When Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific nnounced it was doubling the size of its planned casino development on the South Pacific islnd of Saipan to $7 billion some analysts began scratching their heads.

SkyCity entertainment, New Zealand’s only listed casino operator, is moving closer to breaking ground on its new convention centre complex in Auckland after being forced to scale down its original design due to cost overruns.

With the opening of Galaxy entertainment’s Phase II development seemingly doing little to generate additional traffic in Mau, the focus has now shifted to the launch of Melco Crown Entertainment’s $3.2 billion Studio City property later this year.

Macau’s retail malls, dominated by the luxury brands favored by high rolling mainland Chinese, are turning to more affodable High Street names as VIP revenue falls, but the shift is unlikely to have a major impact on operators’ profis, analysts say.

Macau, whose meteoric success was fueled by the high-spending VIP gambler, needs to improve its branding and tourism planning if it is to transform to a majority non-gaming model and replace income from the missing high rollers.

There have been several recent changes to its gambling legislation in Australia that may have wide implications in both the online and land-based sphere, including the firs case brought under the anti-money laundering act by AuSTrAC

China’s exploding outbound tourism market and how it will shape the future of the global leisure and luxury industries over the next decade has been well documented but, so far, less attention has been paid to giant neighbour India, which offers similar poential.

Nepali authorities are in the process of assessing damage to the country’s all important tourism sector after the deadly earthquake that hit the country on April 25, though casino operators say they are already back in business and expect any impact on revenues to be temporary.

Vietnam, which is debating draft legislation that will update its casino market, is also struggling with separate laws to legalize sports betting.

Analysts are cautiously optimistic about the outlook for Cambodia’s largest casino operator, NagaCorp, saying improved connectivity with Macau, new junket relationships, an electronic table game agreement and expansion of the resort will drive growth.

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