Friday, February 26, 2021

Aristocrat mulls M&A to expand in digital

Aristocrat Entertainment CEO Trevor Croker said the company plans to “significantly escalate” its focus on convergence products and services, which may involve mergers and acquisitions.

Interview with Jennifer Song: Optimism after Chinese New Year [video]

Jennifer Song, equity analyst with Morningstar, speaks with Asia Gaming Brief managing editor Sharon Singleton about visitation to Macau during the recent Chinese New Year period and the outlook for recovery. The longer-than-usual May holiday may be a key catalyst for growth.

Macau, Cambodia to lead gaming recovery: Colliers

Macau GGR recovery will be driven by premium mass, whilst Cambodia’s gaming recovery will be driven by the VIP segment, according to analysts at Colliers International. 

Paradise Co. company losses in 2020 reach US$97.8 million

Paradise Co. has reported its fourth quarter and full year financial results for the year 2020, recording full year net losses on its controlling interest of KRW109.8 billion (US$97.8 million).

Melco/Galaxy turn EBITDA positive, upbeat on recovery

The last two of Macau’s operators released Q4 results on Thursday, with both returning to profit at the EBITDA-level and expressing confidence in the market recovery.

Incheon gaming zone development faces delays

The planned gaming and entertainment zone in Incheon, South Korea, is facing delays on almost all fronts, mainly, but not entirely, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hokkaido white IR dies another death

“A fool dies a thousand deaths; a wise man only one.” This common expression—a garbled version of something written by Shakespeare—might very well be applied to the prospect of IR development in Hokkaido. And indeed, the project has recently died yet another death.

Galaxy’s convention center looking at H2 opening

Galaxy Entertainment Group’s senior vice president of MICE events says the company has already been receiving “a lot of inquiries” for its Galaxy International Convention Center, which is likely to launch in the second half of 2021. 
Aristocrat Entertainment CEO Trevor Croker says the company plans to "significantly escalate" its focus on convergence products and has a strong enough balance sheet to support mergers and acquisitions in the sector. 
Genting Malaysia reported positive adjusted EBITDA of RM350.3 million for 2020 despite seeing a 56 percent drop in revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 
Caesars' Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg responded to an analysts' question on the sale of its Korea venture by saying: "Korea has gone, we sold it for some barbecue pork. We sold it back to our partners and have no more commitment. We're out."
Caesars Entertainment posted a loss for Q4 of $555 million compared with a $13 million profit in the prior year, but said it has seen a pick up in demand in the New Year, especially at its regional properties.
Donaco International, the operators of casinos in Cambodia and Vietnam, said it had positive EBITDA of A$0.2 million in the first half of the fiscal year after the final three quarters of the year generated $2.7million. Revenue declined to $6.3 million from $40.9 million.
International Entertainment said it has hired various advisers to provide a legal opinion on the operation of casinos and gaming activities and to review the company's internal control policies in order to comply with a guidance letter from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
A Yokohama court dismissed an effort by anti-casino local residents to argue that the city government could not make use of the land at Yamashita Pier for IR construction.
For the first time since March last year, the China Online Visa Application system will open to foreign residents in Macau from next Monday.
Imperial Pacific International does not oppose having the Commonwealth Casino Commission suspend its casino gaming license, admitting its failure to pay the US$40 million Community Benefit Fund contribution in 2018 and 2019, and failing to pay the US$15.5 million annual casino license fee, as required by the Casino License Agreement. Meanwhile, it has been acknowledged that Ray N. Yumul is not yet legally recognized as IPI CEO in Saipan.
Poker machine revenue at the Canberra Labor Club fell by more than 28 percent year-on-year to A$17.4 million (US$13.7 million).
Melco Resorts Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho told a conference call that he still sees Japan as “the best potential new gaming market globally.”
Australia-listed BetMakers Technology Group has announced the company’s results for the half-year ended December 31, 2020. In this six-month period, the firm’s revenues were A$7.59 million (US$6 million), up 88 percent, and EBITDA was A$0.04 million.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment said it had returned to positive EBITDA in Q4, although revenue was down 64 percent from the prior-year quarter.
All three segments of the Jin Bei Hotel as well as the Horng Gon Chea Yi Hotel in Sihanoukville have been closed down after two Chinese women were diagnosed with Covid-19.

