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Jurisdiction Updates - May 2014 Edition

PHILIPPINES: Fee cuts take sting from tax hikes

Will it be enough? #34

MACAU

Cotai 2.0 expanding #16

RUSSIA

Gambling on Crimea #10

NEPAL

Deadlock sagas #22

ia Gaming Briefings | May 2014 G2E Asia special report: what's trending in the industryA s#38


2

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


MESSAGE

3

Mega May

T

his second edition of AGBriefings

Asia offer the opportunity to do that and its

coincides with one of the most

new iGaming Summit on 22 May is well-timed.

important fixtures in the Asian

Mobile is another big story in Asia, with

gaming event calendar - G2E Asia.

mobile users in China alone reaching 1.22

Returning for its 9th year, G2E Asia 2014 offers

billion. Forecasts are that mobile operator

brand new features, both on the show floor

revenue generated in Asia will cross the $500

and in the conference.

billion mark this year, making it the most

In preparing for this edition of the publication,

valuable and fastest-growing regional mobile

it was clear that both suppliers and operators

market in the world.

view the event as a must-attend. Many of the

New to the event calendar this year we also

major regional operators will be in attendance,

have the Japan Gaming Congress. Featuring

and the expo features the world’s best-in-

three members of Japan’s Liberal Democratic

breed suppliers.

Party (LDP), the event is capitalizing on,

With Japan included, Asia is now the

what is hoped, soon to be passed legislation

largest gaming market in the world, with

legalizing casinos in the country. There is no

many jurisdictions introducing or making

shortage of interest in a market that analysts

amendments to gaming legislation. Just

say could be worth between $10 billion and

some of the upcoming regional opportunities

$23 billion in its first year, with Las Vegas

include Russia, Japan, Saipan, Australia’s

Sands, Wynn Resorts, Melco International,

Queensland, and Vietnam, where authorities

Genting Singapore, MGM Resorts, Dynam

are currently mulling whether to allow locals

Japan Holdings, Bloomberry Resorts and Boyd

access to casinos there.

Gaming all being keen.

There is also growing interest from online

AGB is proud to be an industry supporter of

sports betting and casino operators in the

these events and we hope to catch up with

region, though regulation remains opaque

many of you at one or both of the shows.

Rosalind Wade

Luis Pereira

in many jurisdictions. For this reason, it is important for the industry to get together and discuss the best ways forward, and to share best

On behalf of Asia Gaming Brief Rosalind Wade & Luis Pereira

practices and knowledge. Events such as G2E

PUBLISHERS

www.asiagamingbrief.com

MAY 2014 EDITION SERIES II • ISSUE II

PUBLISHED BY BLUE SKY VENTURE LTD. Suite 1104 - 11/ F, First International Commercial Centre 600E Av. Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues Macau SAR P.O. Box 1139 t. +853 2870 1367 f. +853 2870 1366 e. enquiries@agbrief.com ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES advertising@agbrief.com SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES memberships@agbrief.com EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES editorial@agbrief.com

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Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


CONTENTS

4

AUSTRALASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH ASIA

PACIFIC ISLES

06

INDIA

21

SINGAPORE

31

AUSTRALIA

08

NEPAL

22

MALAYSIA

32

SRI LANKA

24

PHILIPPINES

34

NORTH ASIA G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

INDOCHINA

10

RUSSIA SOUTH KOREA JAPAN

GREATER CHINA

CHINA

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

69

OPINION

70

WHERE THE INDUSTRY COMES TOGETHER TO CONDUCT REAL BUSINESS

MACAU MACAU - OPINION

11

VIETNAM

26

12

LAOS

27

CAMBODIA

28

MYANMAR

29

15

May 20-22, 2014 19 The Venetian Macao 16

A G2E Event

Organized by

www.G2EAsia.com Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

Sponsored by

38


AUSTRALASIA

6

PACIFIC ISLES

Saipan casino may sound death knell for Tinian resort

Saipan’s decision to legalize casinos on the island comes amid a surge in interest in gaming in the Northern Marianas and elsewhere in the Pacific, but may come at the expense of an existing resort on neighbouring Tinian, experts say.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

A

lot of the interest is coming from Macau

the application.

junket operators eager to secure an

Best Sunshine, on the other hand, has not

alternative gaming destination to the

registered in the CNMI just yet. No records

world’s biggest gambling hub, said

on this business entity were filed in the CNMI

Ben Lee, managing partner at IGamiX Management

Department of Commerce.

& Consulting Ltd.

Lee said both are junket operators in Macau,

Two big groups with ties to the Macau gaming

adding that there has been growing interest in

industry have applied for a Saipan license --

exploring overseas markets from the sector.

Best Sunshine International Ltd., a subsidiary

“Even others have gone as far as Western Samoa

of Hong Kong-listed First Natural Foods

and Vanuatu,” says Lee.

Holdings Ltd. and Mega Stars Overseas Ltd.

The decision to legalize casinos on Saipan came

Both paid a $1 million application fee by the

from the government’s need to boost tourism

March deadline.

revenue to help close a pension-funding shortfall.

Mega Stars Overseas Ltd. is the owner of the

According to the Marianas Visitors Authority,

Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, the only casino

visitor arrivals in March this year were 40,666,

currently operating in the Northern Marianas.

very little changed compared to 40,613 in

Whoever gets approved will have to make

March, 2013.

an investment of $2 billion and build at the

Japan remains as the biggest tourist market for

minimum a 2,000-room casino-hotel.

the Northern Marianas with 13,396, followed

Records from the CNMI Department of Commerce

closely by China, 12,359 and South Korea with

showed that Mega Stars registered as Marianas

10,732 visitors.

Stars Entertainment Inc. Marianas Stars is 25

Lee said he sees considerable potential in the

percent owned by Mega Stars Overseas Ltd.

CNMI, but the right conditions may need to be

and 75 percent by Famous Treasure Limited,

put in place to pull in the tourist dollar.

a company incorporated in the British Virgin

“The CNMI has always had potential. It is just

Islands and a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese

a matter of making sure conditions are in place

Strategic Holdings Ltd.

to let those casinos prosper.”

However, according to reports the company

Key among these, says Lee, is the ability to rely

may have failed to meet a May 5th deadline

on an “air bridge,” a direct flight, or charter

to deposit $30 million in an escrow account,

flight from any major Asian destination.

which was a condition for proceeding with

Currently, the Tinian International Airport is not


AUSTRALASIA

7

TOURISM ARRIVALS MARCH

40,666, FLAT YOY

Saipan Governor Eloy S. Inos said the island is considering hiring a casino investigator and gaming consultant from Macau to help review the applications from two investor groups to run a casino on the island, according to media reports. Construction work has restarted on a long-delayed $290 million project on Fiji’s Denaru Island by. One Hundred Sands is the developer.

ready to receive international flights pending

shopping centers are on Saipan.

With the three Northern Mariana islands battling

rehabilitation of its terminal.

At present, there is only one local airline – Star

against each other for a piece of the gambling

Tinian is 2,115 miles away from Hong Kong,

Marianas Air-- plying the Saipan-Tinian route.

pie, the mayor is still upbeat that the Tinian

1,475 miles away from Tokyo and 1,931 miles

Arctic Circle Air has temporarily suspended

casino industry will survive if there are direct

from Seoul.

flights to Tinian pending repair of its Britten-

flights from major Asian destinations.

He also underscores the importance of making

Norman aircraft in the Philippines. Freedom

For the mayor, direct flights to Tinian will give

sure gaming revenue tax is low.

Air, on the other hand, which has been serving

them a level playing field with Saipan. “We

“The environment has to be conducive to the

the islands for the last 40 years, is currently

have no problem with competition,” he said.

operation of junket businesses,” adds Lee.

going through bankruptcy proceedings on

The Dynasty casino on Tinian has been open

While the outlook may be bright on Saipan, Lee

Guam. The Tinian local government has been

since 1998, but has never made a profit. Despite

said any resort there was likely to prosper at the

looking into the possibility of bringing back

that, the Tinian senate issued four more licenses

expense of Tinian’s existing casino.

the ferry service.

which have not progressed beyond the inking of

“It is my opinion, my personal and professional

Meanwhile, Tinian Mayor Ramon M. Dela Cruz

agreements, Lee previously said in a newspaper

opinion, that casinos are not viable in Tinian,”

agreed with Lee over the need to diversify

interview.

says Lee. “With a casino on Saipan, why would

attractions to lure more tourists and casino

Rota also issued its own gaming license which

anyone want to go to Tinian? Tinian is a dream

aficionados.

saw a small casino open and shut after just

long gone.”

Dela Cruz said; “In order to make the casino

three months. Rota has yet to revive its casino

The problem is a lack of a critical mass of

industry successful on Tinian, a lot of amenities

operation.

attractions in and on the island to draw in a

have to be in place.”

