It was probably inevitable at some point, but the state of Victoria is finally beginning to act after the cascade of damaging revelations that emerged from the Bergin hearings in neighboring New South Wales. The Victorian gaming minister said she was fast-tracking the regular review of Crown’s suitability to hold a casino license and is appointing a special commissioner to oversee the process. Troubles also describe two of our other features today. In South Korea, Kangwon Land’s losses in the year of the pandemic is having the knock on effect of putting its loss-making largest shareholder, the Mine Reclamation Corporation, into its own financial crisis. Across the narrow sea to Japan, the pro-IR prime minister who launched his administration from a strong position only three months ago, is already in growing political jeopardy, and his chances of surviving the coming year appear to be declining quickly. Finally, we take one last look at the dramatic year that was in the Asian gaming capital, Macau.
First, the news
- Crown suitability review brought forward in Victoria
- Crown Sydney gets a temporary liquor license, to open December 28
- James Packer sued by former Crown Resorts security guard
- Kangwon Land woes put largest shareholder in financial jeopardy
- Udenna ups stake in PH Resorts to 86.59%
- PUBG return to India delayed until at least 2021
- Melco’s Cyprus subsidiary suspends operations over pandemic
- IPI faces new lawsuit over unpaid bills
- Singapore jails father and son for transnational gambling
What you need to know
Crown Resorts is facing more regulatory scrutiny after the Victorian Gaming Minister said she was fast-tracking the regular review of its suitability to hold a casino license and appointing a special commissioner to oversee the process. “This review is needed given the evidence we’ve seen come out of the NSW inquiry,” Melissa Horne was cited as saying in Australian media.
The long periods of business suspension and other restrictions on Kangwon Land related to the Covid-19 pandemic, pushing the firm into unaccustomed losses this year, is creating an even bigger financial crisis for its largest shareholder, the Mine Reclamation Corporation (Mireco). Mireco is Kangwon Land’s largest shareholder with a 36.3 percent stake in the casino resort. For years Mireco’s own operations have been loss-making, but it has been able to balance its books with the assistance of the hefty dividends it has customarily received from its interest in Kangwon Land.
As Macau celebrated the 20th anniversary since the handover to China last December, there was no indication of how the gambling hub’s fortunes were about to change so radically. This year, there appears to be little cause for celebration, with the global pandemic having halved the size of the local economy and caused a plunge of about 80 percent in annual gross gambling revenue. Macau heads into 2021 with more uncertainty than it has faced in recent years. Recovery from the crisis has been slower than anyone forecast and remains vulnerable to new outbreaks of Covid-19 until a vaccine program is well underway.
Following Google’s “Year in Search 2020“, which was published last week, we take a look at some of the Google search trends this year as it relates to gaming and wagering. The coronavirus took the top spot this year, which is not a surprise. Zoom also came up as the number 3 most trending search term in 2020 – a testament to the importance of virtual meetings this year. But interesting, the Indian Premier League came within the top five trending searches globally, giving some insights into just how much interest there has been in the tournament this year.
The year that changed the game
Mr. Chun is confident that the Macau Government, led by the Chief Executive Mr. Ho Lat-seng will continue to implement the policy in pursuit of the stability of the city, which in turn would be vital to ongoing prosperity of Macau.
This is the year that forced us to embrace uncertainty and a different understanding of how time perception has an influence on our behavior. On one side we learned to be efficient in a virtual communication environment. Resilience became one of the main leadership needed skills.
The pandemic has swept the world like no one could have imagined in the year of 2020. This global crisis has put many businesses to an abrupt halt in Q1 and forced companies to develop new business models for survival.