Asia Gaming Briefings – Aug 2020 Edition


Reopening pubs, online rethink and reflections on gambling behaviour
The country tackled the first wave of the epidemic with relative success, however, the damage to the economy and to the tourism industry has been significant.

Pubs and clubs grapple with reopening challenges
Whilst operators have rejoiced over stronger-than-expected gaming demand over the last month since reopening, second-wave outbreaks, and upcoming fiscal cliffs may spell the end to optimism for the remainder of the year.

Should Australia rethink online gambling ban?
By: Julian Hoskins
In March this year following the outbreak of Covid-19 and the declaration by the World Health Organization of a pandemic, Australia’s land-based casinos, hotels and clubs went into full lockdown.

Covid reopening like a start-up
By: Sudhir H. Kalé, Ph.D.
After a hiatus of several weeks, casinos and clubs are reopening their doors to the public. The comeback, for most businesses, has been far more difficult than anticipated.
The situation is analogous to learning to walk again after a horrific automobile accident.

Are we really a nation of gamblers
By: Alex Blaszczynski, Sally Gainsbury
The shutdown of gambling venues due to Covid-19 may have driven people at-risk of addiction to increased online gambling and experience harm, although for others it may have created a relief from the constant access of problematic pokies.


MACAU: Family feuds, lack of leadership, cloud outlook
Stanley Ho’s death in May left his family fighting for the spoils of his sprawling empire and further complicated problems created by SJM Holding’s complex leadership structure.

SOUTH KOREA: Jeju most at risk from Covid-19 downturn
South Korea’s three major operators are likely to come through the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic without too much difficulty, but the smaller and weaker operators on the island of Jeju may face a much tougher time, analysts say.

JAPAN: Japan online growing, but a tough nut to crack
A growing number of online operators are targeting Japan, attracted by the potential of converting some of the $38 billion in annual pachinko revenue to their sites, though cracking the market takes patience, meticulous attention to detail, and full immersion in the local culture.

RUSSIA: Primorye’s gaming hub dream edges towards reality
The concept of a casino and entertainment hub in Russia’s Far East will take a further step towards fruition this summer with the expected opening of the Shambhala Casino.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia down but not out
Cambodia’s gaming industry has taken a major knock from the Covid-19 crisis and last year’s ban on online gaming, but those on the ground are optimistic it will bounce back stronger than ever.

NEW ZEALAND: Sharing experiences
SkyCity Entertainment, New Zealand’s largest operator, recounts its experience as one of the first properties to open in the Asia Pacific region, saying the industry needs to make sure it’s sharing ideas and learning to ensure the doors stay open.

CNMI: Poor regulation undermines CNMI gaming industry
The fundamental problems now sinking IPI were not only predictable—they were predicted, according to industry insiders.

MALAYSIA: Genting expands online in Europe
Genting Group, one of the world’s largest casino companies, has been investing in the expansion of its online business in Europe at a time when more land-based operators are eyeing adding a digital strategy to cushion the impact from Covid-19.

PHILIPPINES: Prices push POGO exodus
While kidnappings and illegal immigration make for unwelcome headlines for the Philippines’ online gaming industry, what’s really driving recent departures from the country is the rising cost of doing business, especially during an economic downturn.

Lights are on, but no one’s home

Editorial By: Sharon Singleton
The lights in Macau’s casinos were turned back on after a two-week break in early February, though since then the properties have barely seen a visitor.