Meanwhile, as the Northern Marianas continue

reasonable volume to ensure success, as well

He acknowledged that transportation

to vet the two applicants for an exclusive casino

as difficulties in access from Saipan.

remains the biggest challenge and the

license, another South Pacific destination is

Saipan is the second-largest island in the

Tinian leadership is looking to the central

opening a casino operation soon.

Marianas chain after Guam, with 44.55 square

government for support.

According to the Fiji Sun, construction of a $290

miles in land area followed by Tinian with 39

“Sad to say, things are moving very slow,”

million casino is underway on Denaru Island.

square miles.

said Dela Cruz pertaining to the government’s

A single-storey casino building will rise on

Based on the 2010 Census, of the total Northern

action in resolving the transportation issue.

17-acres of land.

Marianas population of 53,883, about 48,220 were

He also said the future of the casino industry

Its developer, One Hundred Sands Limited, is

on Saipan, 3,316 on Tinian and 2,527 on Rota.

on the island will also depend on government

upbeat that following the completion of the

Tinian’s population, moreover, is concentrated

support. “Direct transportation is a problem and

geo-tech work, the project is back on track.

at the southern end as the U.S. military leases

until such time that this remains unresolved,

The casino operation in Fiji touts 400-500 in

two-thirds, or 15,353 acres of the island. Major

it is going to hurt the industry.”

employment opportunities. l Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


AUSTRALASIA

8

AUSTRALIA Billionaire James Packer, chairman of Crown Resorts, wants the Australian government to simplify visa rules for Chinese visitors as the country’s casinos face mounting competition from around Asia to attract mainland high rollers.

Spending billions to lure China jackpot

P

acker recently said it’s harder for

hit A$1.9 billion by 2020, a CAGR of 7 percent.

Australia to bring in Chinese visitors

It says its forecasts are relatively cautious

because they have to apply in English

because of growing competition from other

and on paper forms rather than online.

regional markets.

CASINO GAMING REVENUE Y13

$3.5b

His comments come as the company pushes

Despite predicting low investor returns from

ahead with a major new multi-billion dollar

the Barangaroo casino, Citi still says the project

casino in Barangaroo, Sydney, which is expected

has among the best potential to draw in the high

to be heavily reliant on VIPs for its success when

rollers, despite competition from the existing

it opens in 2019.

Star casino. The other casinos likely to be able

In fact, casinos across Australia and New

to attract VIPs are the Treasury in Brisbane and

Zealand are spending $4.3 billion to upgrade

Jupiters Gold Coast, the report said.

their facilities with their eyes set firmly on the

Part of the optimism over Brisbane is the

prize of luring the China dollar, according to a

Queensland government’s decision to open the

recent report from Citibank.

market to grant three more licenses to attract

RACING $9.2b

Citi analyst Michael Goltsman predicts that,

investment in luxury integrated resorts. While

of all the new casino projects, the Barangaroo

the move creates more competition, it also

GAMING (INCLUDING

site may have the lowest yields for investors,

helps to create a hub.

despite projections for an overall gain in Sydney’s

Twelve companies, including incumbent Echo

gaming revenues.

Entertainment, Crown, Lend Lease, China’s

This is partly down to the casino’s heavy focus

Greenland Holdings and SkyCity Entertainment

on the high-roller business. Although they

have paid $100,000 to lodge a formal expression

spend more, they are not a low-cost market

of interest in bidding for a casino license in

like poker machines and can have a slimmer

Queensland.

profit margin overall.

Six consortiums were interested in a project in

“We estimate Crown Sydney will be the lowest

Brisbane with six looking elsewhere. China-

margin casino in Australia with an earnings before

Australia Entrepreneurs Consortium wants a

interest, tax, depreciation and amortization

casino at Airlie Beach, Fullshare International

(EBITDA) margin of 11.8 percent,” said Goltsman

is looking south of Proserpine, and GKI Resort

in the report.

is interested in Great Keppel Island. A short-

In a further bid to raise the image of Sydney

list of bidders will be selected by the middle of

in China, Crown recently announced plans

the year before detailed proposals are lodged

to sponsor the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

in late 2014.

which will kick off its third China tour later

Hong Kong businessman Tony Fung is also

this year and will play at the National Centre

looking at developing an AU$8 billion venture

for Performing Arts in Beijing.

outside resort town Cairns, which is bordered by

Australia and New Zealand currently have just

the Great Barrier Reef. The “Macau-style” mega

4 percent of the VIP market, though Citi said

resort will cater mainly to holidaying Chinese

revenue from the segment has grown from

and there are already local worries that the

A$321 million in 2005 to A$1.2 billion in the

bulk of employees will be sourced from China

last year, a compound average growth rate of

and surrounds with relatively few prospects

18 percent. The bank forecasts VIP revenue will

for Australians, unless they speak Chinese. l

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

Y14E

$3.6b

Y15E

$3.7b (source CIMB)

SPORTS BETTING$3.9b

Y11/12

POKIES) $151.5b (Source: Queensland Treasury)

Australia online sports betting and gambling has been growing by over 30 percent annually, while the growth of the total gambling market does not exceed 5 percent, Germanybased yStats says. Ladbrokes bought bookmaker Betstar for 12.4 million GBP ($20.7 million), to accelerate the growth of its Australian business. Betstar has approximately 40,000 registered customers and in the year to 31 March 2014, generated gross win of A$12.9 million on A$214 million amounts staked.


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NORTH ASIA

10

RUSSIA

Gambling in Crimea’s Black Sea

GGR Y08 $7.8b

Illegal market GGRE $15b Primorye Y22E $5.2b Azov $300m

In an attempt to boost the economy in the newly annexed region President Vladimir Putin has announced ambitious plans to legalize gambling in Crimea, creating the country’s fifth gaming zone.

A

Russia is cracking down on illegal gambling and has blocked dozens of sites including well-known names such as PokerStars, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Unibet.

cting Crimean Governor Sergey

its doors in the final quarter of 2014. At the end

those were Ukrainians, in large part because

Aksenov told Russian news agency

of April, Summit Ascent Holdings, a Hong Kong-

the peninsula’s only road and railroad links

Itar-Tass that casinos would not be

listed company led by billionaire Lawrence Ho,

are to mainland Ukraine.

scattered across the peninsula, but

obtained majority control of the zone’s major

Considering the deteriorating situation in Ukraine,

are likely to be concentrated all in one place,

casino project. Summit Ascent will pay $20.2

the state of its economy and negative attitudes

occupying a territory of about 100 hectares.

million for an additional 14 percent stake in the

towards Russia it is unlikely that Ukrainians

On 23 April, Crimean Deputy Prime Minister

project held by Oleg Drozdov, a businessman

will continue holidaying there.

Rustam Temirgaliyev said that the Crimean

who has been detained in a probe unrelated

Authorities say Russian investors will eagerly

authorities had already attracted nearly $1.5

to the gambling industry, thus increasing its

invest in Crimea if Western businessmen avoid

billion in private investment.

stake to 60 percent. Melco International, Ho’s

the project for political reasons. However, it

Russia’s Regional Development Ministry estimated

main Hong Kong-listed holding company, also

won’t be easy even for local Russian tourists

that creating an entertainment-tourism cluster

owns a 5 percent stake.

to get to Crimea, because as of now they first

in Crimea would bring in an additional 600,000

The opening of the “Siberian Coin” gambling

need to arrive in Anapa and then take a ferry

tourists a year to the peninsula and add $28

zone in the Altai Krai has been postponed so

to Crimean ports.

million to the state’s coffers. But it also said

many times, that even the latest announcement

Muscovites can travel there by air at a reduced

it’s likely to be at least five years before revenue

saying it will start operating at the beginning

price following a special order from Putin.

is generated.

of summer seems doubtful.

There are 825 hotels in Crimea, including

Russia’s Finance Ministry was more sceptical

Meanwhile, the remaining gambling zone in

18 five-star hotels, over 40 - four-star and

about the creation of a gambling zone in Crimea,

Kaliningrad, situated close to the local airport,

180 - three-star, but most of the hotels have

saying that the three existing zones “almost do

was recently extended by 100 hectares despite

fallen into disrepair and are unlikely to attract

not function,” apart from Azov City, situated

the fact that the initial casino project there has

wealthy gamblers.

in the coastal area east of Crimea.

long been at a standstill.

The other main problem, assuming that political

There are only three casinos operating in Azov

However, Crimea does have advantages over

tensions ease, is the lack of spending power

City, with overall revenues of $300 million. Each

these zones. Until Ukraine banned gambling

in the local market, meaning casinos will be

casino gets about 120,000 visitors annually.

in 2009, it had some 283 gambling houses

dependent on tourism revenue.

The second phase is now being built in Anapa,

scattered across the Peninsula.

