Asia Gaming Briefings – Dec 2020 Edition


IN FOCUS: The year that changed the game


2020 in review

2020 in review: Don’t look back in anger

The December edition of our Focus section gathers views from industry figures on the key events of the past year and asks them to gaze into a crystal ball to divine what the year ahead may hold.
Macau, St. Paul Ruins

Positive shoots and lessons learned

As Macau celebrated the 20th anniversary since the handover to China last December, there was no indication of how the gambling hub’s fortunes were about to change so radically.
casino sentosa

A year like no other for Asian gaming

At the conclusion of every year there are important industry events that need to be recapped, but there can be little doubt that even ten years, twenty years hence, 2020 will mark a dividing point in history between the pre-Covid and post-Covid eras.

JURISDICTIONS UPDATES


Macau mulls a future in finance

Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng reaffirmed in his policy address this week that “promoting an adequate economic diversification” remained a key objective and a key way forward will be developing a financial industry.

China’s racing industry faces high hurdles

In late September, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, together with the General Administration of Sports (GAD) revealed a five-year blueprint that would aim to expand and promote the country’s already mammoth horse-racing industry.

Local VIPs support Resorts World Genting

Behind the sea of red in Genting Malaysia’s Q3 results, analysts found reason for cheer in the performance of its domestic operations, which generated a positive EBITDA of RM541 million ($133 million) in the quarter.

Locals drive growth, but for how long?

Singapore’s two integrated resorts surprised analysts with the strength of their most recent results, despite higher entry fees for locals and a lack of international travel.

Crown at risk of “severe regulatory action”

A “heightened risk of severe regulatory action” has prompted Fitch Ratings to put Crown Resorts on credit watch negative for a potential ratings downgrade.

eSports racing ahead

India’s online gaming revenue is expected to jump by 45 percent this year as players turned to their mobiles during Covid-19 lockdowns, with esports one of the fast growing stars of the segment.

Moody’s cautious on Naga’s expansion plans

Nagacorp, the operator of Cambodia’s NagaWorld, has undoubtedly been one of Asia’s integrated resort success stories, though credit ratings agency Moody’s is now sounding a note of caution about its expansion plans.

INDUSTRY VIEWS


Jay Chun: Confidence in local government

The Macau Government is working hard on the new casino license process. including reviewing all aspects of the existing gaming laws and regulations, as the landscape of the gaming industry has greatly changed since the grant of the previous concession back in 2002.

Angel Sueiro: Longer-term focus comes to fore

This is the year that forced us to embrace uncertainty and a different understanding about how time perception has an influence on our behavior.

BBIN: Zero-touch economy created

The pandemic has swept the world like no one could have imagined in the year of 2020. This global crisis has put many businesses to an abrupt halt in Q1 and forced companies to develop new business models for survival.

David Green: The year that tarnished Crown Resorts

Crown has enjoyed a monopoly in both Victoria and Western Australia, which owes more to politics and history than it does to competence and good practice governance.

David Lawrence: Philippines positivity points to a brighter future

When we look back at 2020, regardless of business or geographical location, this has been a year of unprecedented disruption, whether personal or work related, to everyone’s way of life.

Danny Too: New norms and little luxuries

The pandemic that brought the world to a standstill, making people evaluate their priorities in life. It is a time when wearing a mask is a "norm" and being able to fly without going through a quarantine is a "luxury".

Dennis Andreaci: Impatience for normality

Very surprisingly, some very well managed small and mid-sized casinos have been able to focus on their local premium guests along with very reduced staffing and other costs (because most of the tables are closed and not needed).

Desmond Lam: Hopes high for Year of the Ox

It is interesting how fortune changes and predictions fail in the Year of the Rat. The year started with caution as COVID-19 outbreak began to wreak havoc in China.

Dominick Stenson: Adapting to Covid-19 challenges

The most notable event for me is the actual survival of many organizations given the unprecedented operating conditions of 2020, that's of course when the doors were not closed completely.

Jamie Nettleton: Regulatory shakeups likely in pipeline

It is not just COVID-19 and its effects for which 2020 will be remembered by the Australian gambling sector. The event likely to have the most long-lasting impact is the NSW Casino Inquiry.

Fred Gushin: Japan IR process needs to take decisive step forward

Efforts to authorize integrated resorts in Japan will continue, even as Japan is dealing with a change of government and a global pandemic.

Michael Maerz: “Emergency” content still in demand

It has been a really unique and indeed surprising year to say the least. When live sport ground to a halt earlier in the year, we lost 95 percent of our live sport feeds in a matter of days. That would have signaled logically some tough and challenging times for all in the sector.

Matt Ballesty: Looking for travel bubbles

New Zealand and Australia continue to outperform the world with management of the pandemic, and while it’s likely a travel bubble between the two countries will be the first major change in border restrictions, we expect it will come with a number of restrictions.

Peter Johns: Hard work to be rewarded in 2021

With all the trade shows cancelled and extensive travel bans enforced, it’s been almost impossible to show our customers the new product lines we’ve built this year.

Tim Shepherd: Vietnam growth to gain momentum

Looking into 2021 for hidden gems / growth stories in land based - outside major VIP IR projects - there are two types of market best poised to recover and succeed.

Sudhir H. Kalé: Startling stock reality gap

The most surprising phenomenon in 2020 for me was the elevated stock prices for casino companies. Overall, the stock market looks increasingly divorced from economic reality and nowhere is this phenomenon more pronounced than in the case of casino stocks.

Wolfgang G. Arlt: China neighbors seen as first port of 2021...

At the end of this annus horribilis, after so much hardship and so much obedience demonstrated by societies in lockdown around the world, we are all entitled to a nice Christmas present and the prospect of a better tomorrow.

INDUSTRY OPINION: Sudhir H. Kalé


LAST WORD: Sharon Singleton


Andrea Domingo, Pagcor

Will Live Shots be a game changer?

As we close our final magazine of the year, I’d rather not focus on the doom and gloom wrought by Covid-19 and will instead look at how the pandemic has been a key catalyst for change in the gaming industry.

UPCOMING EVENTS

AGE at ICC Sydney, 2021

Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) 2021

The Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) is the place to see new products and services, network, attend thought-provoking seminars, seek business partners and generate sales....

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Sri Lanka port city plans need public referendum

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has ruled that provisions in legislation to run and oversee a Chinese-built mega port require approval by public referendum to become law.
AGE at ICC Sydney, 2021

Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) 2021

The Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) is the place to see new products and services, network, attend thought-provoking seminars, seek business partners and generate sales....
AGBriefings, June, 2021, Resorts World Las Vegas

Asia Gaming Briefings – June 2021 Edition

For this edition of our magazine, we focus on Southeast Asia, with a particular look at the Philippines. The country’s casino industry has been among the hardest hit in Asia, with the integrated resorts in Manila’s Entertainment City having remained mostly closed to the general public since the beginning of the crisis last year.
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Asia Gaming Briefings – April 2021 Edition

In this April edition of Asia Gaming Briefings we take the pulse of how the North Asia jurisdictions of Japan, Korea and the Russian Far East have fared.
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.