March 2018

IN FOCUS: Shaking the status quo

MACAU: MGM unveils Cotai gem

KOREA: Fourth IR bets on Incheon

SINGAPORE: No wind in the top line sales

VIETNAM: Hoiana woos Macau VIPs

 The question of technology’s role on the casino floor has always been a divisive one.

 The deadly attack on Resorts World Manila (RWM) last year was a wake-up call for casino resorts in the Philippines and across the wider region, leading to calls to improve security and properly assess the risks facing each jurisdiction.

 AGB examines how casinos are getting smarter and more sophisticated when it comes to maximizing earnings from their table games.

After an annus horribilis in 2017, First Cagayan Leisure and Resort World Corporation is fighting back, pledging major upgrades in infrastructure and technology to help the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CEZA) regain its status as the hub for online gambling in the Philippines.

Faced with increased competition and more demanding customers, Asia’s online operators are looking towards Europe for ways to drive revenue growth in a market that is beginning to mature.

The Hoiana IR, being developed in central Vietnam, has the potential to generate about $15 billion a quarter in VIP rolling volumes and syphon off a chunk of Macau’s high roller market, according to analysis from Union Gaming.

In the words of Las Vegas Sands Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldstein, “Singapore is a wonderful success story, but at this point it's just a very large producer of EBITDA without growth prospects in the near future.”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte late last year signed into law the first steps in a long-awaited tax reform program to raise funds to improve infrastructure, which analysts say will dampen consumer spending, but are unlikely to hurt the booming gambling industry.

 

SkyCity Entertainment says its international business is recovering and it expects modest growth in group EBITDA this year, also helped by expansion in New Zealand and an improved performance in its Australian properties.

The $1.2 billion Resorts World Catskills opened its doors in February, expanding the Genting brand in the U.S., even though the Malaysian company missed out on a license for its own property in New York State.

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