Meanwhile, Putin, a fierce opponent to casinos,

which is within 250 miles from Crimea and about

It also has an established history with tourism.

only recently ruled out plans for gambling in

300 miles away from the first phase, where the

In 2013 about 6 million visitors went on vacation

neighbouring Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter

existing casinos are located.

to the peninsula, according to the Russian

Olympics, saying that it is not a place only

Another Russian gambling zone in the eastern

Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

for those “who can afford losing hundreds of

Russian city of Vladivostok is expected to open

The problem is that more than 70 percent of

thousands of dollars in a casino.” l

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


NORTH ASIA

11

SOUTH KOREA

Lippo/ Caesars project presses regulatory changes

I

t’s the first casino license to be awarded

In contrast, a separate application from Okada

to a foreign corporation and the first

Holding’s Universal Entertainment was asked

instance of an award through the “pre-

to wait until South Korea’s Special Act on the

approval regulatory process.”

Free Economic Zones was amended before

Foreign corporations have been eyeing South

applying for a second time.

Korea’s casino market with interest, with Genting

The act states that international corporations can

Singapore recently teaming up with Chinese

apply for a foreigners-only casino license after

property firm Landing International to build

investing $500 million. However, in September

a $2.2 billion resort on the southern island of

2012, the ordinance was amended by the Lee

Jeju. Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, Melco

Myung-Bak Administration to introduce an

Crown and MGM Resorts have also previously

initial approval process to boost investment

expressed an interest in the country.

in the free economic zones.

The market is seen as having considerable

Afterwards, foreign companies were able to

potential if it can capture a share of the

receive a license by offering $50 million up

ballooning outbound China tourism market.

front with the rest having to be made within

Its geographical proximity to northern China

four years of receiving the pre-approval.

makes it an obvious destination.

This “apply to receive” regulation also did not

Combined revenue at South Korea’s 17 casinos

restrict the number of licenses as is often the

was 2.46 trillion won ($2.3 billion) in 2012, the

case in a bidding system.

latest available data show, and they attracted

With the inauguration of President Park Geun-

5.4 million bettors. That figure likely rose to

Hye, however, the process came under criticism.

$2.5 billion in 2013, according to CLSA and

Some lawmakers and the Ministry of Culture,

other estimates.

Sports & Tourism expressed concern about

South Korea has plans to attract 10 million

the risks of capital outflow (‘hit and run’) and

Chinese visitors a year by 2020, compared with

the lack of control on the number of licenses.

4.3 million last year, an increase of 53 percent

Consequently, the foundational law of the

from 2012, according to data from Korea Tourism

regulation, the Special Act on Free Economic

Organization. Chinese visitors made up 36

Zones, was finally put up for amendment in

percent of foreign visitors to Korea in 2013.

the National Assembly last year so that initial

However, despite the optimism, several analysts

approvals could be permitted as bidding-only.

and existing Korean operators have warned

Additional licenses could be granted under

that the Lippo/Caesar project could saturate

the pre-approval system, but this may not

the foreign casino market of the greater Seoul

be easy once the initial approvals have to be

area since Incheon is only one hour’s driving

given as part of a bid.

distance from the heart of the capital.

Industry experts say there is a general sense

For Lippo/Caesars, it was a case of second

the new process won’t be so easy for foreign

time lucky with its license application and

bidders and there is no clarity on how the

analysts say it may have benefited from its

government will determine the total number

close ties with the city-owned Incheon City

per area.

Development Corp., which is heavily invested

The new regulation is likely to be put before

in the consortium’s Midan City project.

the National Assembly as early as June. l

The Lippo Group/Caesars Entertainment consortium appears to have stolen a march on rivals, gaining preliminary approval for an $805 million foreigner-only resort on Yeongjong island before legal changes that may make it more difficult to secure a permit.

GROSS GAMING REVENUE

$2.8b

$2.7b $2.7b

Y13

Y14E

$2.7b

Y15E

Y16E

(GGR source: CIMB)

10M CHINA VISITOR TARGET

2020

+53%

The government expects the Lippo/Caesars project to add more than $854 million in tourism income and create more than 8,000 jobs during construction between 2014 and 2018. Genting’s $2.2 billion integrated resort will occupy about 2.3 million square metres of land on Jeju and will consist of hotels, a theme park, a retail mall, gaming and other leisure and entertainment facilities, as well as residential apartments & villas

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


NORTH ASIA

12

JAPAN

Deadline looms for casino bill As the deadline looms for Japan to legalize its gambling bill, international operators have been stepping up their efforts to position themselves to win licenses in what is expected to be the world’s second-largest gambling market.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

T

he Japanese diet is expected to pass the

first casino to open, growing to $18.4 billion by

bill by the end of the current session of

2030. It expects three casinos to open initially

parliament in June, although there is

and at least two further complexes after that.

some speculation there may be a delay.

The firm bases its estimates on a split of

Estimates for the potential size of the market

mass-market revenue of 452 billion yen and

vary widely, with the consensus in the opening

VIP revenues of about 430 billion yen.

year, most likely of 2020, standing at about $10

Telsey Advisory Group has said the market could

billion. However, growth is expected to accelerate

reach $23.8 billion, though a more reasonable

from there as more resorts open their doors.

estimate is probably around $16.5 billion.

CLSA sees two large-scale resorts opening in

The two main locations are seen as being Osaka

Tokyo and Osaka by 2021, followed by 10 smaller

and Tokyo.

ones from 2025, ultimately resulting in a $40

Osaka, keen to steal a march on larger rival

billion market by 2025.

Tokyo, has already named a site for a possible

UBS is slightly more conservative. In a recent

casino complex. Governor Ichiro Matsui and

detailed report, it said it estimates a market size

Mayor Toru Hashimoto said they will work to

of $9.4 billion in 2020, the year it expects the

create a resort complex on Yumeshima island


NORTH ASIA

13

smaller than those in Tokyo and Osaka, they can also use their attractiveness as tourist cities to differentiate their product from the big city

CASINOS GGR ESTIMATES

casinos/integrated resorts, and we think multiple

$40b

resort-type casinos may be developed in Japan in the future,” the UBS report said. The names of companies that have already expressed an interest include Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, Melco International, Genting

$18.4b

Singapore, MGM Resorts, Dynam Japan Holdings, Bloomberry Resorts, Boyd Gaming and H.I.S. U.S. heavyweights MGM and LVS have both

$9.4b

said they are prepared to spend as much as $10 billion on projects in the country. According to Chief Executive James Murren, MGM Resorts wants to own at least 51 percent

Y20E (UBS)

Y25E (CLSA)

Y30E (UBS)

in a partnership with Japanese companies. Las Vegas Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson said the company is prepared to invest up to $10 billion, or “whatever it

Y1 ESTIMATE (billions)

takes.” The company is opening offices and may consider working with a local partner. Meanwhile Melco Crown’s James Packer said his company has held preliminary talks with potential Japanese partners in a casino and the likely cost would be at least $5 billion. According to Melco executive Todd Nisbet, Japan is the “biggest single opportunity that

$7

FITCH

$16.5 $23.8 TELSEY $38.2 CURRENT GGR INCLUDING PACHINKO, LOTTERIES, RACING

we are looking at in terms of an international expansion and growth story, just because of the sophistication of the market, the appeal of the overall area.’’ He added the group envisages a resort that would be even more elaborate than its Macau City of Dreams project. Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith told a fourthdistrict in the city’s Konohana Ward in the

quarter conference call that the company is

Osaka Bay area.

interested in potential opportunities in Japan

“We plan to make the area the ‘Venice of the

and that he and a development executive had

Orient,’ ” Hashimoto said recently. “We will

recently visited the country to view the market.

improve the area with a highly value-added

Dynam Japan Holdings has confirmed it’s

resort.”

interested, but as part of a mid-to-long-term

UBS says both cities have advantages in that

strategy and it has yet to identify a partner,

they have a location ready for development, a

while the Philippines’ Bloomberry Resorts is

high density local population and additional

eyeing the market for its Solaire brand.

tourism attractions. They also have good

Any expansion would be after the completion

transport infrastructure. Unlike many locations

of the development of Solaire in Manila, which

across Asia, Japan is not expected to ban access

opened its doors last year.

to casinos for locals.

UBS said its top stock picks for Japan are Las

Outlying cities such as Okinawa and Hokkaido

Vegas Sands Corp., Melco Crown Entertainment,

have also expressed an interest in hosting casinos.

