Good morning. Staycations have become a lifeline for hotel and IR operators, allowing them to tap into the domestic market at a time when international tourists are few and far between. Experts say there has been a silver lining to the last 21 months, and warn against ditching staycations completely when borders reopen.
What you need to know
- Macau visitor arrivals fell 70 percent from Sept. 24 to Sept. 25 as the government stepped up restrictions due to the latest Covid outbreak
- The Kerala High Court has struck down a government ban on online rummy, saying it’s a skill-based game and thus protected by the constitution.
- Singapore, which was the first nation in Asia to transition towards living with the virus, is tapping the brakes with heightened restrictions due to rising Covid cases.
- MGM Resorts said it agreed to buy the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for $1.62b to expand its customer base and improve choice for guests.
- Scientific Games has agreed to sell its sports betting business, OpenBet to Endeavor Group for $1.2 billion which will be funded through cash and stocks.
On the radar
- DICJ cancels public consultation on gaming law due to Covid outbreak
- Okura Holdings saw its pachinko revenue decline 23.1% in FY21.
- Bloomberry appoints former Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta as board director
- Pragmatic Play donates more than $47k to charities in Gibraltar, Malta, Romania
What the papers say
- Macau mass Covid-19 testing finished, no positive samples so far
- South Korea’s Casino Association says sector generated $409.1m in 1H21
- Big Daddy casino seeks permission for temporary casino jetty in Panaji
- Five arrested in IPL betting racket in Indore
- Malaysian police arrest seven, cripple call center, in online gambling raid in Johor
Hotel and IR operators will likely downplay their staycation offerings once international borders reopen, though most stress it would be unwise to abandon this segment altogether. Staycations, which typically focus on bringing in domestic customers to stay for a night or two to enjoy the hotel’s facilities, have become a lifeline for the hotel and IR industry over the last 21 months. “Staycations [have been] attractive to locals because of two drivers. One being limited choices to travel internationally, and two, being very attractive offers by hotels since they are in survival mode now,” said Anita Chan, CEO of Compass Edge, a hotel industry consultancy.