Asia Gaming Briefings – November 2021 Edition

Macau reloaded

Lack of detail in the proposed amendments to Macau’s gaming legislation left the market to speculate on the government’s intentions, with disastrous effects. The subsequent round of public consultation came and went leaving the industry with even more questions and few answers.

In the focus section of this November edition of AGBriefings’ magazine, we take the opportunity to gather some views and opinions on the potential changes in Macau and the future evolution of the world’s largest gambling hub.

In Focus: Macau, building on success

Pivot point for Macau as concessions/changes loom

Macau has just wrapped up its public consultation on proposed amendments to gaming legislation. This was a key step ahead of the retendering process for the casino concessions that expire in June next year.

Covid recovery – is pre-pandemic GGR a pipedream?

More than a third of respondents to a recent survey by Asia Gaming Brief said they don’t expect Macau to ever return to its 2019 pre-pandemic GGR.

Thumbs down given to supervision/capital distribution changes

Proposals to increase operational supervision over the six operators, as well as suggestions for restrictions on capital distribution were two of the proposals that sent investors running for the exits once the gaming law amendments were published.

License status quo most likely, but doubts linger

Amendments to Macau’s draft gaming law suggest that the government is planning to do away with the current sub-concession system, but doesn’t clarify just how many licenses will be up for tender.

Shining light on Macau’s proposed gaming law changes

Macau began its public consultation on amendments to the Legal Framework for the Operations of Casino Games of Fortune in September, with proposals that could have a far-reaching impact on the industry.

Direct award a better option

Leading lawyer, António Lobo Vilela, who has written a four-volume treatise on Macau gaming law, argues that it may be more in the public interest for the government to award the concessions directly to existing operators than hold a public tender.

Hengqin buzzing with tourists and building out attractions

It feels like Macau’s Wild West. A stone’s throw away and yet a world apart, Hengqin Island has been buzzing with tourists since May 2020.


Macau recovery lags, with 3Q worst so far

Macau gross gambling revenue is beginning to show signs of recovery following the latest round of lockdowns, though it’s now clear the city won’t reach anywhere near the levels that had been expected at the beginning of the year.

New Macau traveller less likely to gamble

Macau observers are noting an increasing disconnect between the number of incoming tourists and gross gambling revenue, pointing to a changing demographic in those visiting Macau.

Golden Week loses lustre as Chinese stay at home

Domestic travel during Golden Week fell short of its expectations this year, partly as a result of an outbreak of Covid-19’s delta strain starting in July.

Okada Manila SPAC deal a vote of confidence in Philippines

Okada Manila is going public in the U.S. through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in a major vote of confidence in the potential for the gambling industry in the Philippines.

Genting theme park opening completes revamp, to drive visitation

Genting Malaysia’s long-awaited outdoor theme park is likely to open late in the fourth quarter, providing a boost to the company’s recovery prospects.

Capital rules may spur machine replacement boom

The Cambodian government’s new minimum capital requirements for new and existing casinos may create a boom for suppliers as operators replace ageing stock.

Foreigner-only casinos face uncertain future, slow recovery

South Korea’s foreigner-only casinos are struggling with slumping revenue, stalled projects and job losses, with immediate prospects for post-Covid recovery looking bleak.

Tigre de Cristal eyes soaring revenue growth once borders reopen

Tigre de Cristal, which celebrated its sixth birthday last month, has already seen its monthly revenue reach pre-Covid levels due to strong support from the local Russian market.



How suitable is the appointment of a special manager?

Despite a litany of conduct described by Royal Commissioner Ray Finkelstein as “disgraceful”, and a resultant finding of unsuitability as a licensee, he has recommended that Crown Melbourne should retain its casino licence.

Changing political winds pose risks for Clairvest’s Wakayama bid

Caesars Entertainment has reemerged as a contender for an IR license in Japan, although it may face headwinds due to the shifting sands of Japanese politics.


As Asia ventures out of zero-Covid world, China looks isolated

As we approach the two-year anniversary of the beginning of the global Covid pandemic, governments around Asia are finally beginning to take tentative steps to open their borders.


As we get towards the end of the year, Asia has yet to be able to host a major gaming exhibition, or conference. However, elsewhere the foot is back full on the throttle.

Asia Gaming Briefings – October 2021 Edition

A global pandemic that brought the gaming industry to its knees, closed down international borders, grounded air travel and crippled economies is bound to spark some changes.