Genting Singapore, Sega Sammy HD, Kajima,

“Although their facilities would probably be

Japan Airlines and H.I.S.. l

Current gaming market in Japan is huge, but caters for a low to middle-range clientele, giving casinos the opportunity to tap foreigners, wealthy Japanese, business people, tourists, and other customer segments and achieve unique growth, UBS says. About 73 percent of pachinko players visit halls at least once a month and 71 percent of pachislot players visit parlors, according to Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


Japan Gaming Congress 14-16 May 2014 – Tokyo Do not miss out on the opportunity to engage with key influencers shaping the Japanese casino market. Join members of the Government, key industry leaders and distinguished local and international market representatives as they discuss the latest developments for what analysts agree to be a potential $10bn market.

Speakers confirmed to date include: • Michael Leven, President and Chief Operating Officer, Las Vegas Sands • Toru Mihara, Director, The Institute of Amusement Industry Studies, Osaka University of Commerce • David Green, Director, NewPage Consulting • Takayoshi Koike, Director, Capital&Innovation Inc • Dr Glenn McCartney, Assistant Professor for Gaming and Hospitality, University of Macau • Kazuaki Sasaki, Assistant Professor, Nihon University College of Economics • Dr. Day-Yang Liu, Professor, Graduate Institute of Finance at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology

For more information and to register your interest, please visit:

www.japangamingcongress.com

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GREATER CHINA

15

CHINA

Player returns rising as China targets black market funds China’s illegal lottery market may be more than 10 times the size of the giant $51 billion official lottery, prompting repeated changes in regulations as the central government seeks to recapture black market funds, experts say

T

he central government has added new

cards and online Bingo.

high frequency game forms, increased

These new game forms are expected to open up

frequency of play of existing games

opportunities for external content providers,

and repeatedly changed rules on the

experts say.

Y13 GROSS GAMING REVENUE Lottery sales $51.1b

+18.3%

Welfare $29b

+16.9%

Sports $21.9b

+20.2%

China Vanguard Group said it reached an accord to supply a selfservices lottery to Gansu province’s Sports Lottery Management Centre. The accord is based on a revenue sharing agreement based on a percentage of sales. China Vanguard will provide self-service terminals for speciality shops and other channels such as shopping centres and airports.

percentage return to player to lure players back

The criteria for mobile and online retail licenses

to the official market.

have already been published but are likely to

The Sports Lottery has increased the return

change. It is likely that the government will

percentage from 53 percent to 59 percent since

adopt a “central Management System” to

2008, while the Welfare Video Lottery Terminal’s

which all retailers will need to connect. This

(VLT) return is as much as 65 percent.

will pose a number of technical challenges to

That said, penetration and participation rates

market entrants.

in China’s two official lotteries remain the

Going forward, the focus of both Lotteries

lowest in the Asian region providing massive

is likely to be on expansion of the current

growth opportunities.

approved products through the use of mobile

The introduction of new types of game, as well

and online technologies.

as opening up the market to allow online and

Also, the percentage return to player will continue

mobile products, is expected to further spur

to improve as the government continues its

growth and attract a wider client base. The

efforts to crack down on illegal gambling. The

government is expected to lift a moratorium

law already allows for a 75 percent return to

of online sales later this year once the impact

player for some game forms.

of mobile is better understood.

The Sports Lottery has experienced substantial

The selling of traditional products via mobile

growth through its adoption of new Virtual

is under trial.

Sports High frequency games forms. AGtech

While other operators have maintained mobile

has lead this adoption in Hunan with the Car

operations they fall into the “grey” market and

Racing Game and recently with the introduction

are operated under the auspices of the China

may be in jeopardy of being precluded from

of Virtual Soccer in Jiangsu province.

Online Welfare Lottery.

gaining formal licenses when the moratorium

Attempts have been made to adopt VLT’s,

The VLT’s are enjoying some of the highest

is lifted.

with proposals put forward from a number of

growth rates with an increase of 35 percent in

The mobile market will only be opened to

provinces, but internal pressure from the Welfare

turnover from 2012 to 2013 and the Welfare

currently approved products. It is expected that

Lottery which views this as their domain has

lottery is actively looking to grow this sector.

once the retail licenses are issued there will be

hampered adoption.

China LotSynergy is currently the sole supplier

pressure to adopt new advanced game forms

Currently there are approximately 30,000 VLT

of terminals and management operations to the

to encourage growth, such as high frequency,

terminals running seven centrally determined

Beijing Lottery Online Technology Co. Ltd with

remote number generated, electronic scratch

outcome Non Casino style games. The VLT’s

a ten-year license due for renewal in 2015. l

China LotSynergy launched a mobile lottery business with Mingsheng Bank to provide lottery purchasing services for the banks’ customers. At the end of 2013, Minsheng Bank had a mobile banking client base of over five million. The bank’s mobile transactions exceeded RMB1 trillion in 2013.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


GREATER CHINA

16

MACAU

Cotai 2.0 drives next expansion phase Macau, which overtook the Las Vegas strip to become the world’s biggest gambling hub in 2006, is looking forward to the next stage in its development as multi-billion dollar projects gear up to open on reclaimed land known as Cotai 2.0

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

T

o date, growth in Macau’s $45.2 billion

staying visitors, similar to a Las Vegas-style

gambling industry has been built on

entertainment city, Melo said.

resorts located on a narrow strip of

Macau had record gross gambling revenue in

land known as the Macau Peninsula

2013, with growth of almost 19 percent over

and an area of development named Cotai 1.

2012. The pace of growth has since slowed on

Located between Taipa and Coloane islands,

the back of concern about China’s economic

Cotai is a piece of reclaimed land of 5.2 square

slowdown, though analysts remain bullish.

kilometers. By the end of 2017, all six of Macau’s

A recent report by Nomura Securities predicted

gaming concessionaires will have completed

that Macau’s casino revenues could double in

projects on the strip.

the next five years to $80 billion.

The development of these luxury resorts is

Cotai overtook the Macau Peninsula as the

expected to ease capacity constraints in the

most popular gaming destination in Macau in

casino industry in Macau, which may see a

2013. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation

slowdown in growth until the new properties

and amortization (EBITDA) on the strip in the

in Cotai begin to come online in mid-2015.

first half of 2013 were HKD$17.25 billion ($2.2

“Cotai 2.0 will basically bring a new wave of

billion), representing a 54.2 percent of share of

gaming areas which will always constitute the

the market, compared to HK$14.56 billion, or

engine for further developments,” Luis Mesquita

42.9 percent for the Macau Peninsula, according

de Melo, Partner of MdME Lawyers said.

to South China Research.

The new resorts will cater for a different profile

"Cotai has played a critical role in driving

of player, the so-called “mass premium player,”

gaming revenue growth since 2007. In addition

bringing about a more diversified entertainment

to adding much needed gaming capacity it

industry able to attract families and longer

greatly expanded the room inventory. More


GREATER CHINA

GROSS GAMING REVENUE $90b

$45.2b +18.6%

$48.8b

Y13

Y14E

$56.9b

Y15E

Y20E

MARKET SHARE

SJM HOLDINGS (880:HK) 24% GALAXY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP (27.HK) 20% SANDS CHINA (1928:HK) 23% MELCO CROWN ENTERTAINMENT (6883.HK) 13% WYNN MACAU (1128:HK) 12% MGM MACAU (2282:HK) 9%

importantly, it helped reposition Macau as a

growth,” Edward Tracy, President and Chief

true international gaming and entertainment

Executive Officer of Sands China Ltd said.

destination,” said Andrew Klebanow, principal

Tracy says the integrated resort model that Sands

at Gaming Market Advisors.

China brought to Macau has helped raise the

“In terms of short-term growth Gaming Market

critical mass of a diversified tourism product,

Advisors expects to see a reasonable annual

attracting increased and lengthier visits.

growth rate of 11 percent to 15 percent. After

Melco Crown followed Sands China, opening

the next phase of development is complete

the City of Dreams in 2009, while Galaxy

and Cotai 2 is fully operational it would not

Entertainment’s Galaxy Macau opened to the

surprise us to see gaming revenue pass $90

public in 2011. Sands China’s Sands Cotai Central

billion by 2021. Ultimately Macau will be a

was the latest addition in 2012.

$100 billion market.”

All three have ambitious expansion plans.

U.S. casino giant Las Vegas Sands was the first to

Sands China plans to build a Paris-themed casino

open on Cotai in 2007. That resort, The Venetian

resort with approximately 3,000 rooms, 2,500

Macao, is a Venice-themed property featuring

table slots and 450 table games. The resort,

replicas of Venice landmarks costing some

The Parisian Macao, requires an investment

$2.4 billion. The resort attracted more than 23

of $2.7 billion. There will even be a replica of

million visitors and generated earnings before

the Eiffel Tower. The project is expected to

interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and

open in late 2015.

rental costs (EBITDAR) of nearly MOP4 billion

Melco Crown plans to invest $1.7 billion to open

the following year.

a film-themed casino resort, Macao Studio City,

“Since the liberalization of the gaming industry

with 1,600 rooms, 500 table games and 1,500

in Macao, Sands China has seen very significant

gaming machines in mid-2015.

