Good Morning. Star Entertainment CEO Matt Bekier’s testament this week has brought China’s VIP sector back into focus. Bekier described the expertise needed to run the business as being like the “dark arts.” In today’s Deep Dive, IGamiX Management & Consulting managing partner Ben Lee discusses how and why casinos across the globe have been practising these “arts” for years and that despite the challenges, the segment will likely be targeted once again once China’s borders reopen.

What you need to know

  • Star Entertainment CEO Matt Bekier has denied the VIP division was out of control and defended the company against allegations that a corrupt manager was “shuffled off.”
  • Grand Korea Leisure sales dropped more than 80 percent in April from the prior month, which had seen an exceptionally strong showing from its table games. 
  • Imperial Pacific International said it is “open to the idea” of another casino operator on Saipan as it faces a possible license revocation on May 24.

On the radar

  • APE launches Asia Tigers Club, its first NFTs in metaverse project.
  • AGEM Index falls 9.7% sequentially in April with all member stocks dragging.
  • Sportsbet revenue up 8% in 1Q21 despite losing the “Covid-boost”.

What the papers say

  • Goa casino owner, four others, held in illegal cricket betting case.
  • Macau gaming law may allow junket sub-agents to be non-resident.

AGB Intelligence


Macau, VIP, premium market, Asia gaming ebrief

China VIP marketing a “dark art” that will return despite challenges

The global VIP business was in the spotlight again this week, with former Star Entertainment CEO Matt Bekier describing running the sector as being a “dark art.”Speaking at a probe in New South Wales to determine whether Star is suitable to run its Sydney casino, Bekier explained that its was the “art of acquiring customers to convince them to fly long range and gamble in our casinos, then find a way to entertain them and settle and collect the money.” Ben Lee, managing partner of IGamiX Management & Consulting put it another way, arguing that casinos across the globe have been targeting the lucrative China sector for years and despite the problems, marketing teams are likely to be under pressure to resume their operations once the Mainland borders reopen. 

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