The United Nations cultural agency UNESCO has jumped into the fray in Cambodia, raising concerns about NagaCorp’s plans to build a major non-gaming facility on the outskirts of the renowned Angkor Wat. It is clear that the firm must tread cautiously in respect to this key World Heritage site. Meanwhile, in Macau, there is a growing sense of urgency about the need to reduce the barriers that are keeping most Chinese tourists out of the territory. We also present two features related to Australia. First, we have the analysis of corporate and political risk consultancy SVA on the need for operators to reassess their relationships with junkets in the wake of the Bergin report. Finally, we offer the latest episode of our Face To Face video interview series, this time talking to Avril Baynes, the new general manager of the Mindil Beach Casino & Resort in Darwin, Australia, about the challenges faced by her facility during and after the Covid pandemic.
First, the news
- UNESCO concerned about NagaCorp’s Angkor Wat plans
- Macau presses Beijing for IVS e-visa restart
- Operators need to reassess junket relations: SVA
- NSW regulator wants Coonan to lead Crown reform
- Star CEO sees Asia VIPs as future growth resource
- Aquis in the dark over stock price surge
- Primorye gaming zone gets upgraded power infrastructure
What you need to know
Casino operators should reassess their relationships with their junket partners in the wake of the Bergin report into Crown Resorts and the changes in the global geopolitical climate, according to SVA, a corporate and political risk consultancy. CEO Steve Vickers gave evidence during the Bergin inquiry last August, detailing how some junkets rely on triads to carry out “extra legal” services such as promotion of gaming, evasion of China’s capital controls and the collection of gaming debts.
NagaCorp’s US$350 million Angkor Lake of Wonder project has drawn eyes narrowed in suspicion from the United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO. UNESCO issued a statement yesterday noting, “The proximity of the project to the protected buffer zones of the [Angkor Wat] site as well as the scale, scope, and concept of the planned activities could indeed have an impact on the outstanding universal value for which Angkor was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.”
Macau’s tourism officials are pressing the mainland government to restart the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) electronic visa, which would allow for more seamless travel between the two countries. The mainland government has been discouraging citizens from traveling abroad, requiring citizens to apply for an IVS e-visa in person rather than digitally since the resumption of IVS in September 2020.
FACE TO FACE
AGB Nippon Executive Editor Michael Penn interviews Mindil Beach Casino & Resort General Manager Avril Baynes about her facility in Australia’s Northern Territory and how it has coped with the Covid-19 pandemic. She also discusses the changing profile of the visitors to the resort over the past year.
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