(as of end of Y14 APR)

Recent scandals affecting Macau’s junket operators are likely to lead to a further slowdown in VIP gross gambling revenue growth, analysts say. Macau’s junket operators have come under increased scrutiny following recent reports that one of the principals of the Kimren junket may have absconded with about HK$8 to $10 billion, while another recent report said the wife of one of the owners of Neptune Group was detained in Hong Kong with liquid asset to the amount of HK$200 million.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

17


GREATER CHINA

18

Galaxy Entertainment will double the space

Guangdong province will also provide further

growth if it fills the rooms. The company’s

at Galaxy Macau and add 1,350 rooms, up to

opportunities for growth and the Hengqin New

new developments include the $3 billion The

500 table games, and more than 1,000 gaming

Area is a prime example.

Parisian that is scheduled to come online in

machines. The proposed investment for its

Hengqin, an island roughly three times the

2015.

phase 2 would be around $2.5 billion, with the

size of Macau, has been designated as a special

Sands China first quarter revenue jumped

completion date set for mid-2015.

economic zone. It’s located to the south of Zhuhai

34.7 percent to $2.72 billion, with adjusted

Meanwhile, MGM China, Wynn Macau and

City and is connected to Macau by a bridge.

property EBITDA up 49.8 percent to $938.1

SJM Holdings have also announced major

The island offers an alternative and more

million.

investments for Cotai.

economic option for accommodation to Macau

MGM China began construction on its Cotai

itself, thus appealing to the rapidly growing

project last year and said that it has decided

mass market sector of the gambling industry.

MELCO CROWN (6883.HK) has

to increase the “scope and complexity of our

The Chimelong International Ocean Resort, the

three casinos and a 13 percent market share.

entertainment offerings.” As a result it has

first resort in Hengqin, was opened on January

Melco recently awarded France’s Bouygues

upped the project cost to $2.9 billion from

18 and reported about 500,000 visitors from

a $488 million contract to build a six-star

$2.6 billion.

January 28 to February 6.

hotel. The 39-floor building will be part

The project was slated to have 1,600 hotel

of the City of Dreams and will have 783

rooms, 2,500 slots, and up to 500 gaming tables.

bedrooms, a casino, restaurants, conference

Non-gaming offerings will occupy more than

room and a sky pool. The company is also

85 percent of the gross floor area. The project

SJM HOLDINGS (880:HK) holds

is anticipated to open in early 2016.

the biggest market share of 24 percent as of

project, scheduled for mid 2015.

In January, Wynn Macau revealed its Cotai

April with 20 casinos. Its $3.2 billion Palazzo

Fourth-quarter net revenue rose 27 percent

project, Wynn Palace, which is expected to

Versace development is scheduled to come

to $1.4 billion, boosted by mass market.

open in the first half of 2016. It will include a

online in 2017. The company has indicated it

Adjusted EBITDA rose 49 percent to $369

1,700-room hotel, performance lake, meeting

may be interested in opportunities in Japan.

million.

space, spa and other non-gaming offerings.

Gaming revenue rose 10 percent in 2013 to

SJM Holdings showcased its Lisboa Palace project

HK$85.95 billion, with adjusted EBITDA up 14

in February. The project is scheduled to open in

percent to $8.67 billion.

investing $2.9 billion in its Studio City

WYNN MACAU (1128:HK) has a 12 percent market share and currently

2017. It will provide up to 700 gaming tables, over

GALAXY GROUP (27.HK) has a

has one casino. Its $4 billion Wynn Palace

facilities including a grand wedding pavilion and a multi-purpose theatre.

20 percent market share with six casinos.

in the first half of 2016, with approximately

Compared to the Macau Peninsula, Cotai

The company is investing $2.5 billion

2,000 rooms and 500 table games.

provides more space for operators to develop

in the second phase of its Galaxy Macau

Wynn Resorts Q1 adjusted income was

their non-gaming business, an element that is

development, which is scheduled to come

$236.7 million compared to $205.6 million

expected to broaden the appeal of Macau and

online in 2015. The expansion will nearly

a year ago. Net revenues were $1.51 billion,

further boost revenue.

double the capacity of the resort.

compared to $1.38 billion a year earlier.

For example, the 550,000-square-meter Galaxy

Fourth quarter group adjusted EBITDA

Revenue was boosted by a 14.2 percent

Macau in Cotai reported a 12 percent increase in

increased 41 percent year-on-year to $3.5

increase from Macau.

non-gaming revenue from the second quarter

billion. In 2013 total gaming revenue grew

of last year to the third quarter, while its

16 percent to $65.4 billion as mass revenue

119,841-square-meter sister resort StarWorld

increased 42 percent and VIP rose 9 percent.

1,200 slot machines and other entertainment

development is scheduled to come online

MGM CHINA (2282:HK) has a 9 percent market share. Company has one

Macau only reported a 3 percent increase.

SANDS CHINA (1928:HK) has

casino. Its new developments include the

of MICE space for conventions and meetings facilities and in February welcomed about 8,700

a market share of about 23 percent and

scheduled for completion mid 2016.

delegates to a Tupperware Brands Corporation

vies with SJM for the top slot with its four

Q1 revenue at MGM China climbed 26 percent

conference. It was the largest conference held

casinos. Analysts say the company has had

to $941 million, driven by a 45 percent

to date in the integrated resort city.

a lower room occupancy than rivals in Cotai,

gain from mass market and 12 percent VIP.

Macau’s increasing integration with China’s

meaning it has more potential for revenue

Company is adding mass market tables. l

Cotai also boasts more than 120,000 square metres

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

MGM Cotai, which is a $2.9 billion project


OPINION

19

Outlining renewal scenarios for the gaming concessions

I

n his most recent address to the Legislative

in case the Macau government cannot manage to

Assembly, the Macau SAR Chief Executive

decide on the casino gaming industry’s future, be

reiterated that 2015-2016 is “an appropriate

it because it is not “authorized” to do so or is not

time” to discuss the casino gaming

capable to do it in a timely manner.

concessions renewal.

2. The Macau government revises the casino

For ease of reference, the casino gaming legal

gaming legal framework, in particular to allow for

framework in force foresees a concession system.

the renewal of the existing concessions (with a

In short, the exploitation of casino games of

shorter term) without opening a public tender to

chance is reserved to the Macau SAR and may be

that effect.

exercised by Macau-incorporated companies to

A shorter term to be imposed to the renewals (5

whom a casino gaming concession was granted

years?) seems inevitable and is in line with the

by means of a concession contract followed by a

Macau Gaming Law initial draft submitted to

public tender open to that effect. Casino gaming

the Legislative Assembly back in 2001. It seems

concessions are limited in number to a maximum

unthinkable that the current Chief Executive

of 3 and to a maximum term of 20 years. In case a

would have latitude to grant a new 20-year (or

casino gaming concession is granted for less than

similar) term in a moment in time where his

the maximum term, the Macau SAR may, up to 6

second term is about to end.

months prior to the concession expiration date,

This scenario serves to not tie up the next Chief

extend its term one or more times up to the said

Executive’s hands and, more importantly,

maximum term.

allows the Macau government a massive leeway

Moreover, once the maximum term is exceeded,

vis-à-vis casino gaming concessionaires/sub-

the Macau SAR may, exceptionally, and following

concessionaires, namely in what refers to the

a substantiated dispatch of the Chief Executive,

demand of more “non-gaming elements” to cope

extend the term one or more times up to a total

with the Central government directives towards

of 5 years.

economic diversification. As a former high-

What to expect then, knowing the current Chief

ranking official said once, gaming is no longer the

Executive is running for a new (and last) term in

bread and butter of Macau. It has for a while been

office (19 December 2014 to 18 December 2019)

its champagne and caviar!

and the first casino gaming concession (SJM’s) is

This scenario also presupposes the Gaming

due to expire in March 2020?

