Myanmar is emerging as Asia’s newest gaming jurisdiction, and although significant challenges lie ahead, there are reasons to be optimistic for its potential. India too is providing some good news this morning as its casinos in both Goa and Sikkim are set to emerge from their Covid-19 related business suspensions in a few days. We also offer our latest Nippon Weekly, which offers some initial thoughts about what an LVS sell-off in Las Vegas might portend for the Japanese IR market.
First, the news
- Australia turns up the heat on gambling companies
- Plan to open Crown Sydney in December under increased scrutiny
- Aquis says business strong, most staff recalled
- The Star going smoke-free in QLD and NSW by end of 2022
- Green light for Goa and Sikkim casino reopenings
- BoA doubts LVS asset sale amidst global cash crunch
- Macau to sign AML risk assessment accord with World Bank arm
- Macau inward investment jumped 168% in 2019
- Reduction in Macau non-resident workers
- Digital growth allows Lotto NZ to beat profit projections
- More court actions against IPI over unpaid bills
- Caesars sells Tropicana Evansville
- China to end high-speed lottery products
- Illegal fighting cock kills Philippine local police chief
What you need to know
Australia is again turning up the heat on gambling companies, this time with a bill that will make them responsible to compensate victims of players who used funds obtained illegally. Anti-gambling lobbyist Andrew Wilkie introduced a bill in parliament on Monday known as the “Making Gambling Businesses Accountable” bill, which amends the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act. It uses the same definition of “stolen property” as the Criminal Code and puts the onus on the operator to report any cases where it suspects the use of illicit funds to AUSTRAC, the government’s financial crime agency.
All casinos in Goa have been greenlighted to reopen at 50 percent capacity from November 1 as measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic are easing in many parts of India. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced yesterday, “Casinos will start from November 1. We have given them permission. They will have to follow all the SOPs as issued to them by the Home Department. They will have to operate with 50 percent capacity. We need to promote tourism activity.”
After decades of isolation, Myanmar is emerging as a frontier tourism market and Asia’s latest gaming jurisdiction and although significant challenges lie ahead, there are reasons to be optimistic for its potential. The country, with a population of about 50 million, sits between Asia’s two superpowers – India and China and is the largest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, covering a total area of 676,577 square kilometers. It has some of the most pristine coastlines in Asia and a deep cultural heritage with multiple temples and shrines. Last year, it passed a gambling bill to fuel growth in its tourism industry.
This week Las Vegas Sands shocked the gaming world by confirming a report that the company was exploring the possibility of pulling out of its home in Las Vegas and becoming an entirely Asia-focused enterprise. However, speculation that if Sands sells its Las Vegas assets, it will have more cash on hand for investments in Asia, and thus might take a second look at entering the Japan IR race seem to us far fetched.