According to Federal Group, the Australian casino operator, was the victim of cyberattacks twice last year. The attack shut down gaming machines and caused millions of dollars in revenue loss and recovery costs. The company refused to give in to the demands, exacerbating the situation. After suffering the worst year in two decades, it’s now fighting for its future.
Casino Operator Pays Hefty Price Following Hack
According to Australia’s ABC News, Federal Group, the owner of Tasmania’s WrestPoint casino in Hobart as well as Country Club Tasmania casino at Launceston, was attacked by hackers last year. The attack led to the “encryption of many systems” and a partial shutdown of its gaming machines and hotel booking system.
The company refused to pay the ransom and didn’t respond to the demands. In Federal Group’s 2020/21 financial statement, Executive General Manager Daniel Hanna stated that the company had not quantified the cyberattack cost (which included external experts and internal resources), but estimated it to be several million dollars.
He also said that the 2020-21 financial year was the Federal Group’s “worst in nearly 20 years” due to venue closings and the COVID-19 epidemic. That was in spite of the fact that the company announced revenue of AU$547 million ($389.8 million) and profit after taxes of AU$42million ($30 million). Previous reports indicated that revenue across Tasmania suffered during the period.
Monopoly Control Coming to an End
Federal Group is not only behind casinos. It owns several hotels and other hospitality venues, as well. The company also holds all Tasmanian gaming machine licenses. However, that will soon change. This monopoly will come to an end in 2023 with the passage of a new bill.
Going forward, venue operators will be able to purchase or lease machines directly from their source. They will no longer have to go through Federal Group.
The Tasmanian government agreed to reduce the Federal Group tax on gaming revenue at Wrest Point or Country Club Tasmania in return.
The first Australian legal casino was opened in Australia in Wrest Point, Tasmania. After a referendum held in Tasmania in December 1968, the license was granted to Wrest Point casino. It opened its doors in 1973.
This was the beginning of Australia’s growing casino industry. Many senior Australian casino executives started their careers at Wrest Point.