Commission created in 2010 will (finally) convene

There are two possible scenarios:

and, as per its competences given by law, deliver a

1. The Macau government, although initiating/

study on the gaming industry’s development and

concluding the study on the gaming industry’s

propose (precise) action guidelines.

development, does not revise the casino gaming

It should also not be forgotten that, whatever

legal framework, extends SJM concession for 2

decision the Macau government takes in regard

more years (in order to have all casino gaming

to the revision of the casino gaming legal

concessions expiring at the same time, i.e.

framework, it will always have to be presented,

2022) and leaves to the next Chief Executive the

assessed, discussed and negotiated with the

decision on the casino gaming industry’s future,

Legislative Assembly, who will hold the last say

who may, if needed, extend the casino gaming

on the subject.

concessions with an additional term up to a total

Finally, since each casino gaming sub-concession

* António Lobo Vilela is an AGB Advisor, Partner at LVT Lawyers and former legal

of 5 years, i.e. until 2027.

is “hanged” in the correspondent casino gaming

This scenario is plausible depending on who will

concession, and despite its autonomy, the

advisor to the Macau Gaming Commission.

be appointed Secretary for Economy and Finance

decision taken in relation to the concessions will

in December 2014 and is the scenario by default

automatically apply to them. l

António Lobo Vilela*

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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SOUTH ASIA

21

INDIA

Goa gambling proposals face opposition “permits” that authorize players to enter

Proposals to amend Goa’s gambling legislation have run into opposition from both pro and anti gambling campaigners.

designated areas where gaming is conducted. Players are unhappy, however, about any law that bans Goans from gambling. Delta Corp's Non-Executive Chairman Jaydev Mody said that it would be unfair to the Goans. "We have built world class facilities that can cater to family

Horse racing $250m

Sports betting $60bE

entertainment," he said. "It will be a pity that Goans will not be able to participate in them." While players like Delta say that they cater to visiting tourists, and therefore do not expect any impact on revenues, smaller players can

I

Lottery sales $12.5b

expect a rough patch ahead. The maximum

tems being considered in the latest assembly

betting limit in casinos is regulated at Rs10,000

session include the permission to transfer

($161); moreover the state’s lean tourist season

gaming licenses, a complete ban on local

begins in the summer in April and continues

residents from stepping into gaming areas

till the monsoons end in September.

of casinos in the state, and the appointment

While casinos were introduced to the state in

of a gaming commissioner. The appointment

the 1990s, the industry has witnessed rapid

will have taken more than a year.

growth only over the last few years. The state

The industry argues the ban on locals will be

now has 10 onshore casinos (Goa Nugget –

detrimental, while anti-gambling groups object

part of Advani Hotels and Resorts which shut

to the transfer of licenses.

operations in April last year – resumed business

The delay in appointing the commissioner was

on 18 February).

caused partly by technical details that needed

Live gaming, however, is permitted only at

ironing out. The idea was first put forward in

five offshore casinos, and Delta is the largest

an amendment in August 2012 to the Public

player with three gaming licenses. Casino

Gambling Act.

Pride, which runs one casino, is likely to soon

The appointment is expected to be a positive

officially own two.

for the industry. "It's like an ISO certification,"

The ruling BJP-led government has so far

said Shrinivas Nayak, Director, at Casino Pride.

ruled out giving any more gaming licenses. It

"It will have a positive impact on the credibility

vehemently opposed casinos before coming to

of the Indian gaming market."

power, and dithered over transfer of gaming

The new rules are also expected to define the

licenses later. State legislature does not permit

identity of a Goan – those settled in Goa, who

private transfers of licenses, but they can take

have bought houses in Goa, or non resident

place through a request to the government.

Indians from the state. Goa has a total population

Meanwhile, Delta Corp has launched its Daman

of 1.5 million but practically all gamers at Goa's

integrated resort project, called The Deltin. The

offshore casinos are Indians from other states.

176-room property is Delta’s biggest in India

The responsibility of ensuring that industry

to date. The company is proposing an in-house

players adhere to local rules will rest with

casino spread over 60,000 square feet and is in

the gaming commissioner. He will also issue

the process of getting a 5-star certification. l

KPMG:

POSSIBLE SPORTS BETTING TAX RATE

20% of profits

POTENTIAL TAX REVENUE

$2b - $3.1b

Delta Corp said it’s collating data to respond to queries from India’s Income Tax Authorities, which carried out search and seizure operations at company premises and those of certain officials. The clarification to the Bombay Stock Exchange followed media reports of alleged tax evasion. Bluesea Gaming expects India to take five years to regulate sports betting, but sees growing momentum for change. Founder Albert Climent estimates that 50 percent growth in Internet penetration in India will translate to 600 to 700 million Internet users in seven or eight years, creating a huge pool of potential players.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


SOUTH ASIA

22

NEPAL

Casino shutdown threatens Nepal tourism

Nepal’s government has shut down the country’s casinos for the first time in more than four decades of operation in a move expected to result in a major shakeout in the industry. The government ordered the closure after casinos failed to meet a deadline to comply with a new regulatory regime introduced last year that introduced a new fee structure.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

T

he country’s seven casinos in the capital

-- is also uncertain after an avalanche tragedy

Kathmandu owe the government 657.66

on Everest killed 16 guides.

million rupees ($10.8 million) in tax

Casinos are estimated to pull in about 150,000

and royalties and also have outstanding

foreign tourists annually, mostly Indians, who

debts to local hotels. The industry had called

contribute about 15 percent to the occupancy rate

for talks to reduce the new fee structure, but

at the five-star hotels in Kathmandu. Nepal’s

the government is standing firm.

casinos had already been suffering and losing

“The main issue is that of royalty. Casinos in

Indian tourists to casinos in Goa.

Nepal have been an established industry. Unless

The new rules which came into effect on

they clear their dues, we are not going to make

July 16, 2013, stipulated that casinos should

any compromise,” Ranjan Krishna Aryal, joint

have paid-up capital of at least 250 million

secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, told AGB.

rupees ($2.5 million), with the minimum set

“That the casinos have gotten away without

at 150 million rupees for mini-casinos. An

clearing their dues for years shows that they

annual license fee, to be paid to the tourism

have become domineering,” he said, adding

ministry, has been doubled to 40 million

the operators want to run their business as

rupees for casinos and 20 million rupees for

they did before regulations were introduced.

mini-casinos that is now payable in advance

The shutdown is likely to have a major impact

and not in arrears.

on tourism in Nepal, one of the country’s main

The government set a November deadline for

foreign exchange earners, at a time when

compliance and for companies to clear their

another key draw -- that of mountaineering

dues. That was then extended another three


SOUTH ASIA

23

TOURISM ARRIVALS

“The government is trying to extract the dues of old owners from the new ones, and this is the crux of the problem because the new owners are here to earn money not to settle dues from the period (that had) nothing to do with them.”

Y13 797,759

-0.7%

DIRECT TOURISM CONTRIBUTION Y13

$714.6M OR 3.9% OF TOTAL GDP

Y14E

$785.2M

Y24E

$1.2B OR 4.7% OF GDP

times to April amid continuing protests from

loss of 8 million rupees, while hotel bookings,

casino operators that the levies are too high

travel and business for restaurants and other

and risk putting them out of business.

recreational activities were also likely to be

The rules have already claimed three casualties.

hurt, damaging the tourism sector.

The Casino Pokhara Grande closed its doors

Rudra Pangeni, a Nepali journalist who covers

days after the rules came into effect, with the

casino business for the Kathmandu-based

higher fees cited as a contributing factor. Casino

Republica English daily, said ultimately the

Fulbari, Pokhara’s other casino, had closed its

standoff is likely to be solved by the government

business months earlier. Casino Shangri-La,

agreeing to reduce the doubled royalty rate,

which was taken over in 2010 by an affiliate

while other provisions will remain the same.

of Widetech (Malaysia) Bhd, shut down in

Tourism Ministry officials say the shut

August last year.

down may ultimately result in a healthy

“We haven’t tried to close the casinos. We have

consolidation for the industry.

tried to regulate it in the interest of our country

“What we can say for sure is that we have more

and the workers,” the Tourism Ministry’s

casinos than we require. It’s a small market

Acharya said. “But if the operators think that

and 10 casinos are more than enough for us.

they would get away with non-payment, they

So, naturally, some will shut down. In the end,

are wrong because we will take legal actions

I think there will be two to three casinos in

against them,” he said.

Nepal,” Aryal, the joint secretary at the Tourism

However, operators argue the rules are unfair

Ministry, said.

as many are new owners who are being asked

As well as the fee structure, casino operators

to take on the debts of prior owners.

have also objected to a provision in the new

tourism,” he said.

“In the past couple of years, most of these

rules that stipulated that mini-casinos must

Aryal told AGB his ministry didn’t allow a mini-

casinos have been taken over by new owners

be in four-star hotels and cannot be within 5

casino that proposed to operate in Janakpur, a

after the former operators failed to pay tax,”

kilometers of the country’s borders.

town believed to be the birthplace Hindu Goddess

said Kumar Shrestha, operations manager at

Nearly all of Nepal’s dozen mini-casinos, run by

Sita in southeastern Nepal on the border with

Casino Anna.

three different companies, appear to fall short

India, citing cultural and religious reasons.

“But the government is trying to extract the

of one or both standards as they have sprung

The shutdown has also infuriated the country’s

dues of old owners from the new ones, and

up in towns along the border with India with

nearly 8,000 casino workers.

this is the crux of the problem because the new

the goal of attracting cross-border tourists.

