Good Morning. Thailand has been on the radar of major operators for decades due to its already strong tourism industry and infrastructure. However, any attempts to introduce casinos into the country have failed, coming up against a wall of opposition from influential sectors of society, including the much-revered monarchy. However, that may now have changed. In this week’s Face-to-Face interview, Asian industry executive Daniel Cheng speaks to us about why it may be different this time around and just why the prospect has potential investors salivating.
What you need to know
- Genting Singapore said its 2H21 net profit fell by half due to Covid operation restrictions, but it sees signs for optimism and is using the tourism lull to revamp its hotel space.
- Malaysia is currently going through a spike in Covid cases due to the Omicron variant, though Maybank says it’s cautiously optimistic the impact on the gaming industry will be limited.
- The Star Entertainment Group CEO Matt Bekier says that whilst domestic travel may “compensate” Australia’s tourism industry for now, its long term survival relies on the return of Chinese and Southeast Asian visitors.
On the radar
- Singapore expands vaccinated travel lanes as Omicron eases.
- Macau relaxes entry restrictions for Taiwan, increases for Hong Kong.
- MOF presents two new casino proposals to politburo.
- Covid-19 spurred more Australians to gamble online, says ACMA.
- Paradise 4Q21 casino sales fell 9.9%, but saw strong hotel performance.
What the papers say
- Osaka reaches IR agreement with MGM Resorts and Orix Corp.
- Macau casino stock rally seen as risky bet on China Covid policy easing.
- Japan to ease border controls, daily entry cap raised to 5,000.
- Genting HK trading suspension to continue until further notice.
Thailand has long been viewed as one of the top potential prizes when it comes to gaming in Asia, with its well-established tourism industry and infrastructure. For decades some of the world’s largest gaming companies have tried to make inroads and failed, coming up against a wall of opposition from conservative sectors of society and the monarchy. In this week’s Face-to-Face, Daniel Cheng, a seasoned industry executive with knowledge of the Thai market, explains why he thinks it might be different this time around. Covid has prompted the military-backed government, which was formerly opposed to gaming, to reexamine its stance. Committees have been set up to evaluate the potential and events are moving fast.
- BetConstruct integrates new 3rd games from Pascal Gaming.