February 2015

2015, year of mass

SINGAPORE: At a standstill
PHILIPPINES: Growth to outpace rivals
KOREA: The next best thing

As 2015 kicks off to a flying start, AGB asked some of our most esteemed advisors and friends for their top three predictions for the year ahead. Some common themes emerged, even if opinions differ, such as the future for Macau, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, but the advisors also took macro-themes into consideration when making their forecasts. See if you agree with our experts about what might lie ahead for the Asian market, and for the gaming industry as a whole in 2015.

Genting’s ambitious overseas expansion plans are facing headwinds, hitting a snag in the U.S. and delays elsewhere, but analysts remain optimistic over the mid-term prospects for Malaysia’s only operator thanks to a US$1.4 billion plan to revamp its operations at home

As a serial entrepreneur in the gaming industry for more than 28 years, John has had a lengthy career specializing in global business development for the regulated gaming industry. Given his expertise in account wagering, mobile betting, IPTV, and most forms of gaming technology and content provision, as well as experience in Asia, U.S.A., Latin America, and the Caribbean, AGB asked John for his predictions for the year ahead, and got a wide-ranging and fascinating reply

Singapore’s two casino properties are likely to face another lacklustre year in 2015 as Chinese visitation remains weak and regional competition mounts

The Philippines is expected to be the fastest growing gaming jurisdiction in Asia in 2015, though as new properties open the market may not be as deep as some had hoped

Operators interested in the Vietnamese market are still waiting to hear details of the country’s new casino legislation, which may allow locals to gamble for the first time in what could be a game changer for the industry

NagaCorp is expected to continue to reap the benefits from its focus on China’s VIPs in 2015, with revenue from the high roller segment likely to outstrip that from the mass market, Citi Research estimates that VIP volumes at NagaCorp will rise 25 percent in Y15, although it expects a slowdown in the mass market rate to 15 percent for the same period 

A consequence of the casino debate is a renewed attention on Japan’s massive pachinko industry, the game that operates on the margins of Japan’s current anti-gambling laws

Russia’s crashing ruble, falling oil prices and an almost doubling in capital outflows, have done little to dampen enthusiasm for two upcoming casino projects in Russia’s Far East, with experts saying the current economic woes will have little impact on their longer-term viability

Sri Lanka’s fledgling casino industry is in the balance after the opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena beat incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a keenly contested poll, called two years before elections were due