We are coming off a very difficult week in which one of the world’s primary temples of democracy, the US Capitol Building, was stormed by an angry mob, leaving five people dead and much of the world shaken. In our First Word article this week, AGB Nippon Executive Editor Michael Penn asks where does the Asian gaming industry fit into this picture. We also present some analysis from Morgan Stanley about the direction of Macau gaming stocks in 2021. Along the same lines, we take a closer look at The Londoner, a major IR opening while the pandemic still grips the world. Finally, we catch up with the latest news in Saipan, where the CEO of Imperial Pacific now says that he resigned in early December without making any announcement.
First, the news
- Macau gaming stocks to outperform from H2: MS
- Macau confident of meeting GGR tax targets, eyes 14 million visitors
- MGM China says no plans for restructuring
- Wynn and Nordaq develop water refilling system
- Donald Browne quietly stepped down as IPI CEO in December
- MGM shareholder offers US$1 billion for success of Entain takeover bid
- Landing asks police to search for employee after Jeju cash goes missing
- Grand Hyatt Jeju granted five star rating
- Covid case confirmed at Kangwon Land ski resort
- RWG says canteen workers test positive for Covid-19
- TAB NZ launches campaign to discourage offshore gambling
- PAGCOR funds evacuation centers in the Bicol region
What you need to know
Capacity expansion, Chinese exploration and concession extension are likely to lead to outperformance of Macau’s gaming stocks in the second half of this year after a sluggish start, according to analysis from Morgan Stanley. The firm sees 2021 gross gambling revenue of $24 billion and corporate EBITDA of $6.4 billion. That’s 65 percent and 70 percent of 2019 levels, which it says is below consensus for 70 percent and 75 percent of the prior amounts. But it’s 5 percent above consensus for 2022 and remains optimistic on the sector.
Donald Browne has told a federal court that he stepped down as the CEO of Imperial Pacific International in early December, though this was not revealed publicly. Browne had only assumed the office six months ago. His tenure was mainly notable for his frequent apologies for the company being unable to meet its financial obligations, additional lawsuits against the company, and more recently by the distinct possibility of his arrest for contempt of court.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Macau will face the biggest test of the mantra “if you build it, they will come,” as Sands China’s $2 billion “The Londoner” gets set to open its doors after the worst year in modern records for the world’s largest gambling hub. The London-themed resort is a revamp of Sands Cotai Central, which sits across the road from sister resorts, The Venetian and The Parisian. It’s not just a test of current market conditions, but will also serve to show whether such themed-resorts still appeal to the Chinese traveller looking for the ultimate instagram moment.
We are coming off a very difficult week in which one of the world’s primary temples of democracy, the US Capitol Building, was stormed by an angry mob, leaving five people dead and much of the world shaken. Does this pose any special concerns for the Asian gaming industry? Well, it is Asia, of course, where we can find both China, the largest authoritarian regime in the world, as well as India, the world’s largest democracy. These are both jurisdictions that we focus upon, and indeed the smaller nations as well include a mix of authoritarian and democratic systems.