“The authorities should have collected the royalties

owners are here to earn money not to settle

Aryal, however, doesn’t consider it against

in time. Why did it take so long for them? This has

dues from the period (that had) nothing to do

the business.

directly impacted our lives because the operators

with them.”

“There are dozens of four-star hotels in Nepal.

may not pay us citing the closure,” Ram Khadka,

Shrestha also pointed out that the closure was

So, we have allowed opening mini-casinos to

president of a workers’ union at Casino Mahjong

costing Nepal’s casinos an estimated daily

operate in tourist destinations to promote

at Soaltee Hotel in Kathmandu, told AGB. l

(Source: WTTC)

Ranjan Krishna Aryal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Tourism sees two to three casinos in Nepal following a shakeout triggered by new rules, compared with the current seven. Kumar Shrestha, operations manager at Casino Anna says closure is costing the industry 8 million rupees daily.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


SOUTH ASIA

24

SRI LANKA

Parliament shuts door

S

ri Lanka has refused to allow casinos at three luxury resorts, seemingly shutting the door on the gambling prospects in what was seen as a highly

promising market. Developers, including Australian tycoon James Packer, had planned investments worth $1.3

end casinos could boost tourist arrivals to 2.5

billion in mega resorts, with the intention of

million annually by 2016 from 1.27 million tourists

opening casinos. Although the government has

last year and double revenue to $1.7 billion.

said the projects can go ahead, it’s not clear if

Although ruling out casinos, the government

they have the same appeal for the developers

did agree to allow the projects to retain the

without the potential to draw gambling dollars.

generous tax concessions that had earlier

The plan to legalize casinos ran into fierce

been promised.

opposition from conservative sectors of the

The resort will be exempt from income tax for

community, with opponents claiming that they

the first ten years of operation after it begins

would lead to prostitution.

making a profit, or three years after being in

“We will not allow casinos. That we say very

operation, whichever is sooner and thereafter

clearly,” Rajapakse told parliament. “They (the

will enjoy a further 12 years at a much reduced

promoters) asked, we did not allow, nor will we

tax rate.

allow (in the future),” Economic Development

The other projects affected by the decision are

Minister Basil Rajapakse said.

local casino operator Dhammika Perera’s $350

James Packer had touted the South Asian

million integrated resort on 2.5 acres of land in

island as a possible tourist mecca, driven

Colombo’s new entertainment zone. The resort,

mainly by potential to attract visitors from

dubbed Queensbury, involves a 40-storey resort,

its giant neighbour India, where gambling is

shopping mall and convention centre down D

mostly illegal. Proximity to India has spurred

R Wijewardene Mawatha.

comparisons to Macau, which is similarly

While John Keells Holdings plans to build a

exposed to China’s wealth.

$820 million integrated resort and casino down

India’s middle-class is growing rapidly and may

Glennie Street in Colombo.

swell to 580 million by 2025, while about 50

Prior to the government’s decision, there had

million will travel overseas by 2020, compared

been some speculation that operators may try

to just 4 million in 2000, Packer has said.

to circumvent a ban on new licenses by teaming

Packer’s proposed resort would contain about

up with local operators to piggy back on existing

400 rooms, as well as high-end shopping malls,

permits. At the time of going to press, neither

residences and office space. The government

Packer, nor the other investors had commented

earlier said the project was of strategic importance

on their plans.

and will help attract foreign exchange and

Gambling is not illegal in Sri Lanka and the

provide about 2,600 jobs.

capital has several small-scale operations, but

Sri Lankan officials have said they hoped high-

none on the scale of the three luxury resorts. l

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

GAMING TAX REVENUE $2.19m $2.21m

Y11 Y12

TOURISM TARGET $2.5m

Y16

“They (the promoters) asked, we did not allow, nor will we allow (in the future),” Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse said in reference to the casino ban. Casino decision puts $1.3 billion worth of investments in three mega-resorts at risk, including a luxury resort project from Crown Resort’s James Packer.


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INDOCHINA

26

LAOS

Betting on World Cup fever TOURISM ARRIVALS Y13 Y14E

The Lao Government is seeking a slice of the country’s sports betting pie, setting up a new online football lottery ahead of the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil, though industry sources question how successful it may be amid the country’s other gambling options.

$3.9m

legal and punters from neighbouring countries where gambling is banned are helping to drive revenues. Laos has three main casinos located in border areas which draw tourism traffic from neighbouring countries. Last year 3,779,490 million tourists went to Laos, according to the Vientiane Times. About 1.9 million visitors came from Thailand, representing the largest group. This year, the country expects 3.9 million visitors.

$3.77m

Shaun McCamley, managing partner at Euro

Philippine company Solar Entertainment Corp plans development projects worth $50 million in the country’s Champassak province, including the Khonphapheng Resort, a golf club and casino project in Khong district and a survey for a fourstar hotel at the Vangtao border checkpoint.

It’s only to be in Vientiane, so it’s not in

Pacific Asia Consulting, said the industry is

the other cities,” Tim Shepherd, chief

generally in “good shape”, especially the

operating officer of casino operations

electronic gaming parlour near the Lao-Thai

company, Silver Heritage Ltd told AGB.

Friendship Bridge between Vientiane province

Local lottery agents - mostly Lao women - sell

and Nong Khai province, which has been a major

paper lotteries on the street. There is also an

draw for Thai punters. The parlour, called St

online digital lottery under the Insee Trading

Club, “has no table games, it’s purely electronic

Company, established in July 2003, which offers

gaming machines, slot machines and that’s a

punters the chance to bet based on two, three

significant business,” he said.

and five-digit lotteries.

The Dansavanh casino, which caters only to

Lao casinos are largely controlled by Chinese-

However, sources said the new lottery will be

foreign players, is “continuing to work as

backed companies, such as the one located in the

competing with other options for sports betting

normal. There’s no government issues there

tax-free special economic zone in Boten to the far

that have been running for several years. There

with them and the business is continuing to tick

north, which has since closed amid allegations

have been illegal bookmaking operations in

along - and they have table games,” he said.

of criminal activity, including links with money

Laos operating out of Vientiane for many years

The Savan Vegas Casino in Savannakhet in

laundering, murder, fraud, kidnapping, drugs,

and it is these revenues that the government

the province bordering the Thai province of

human trafficking and the sex trade.

is trying to formalize.

Mukdahen to the south, is also an attraction for

A Lao Deputy Minister, Somsavat Lengsavad,

Lao-based sources told AGB that the new

foreign tourists. The casino has been caught up

in September last year was reported as saying

lottery appears to be under the control of senior

in a dispute with the government over unpaid

that the country would no longer issue casino

members of the Communist Party.

taxes but is still operating as management works

concessions in special economic zones. In particular

The new state football lottery is being launched

through the issues. Senior management at the

he criticized Boten casino’s “contribution”

against a backdrop of a relatively healthy

casino told McCamley they remained confident

amid reports of the issues of criminal gangs

gambling industry in the country. Casinos are

over resolving their problems.

operating there. l

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

Laos has three main casinos located in border areas which draw tourism traffic from neighbouring countries. Last year 3,779,490 million tourists went to Laos.


INDOCHINA

27

VIETNAM

Revenue lure seen tipping locals debate

GROSS GAMING REVENUE

$275m

Donaco appears to be mounting in Vietnam’s casino

Vietnam operators remain quietly confident that sooner or later the government will allow locals into the country’s casinos as it seeks to regain the estimated $800 million that Vietnamese spend on overseas gambling each year.

stalled projects finally moving ahead. In fact, local officials were quoted as complaining about the “excess” interest in the sector. Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said recently he has received proposals to develop 10 casino projects in 10 different provinces. “I am now under a hard pressure that makes me too tired.” he said. Vietnam currently has seven licensed foreigneronly casinos and allows a limited number of

There are also Electronic Gaming Clubs in Da

Vietnamese nationals amid concern about the “social” consequences. However, experts said there still seems to be considerable support for some kind of relaxation of the rules and intensive behind the scenes lobbying appears to be continuing. Some prominent politicians have openly spoken in favour of such a move. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, a Deputy Chair of the National Assembly Standing Committee recently warned that if the government prohibits Vietnamese from gambling here, they will simply go to Cambodia, China, Hong Kong or Singapore for the purpose. “We should think carefully about whether to allow Vietnamese to enter casinos, and if the answer is ‘yes’, we need to set up very strict regulations to tighten control over the gambling activities,” Ngan was quoted as saying in VietNamNet Bridge. “Vietnamese still cross the border gates everyday to gamble. Why shouldn’t we allow them to play right in Vietnam?” Uong Chu Luu, another Deputy Chair was also cited as saying. The consensus view is that the government may consider a pilot project, allowing local gambling in a designated resort. As the debate over locals continues, interest

+44%

of opening its doors and several other long-

the capital Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City.

may have changed its mind on opening up to

Y13E

sector with one new luxury resort in the process

slots in five-star hotels for the most part in

Recent reports have suggested that the government

Y13H1 $25.87

$300m

Vietnam tourism arrivals rose 10.6 percent to 7,572,352 in 2013, bringing $9.4 billion in revenue. The country is targeting 8 million foreign and 37.5 million domestic tourists this year. Donaco’s Lai Cai to open with 300 hotels and a gaming floor of about 40 tables. It expects to be fully operational by July. H1 gaming revenue was up 44 percent.