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Sportradar has entered a long-term data and audio-visual partnership with Australia’s professional semi-elite basketball league, NBL1. Sportradar will become the new partner to NBL1 for these services, taking over from an incumbent. 
Pragmatic Play has appointed former Rank Digital Head of Gaming Product, Bhotesh Maheshwari, as its new Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Operations as the company looks to further cement its position as a top tier supplier in regulated markets.
500 .com said that it has entered into a definitive agreement with a subsidiary of BitDeer to purchase 1,923 S17 Bitcoin mining machines for a total consideration of RMB31.3 million (approximately US$4.9 million).
Thai police have shut down a network of online casinos in raids that took place across seven provinces, with nineteen suspects arrested and cash and other goods seized. In total, eight online casino networks have been shut down.
A draft law has been prepared by the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation that would create a system of self-exclusion from casinos for problem gamblers.
NOVOMATIC said it won the SAGSE award for the “Best Electronic Roulette” as well as the “Best Land-based Progressive”.
THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has donated P123.6 million to the state-run Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) to bankroll a building project.
The Jeongseon Gambling Problem Recovery Center, the first gambling addiction rehabilitation institution in South Korea, will soon start operating in Jeongseon, Gangwon-do.
The first professional poker school in the Primorye has opened as part of the territory’s efforts to become host to international poker tournaments.
SkyCity Entertainment has announced that Richard Smyth, currently Deputy Chief Financial Officer, will become Acting Chief Financial Officer from February 27 to April 19.

Regions seen as outperformers

Regional casinos in the Philippines are likely to resume their outperformance once the global pandemic eases as infrastructure improves and major projects come online.

Kazakhstan scores own goal with sports betting changes

Recent changes to Kazakhstan’s sports betting law are likely to fuel black market gambling and slash tax revenue for the government, experts say.

Will Beijing’s sabre-rattling affect Chinese travel decisions?

China’s threat to draw up a blacklist of countries targeting gambling is most likely directed at the online industry, though may be enough to deter some travellers even if the government doesn’t follow through with its action.

Rightsizing Cambodia’s casino industry post-Covid 19

Through government action and a cultural norm of wearing face masks when ill, Cambodia has seen few get sick during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, Cambodia has 275 COVID cases and zero COVID-related deaths as of the last week of September. 

Life After Pogos

Life After POGOs – AGB Dossier

This Dossier results from the “Life After POGOs” editorial project by Asia Gaming Brief which culminated with a pop-up digital forum on 9th December to discuss potentials ramifications in the industry.

Australian market report: How to adapt to the new normal

Covid-19 forced the rapid and unexpected closure of venues across Australia, changing the operating environment with unprecedented speed and leaving managers scrambling to adapt...
life after pogos

Life After POGOs – AGB Pop-Up Forum

The Philippines and Asia’s online gaming industry is going through uncertain times, with the gaming regulator seeing more and more operators leaving the country for greener pastures.
AGB Webinar - Acquiring and Retaining iGaming Customers

Acquiring & Retaining iGaming Customers

In this AGB Webinar Series, we covered the newest strategies for iGaming player acquisition and retention.
Agbriefings February 21

Asia Gaming Briefings – Feb 2021 Edition

The world is bouncing back, or at least coming to grips with the fact that going forward not much will be the same as before. Commendably, this industry quickly understood the need to adapt to a new normal, and that the days of targeting the low hanging fruit of the VIP sector are gone.
asia gaming briefings Dec 20

Asia Gaming Briefings – Dec 2020 Edition

Over the years, many of the answers have been remarkably prescient in their forecasts for the near-term direction of Asia’s gaming industry. However, we can safely say that no one came anywhere close to guessing what 2020 may have had in store.
news, macau, gambling

Asia Gaming Briefings – Nov 2020 Edition

While nowhere in the world has escaped the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Macau has been hit harder than most, with forecasts for gross domestic product to shrink more than 50 percent this year.