November 2017

IN FOCUS: Homegrown talent goes global

MACAU: High rollers bounce back

PHILIPPINES: Market loses lustre

JAPAN: Political hiccups

KOREA: China row casts clouds

 The opening of Imperial Pacific’s resort on the South Pacific island of Saipan had been one of the most eagerly anticipated openings in Asia in recent years, though in the end the casino made its debut with very little fanfare in July this year.

Australia’s casinos are seeing an improvement in their VIP business and can look forward to a brighter year in 2018, as the market recovers from a collapse triggered by the detention of Crown Resorts employees in China.

 Nepal is slated to get its first integrated resort with the opening of Silver Heritage’s Tiger Palace Bhairahawa scheduled for the end of November.

 The Macau government needs to change its policies to nurture the local gambling equipment manufacturers, as it is losing a golden opportunity to develop the industry and create quality jobs for residents, the head of the industry association said.

 Asia Pioneer Entertainment, which this month joins just a handful of homegrown Macau gaming names to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, says it sees strong scope for future growth, both in the world’s biggest gambling hub and around Southeast Asia.

It was all systems go in Japan at the beginning of 2017, with global operators and cities stepping up their efforts to snare an IR license after a bill legalizing casinos was finally pushed through parliament in the final hours of the last session of the prior year.

Once touted as one of Asia’s most promising markets, due to its proximity to China and Japan and cultural appeal, South Korea had another disappointing year in 2017, this time due to politics.

Cambodia’s casino industry has seen another year of growth, helped by VIPs from China and growing tourism, though operators are still waiting for the publication of new legislation governing the industry.

Vietnam’s casino industry took a giant step forward at the beginning of 2017, publishing new legislation that has been more than seven years in the making and opening a crack in the door for locals to gamble.

Singapore’s tourism industry has shown continued growth in 2017, building on from a record year in 2016, though the figures still suggest that the bulk of the money being brought into the island state is not finding its way onto the casino floors.