Macau

Waddell & Reed Financial said its funds are selling all their holdings in Hong Kong-listed Sands China in favour of a stake in Las Vegas Sands, saying the parent company has greater liquidity.
The funds included Ivy Asset Strategy Fund, Waddell & Reed Advisors Asset Strategy Fund and Ivy Funds Asset Strategy VIP. They now hold about 16,963,601 shares in LVS, according to a statement.
The funds sold 192.64 million Sands China shares at HK$55.45 each, raising about $1.38 billion. The sale price represented a discount of 4.8 percent to Tuesday's closing price.

Gross gaming revenue in Asia reached $63 billion in 2013 and is likely to almost double to $110 billion by 2018, helped by a rising middle class and a growing number of tourists, Goldman Sachs said in an in-depth report on the region’s gambling jurisdictions.
There has been a 32 percent compound average growth rate in gambling revenue in Asia since the global financial crisis in 2009, compared with just 2 percent growth in the U.S., it said.

Sands Macau, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Macau, has opened a new attraction with a shop offering homemade cakes and sweets. The SweetSpot will feature a variety of cakes and delicacies, from traditional cheesecakes, mousse cakes, sponge cakes, tarts and mille-feuilles to pralines and truffles. Sister property, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, already boasts a SweetSpot.
 

Attracting and retaining employees is seen as the top concern among companies operating in Macau, according to a risk management survey conducted by Marsh LLC.
The survey showed companies continue to struggle with workforce-related issues, with 71 percent citing keeping and finding employees as the top risk issue facing their organization. This was followed by customer default or non-payment and professional liability, which both had 29 percent, cyber-attacks and natural catastrophes at 25 percent, environmental or pollution liability and political risk at 21 percent.

The number of visitors arriving in Macau is becoming an increasingly important indicator of the state of health of the territory’s gambling industry as the mass market grows, Sterne Agee said in a note.

The majority of Macau’s casino workers, about a third of whom smoke, said they approve of smoking rooms with no gambling tables or slots. According to a Macau University survey, commissioned by the Health Bureau, 90.4 percent said they were in favour. However, just over half, or 55 percent, said they were unwilling to work in VIP gaming rooms. The Macau government has banned smoking on casino floors from October 6th this year, although the ban does not extend to the casinos’ VIP rooms.

A controversial bill that will give Macau officials generous benefits is scheduled for its final reading on Tuesday. The legislation would grant the chief executive immunity from prosecution and will also pay a former CEO 70 percent of his salary for as long as he, or she, is unemployed. Other key officials will receive 30 percent of their pay if they were originally hired from the private sector, while those with a civil service background will get 14 percent.

Dynam Japan Holdings said it has extended a memorandum of understanding on the development of pachinko machines and other electronic games with IGG Singapore for a further six months. The two companies said in November last year that they will work together to develop new generation machines for the Macau casino market. The MOU will expire on November 25 unless it’s extended again.

Gaming Partners International said it has won an order worth just under $6.4 million to supply new chips and plaques for a Macau casino. The order includes nearly 900,000 chips and over 137,000 plaques from the company's Bourgogne et Grasset and Bud Jones brands. The Las Vegas-based company manufactures and supplies casino table game equipment to licensed casinos worldwide.
 

Macau’s junket operators, which bring in the majority of China’s big spending gambling into the territory’s casinos, are increasingly diversified business groups, with their models evolving to suit the demands of clients, Hengsheng Group principal investment director Tony Tong said. Speaking at the G2E Asia conference, Tong said the operators are still largely misunderstood by western markets and as a result are stereotyped as shady. “We are expanding internationally, we are following the VIPs.

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