The landmark Crown Sydney facility has finally opened to the public! The celebrations, however, have been put on hold after such a bruising year of suitability hearings and amidst a new cluster of Covid-19 cases in the city. It also remains to be seen if Crown will be granted its casino license and, if so, under what conditions. In South Korea they’ve also been dealing with an upsurge in the pandemic, leading the extension of closure periods for some casinos. There are also a good number of fresh headlines today, and so…
First, the news
- Crown Sydney opens with no casino, amidst new NSW Covid outbreak
- Crown Resorts tightens money transfer requirements
- South Korea casinos extend closures through the holidays
- Mohegan Gaming says project Inspire to open early 2023
- Sands China team builds 40,000 hygiene kits
- Macau’s non-resident workforce down 7.7% as of November
- Macau authorities say Covid vaccination gives no release from entry restrictions
- Four workers threaten to jump from Galaxy Macau construction site
- Goa hotel occupancy at 80% on last-minute arrivals
- Goa authorities frustrated with casino-related parking violations
- China passes law criminalizing targeting Chinese nationals to gamble
- Thailand crackdown on online gambling
- CNMI Casino Commission eyes cash flow between IPI and parent company
- Melco properties in Macau, Philippines get health security certification
- 500.com says CTO resigns, no plans to appoint successor
What you need to know
Crown Resorts opened the doors to its $2.2 billion ($1.66 billion) Crown Sydney property on Monday, but without the fanfare that accompanies the openings of such mega projects after a bruising year of suitability hearings and amidst a new cluster of Covid-19 cases in the city. The company forged ahead with plans to open after receiving a provisional liquor license from the Liquor and Gaming NSW. However, the casino component will remain shuttered until regulators give their response to findings in the probe.
South Korea has lost control of its Covid-19 pandemic as never before, and this is triggering additional delays in casino reopenings. December 24 was the worst day of the nation’s pandemic so far with a record 1,237 new cases being reported. The daily figures are considerably direr than during the country’s first spike in cases in late February-early March.
The year that changed the game
With all the trade shows cancelled and extensive travel bans enforced, it’s been almost impossible to show our customers the new product lines we’ve built this year. That said, interest from progressive casinos who see the benefits we offer has been gratefully immense. This has kept us uniquely busy, shipping trial units to a number of sites, or hosting Zoom meetings to remotely introduce our new product line.
Looking into 2021 for hidden gems / growth stories in land based – outside major VIP IR projects – there are two types of market best poised to recover and succeed. Firstly those with domestic demand, either through local and foreign resident play and secondly those able to secure a travel bubble arrangement between source markets and destinations featuring gaming.
The most surprising phenomenon in 2020 for me was the elevated stock prices for casino companies. Overall, the stock market looks increasingly divorced from economic reality, and nowhere is this phenomenon more pronounced than in the case of casino stocks.