Its first-half earnings before interest expenses, tax depreciation and amortization were HK$737 million, up sharply from HK$186 million, boosted by contributions from its StarWorld casino hotel.


Revenue soared to HK$6.33 billion from HK$1.31 billion.


StarWorld, opened in October, is in the downtown area of Macau. It has 240 gambling tables and 500 hotel rooms.


The company said first-half EBITDA of StarWorld was HK$545 million on revenue of HK$3.64 billion.


The casino operator said StarWorld's first-half gambling revenue from the VIP segment amounted to HK$2.63 billion on HK$92.5 billion worth of bets placed by high-rollers over the period.


The company didn't propose a first-half dividend.


Galaxy Entertainment is developing a casino resort in Macau's Cotai area, with the first phrase scheduled for completion next year.


(Shanghai Daily September 19, 2007)


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