IN FOCUS: North Asia
Covid-19, trade tensions and China’s battle against capital outflows have all had an impact on Asia’s gambling jurisdictions in one way or another, with some significantly losing their appeal and others showing surprising resilience.
South Korea, which attracted significant interest when it first opened for foreign investors, is now seen as holding limited appeal unless the government agrees to relax its stance on local gaming.
Officials in the Primorye gambling zone have been on a public relations blitz in recent months, highlighting how projects are now pushing ahead and stressing there is no change in the long-term plans for 12 casino complexes.
All but one of Macau’s six concessionaires posted a return to positive EBITDA in Q4 and are seeing more meaningful signs of market recovery.
Jennifer Song, equity analyst with Morningstar, spoke 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.
The report to the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority of the Bergin Inquiry into the suitability of Crown Resorts and its in-scope associates, in connection with its Barangaroo casino licence, has energised the discourse regarding the regulation of gaming in Australia.
Avril Baynes, a resident of Australia’s Northern Territory for three decades, was appointed general manager of the Mindil Beach Casino & Resort in Darwin in November 2020 with a mandate to lead the facility through and beyond the era of the Covid pandemic.
Outside of the global pandemic, the trade war between Australia and China is casting another dark shadow over Australia’s already-strained VIP gaming industry, prompting operators to start looking elsewhere for recovery.
Twelve months ago, Jade Entertainment and Gaming Technologies was primarily a land-based gaming supplier, based in the Philippines. Then along came Covid-19, which forced the company to swiftly change tack and reinvent itself over the course of the year.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Dr. Mario Hardy sees a slow recovery for Asia’s tourism markets, though remains optimistic about the future of travel.
Just over a year after Cambodia announced a blanket ban on the country’s thriving online gambling scene, the industry is quietly flourishing in Sihanoukville.