Nang and Vung Tao. Meanwhile, the newest entrant, Donaco International’s new five-star flagship Lao Cai International resort was scheduled for a soft-

of Quang Nam, finding a partner to replace

opening on May 18th. The new resort will have

Genting Malaysia.

428 rooms, three restaurants and retail space.

The project’s future had appeared shaky since

The room rate will be about $100 a night. The

Genting, which held a 20 percent stake, pulled

company said the project will come in under

out in September 2012. The partner is reportedly

budget at about $53 million.

Iowa-based Pacific Peninsula Group.

Donaco said business at its existing property,

The project, known as South Hoi An, will

a boutique hotel on the border with China,

include five-star hotels and luxury residences

is brisk. Revenue in the six months to end

and will be the largest tourist destination in

December was $12.57 million, with VIP turnover

Quang Nam, which is already home to several

at Lao Cai gaining 44 percent. The company

resorts on the South China Sea coast. It was

attributed the Vietnam gain to success in its

downscaled last year from 1,500 hectares to

junket market program.

1,000 hectares after VinaCapital struggled to

Overall net revenue from gaming operations

find a replacement for Genting.

rose 51.8 percent to $8.92 million. Slot machine

Investors are also excited about the prospects

revenue surged 122 percent, helped by the

for the market in Da Nang, which currently

addition of new machines.

boasts one casino, the Crowne Plaza now known

Five casinos are in the north of the country,

as Silver Shores, in addition to an electronic

mainly on the coast or close to the Chinese

gaming club located at the Furama Hotel. The

border, with the biggest currently at Halong

coastal city has the third-largest airport in

Bay, some 150km from Hanoi, which boasts

Vietnam and is only an hour and a half away

18 live tables. The remaining two casinos are

from southern China. It also enjoys strong ties

located in southern (Ho Tram) and central (Da

with Macau and China junkets.

Nang) Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the troubled The Grand Ho Tram

After a period in limbo, VinaCapital now also

project, developed by Canadian company Asian

appears set to move ahead with its plans for a

Coast Development Ltd., finally opened its doors

$4 billion integrated resort development South

in July last year, after a series of construction

of Hoi An, in the central Vietnamese province

and licensing delays. l

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


INDOCHINA

28

MYANMAR

Lottery chief eyes online expansion Myanmar lottery chief Thein Naing has big plans to modernize the Aung Bar Lay, the Burmese name for the monthly state-run draw that sells around 30 million tickets priced at 200 kyats (20 U.S. cents) each, and contributes $2 million a month in revenue to state coffers, once prize money is doled-out.

W

e want to have an electronic,

Some of those projects, most of which have a

or online lottery, as the ticket

five, or seven, or even ten-year timetable once

lottery is very limited,” says Thein

started, have been slow to get going, however,

Lottery tax revenue $24m

Tourism arrival target Y20 7m

Naing, discussing an early-days

with the Myanmar Government seeking cash

proposal to piggy-back the lottery onto some of

backing from the likes of the World Bank and

Myanmar’s communications sector reforms.

the Asian Development Bank.

Newly-arrived foreign mobile network providers

Myanmar could, therefore, have a modern

are due to start selling SIM cards and airtime by

telecommunications system – with network

late 2014, with mentions of a jump straight to

and internet coverage to match southeast Asian

4G, meaning that more of Myanmar’s people

neighbors – before it gets the roads and railways

should be able to get online. Currently less than

it needs to make driving around the country a

10 percent of Myanmar’s estimated 50-60 million

less windy and time-consuming affair – another

population have mobile phones or are internet

reason Thein Naing suggests pushing for the

users, while only around one-quarter of the

online lottery.

country’s population has electricity, and most

Myanmar’s culture, too, is another reason the

of the latter are in urban areas.

lottery boss feels that an online version of the

Taking a gamble on these numbers changing for

Aung Bar Lay is needed. While around 90 percent

the better in the coming years and launching an

of the population is thought to be Buddhist, many

online lottery is a better bet even now, it seems,

Burmese dabble in astrology and numerology –

than sticking with the current system.

consulting fortune-tellers on how to gamble and

Tickets are printed in Magwe in central Myanmar,

sometimes framing their flutters on perceived

and then distributed mostly by road, sometimes

lucky numbers.

through rugged terrain, across a country the size

And while Myanmar has had an official lottery

of England and France combined.

since 1938, when the country was ruled by Great

Myanmar is soliciting foreign investment in its

Britain and known as Burma, gambling remains

who concedes that even an online Aung Bar Lay

transport infrastructure – with construction

illegal. Some estimates suggest, however, that

could struggle to swing customers away from the

companies pitching for work on projects as varied

around 70 percent of Myanmar’s adult population

allure of unlicensed wagers.

as Yangon’s postcard relic circular railway to a

play illegal games based on Thailand’s lottery

Thein Naing says that there is a new law being

massive new international airport outside the

and stock exchange, or place illicit bets on

drafted for his hoped-for electronic lottery, but

commercial capital, to new highways linking

English football.

that too could be slow to reach the statute books.

potential tourist draws in the south to Thailand’s

“There is thousands of the illegal gambling, it is

“Our law is a little bit down the list,” he said.

massive tourist market.

very difficult to control,” laments Thein Naing,

“Minimum is six months.” l

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

The Myanmar Tourism Master Plan, which was published in 2013, mooted the idea of legalizing gambling as part of an overall plan to attract around 7 million tourists a year by 2020. “The people like number nine, or number seven, or number four,” Lottery head Thein Naing says. “We have to manage that those numbers have to be included in the tickets because people not buy, sometimes, they don’t like the number two or zero.”


INDOCHINA

29

CAMBODIA

NagaCorp to connect with Asia’s VIPs

NagaCorp, the operator of Cambodia’s biggest casino, NagaWorld, is aiming to boost connections between the Kingdom and the rest of Asia to boost both mass market and VIP arrivals.

$0.4b

$0.4b

$0.4b

Y13

Y14E

Y15E

rolling and win rate. To cope with the expected increase in VIP headcount, the group plans to have up to 63 VIP gaming tables in 2014.

(Source: CIMB)

NagaCorp reported a 16 percent gain in gross gaming revenue in the first quarter of 2014, though analysts called the 14 percent gain in VIP rolling volume growth in the quarter “disappointing.”

T

GROSS GAMING REVENUE

NAGACORP

In 2013, 55 percent of revenue came from the he group said it’s collaborating with

mass market and 34 percent from the VIP

travel agents to operate charter

market.

flights between Phnom Penh and

Despite, the recent slowdown in VIP traffic,

Macau to make it easier for junket

analysts still see NagaWorld as the best

operators there to send their players to

positioned resort to take advantage of any

NagaWorld as part of a plan to draw in VIP and

growth in Cambodia. Though they note that

premium mass guests.

increasing regional competition, especially

Last year, NagaCorp also introduced an

from the Philippines, is a concern.

incentive program for its overseas junket

The company has a 70 year license until 2065

operators in addition to the traditional

and enjoys a monopoly within 200 kilometers

rolling commission-based model to gain a

of Phnom Penh until 2035. The company

wider segment of the VIP business. Since

has no debt, a healthy balance sheet and

implementing this program, the group said it

consistently pays a high dividend averaging a

has observed an increase in better quality VIP

65 percent payout since listing. Total dividends

players, which contributed to the increase in

for shareholders in 2013 amounted to $98 million out of $140 million in net profit. It is noteworthy that NagaCorp is among the best performing gaming stocks consistently outperforming the Hang Seng Index (HSI) since 2012. A second complex Naga 2 is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016. The $369 million development will add a new hotel with 1033 hotel rooms including several VIP luxury suites. It is anticipated that the company will add more than 200 gaming tables and 500 electronic gaming machines once fully operational. Plans also call for more than 18,000 square meters of retail space and will be part of a shopping and dining experience known as Naga City Walk. The new Naga complex will also provide the local community and visitors with a 4000 seat amphitheater to be used for conventions, conferences and music concerts. A new parking facility is also part of the master

Y13 GGR $325M

Y13 TOURISM ARRIVALS 4.2M

+25% +17.5%

Y20E 7.5m Koh Pous (Cambodia) Investment Group and U.S.-based Interstate Hotels and Resorts are moving ahead with plans to develop a $1 billion resort on Snake Island, off the coast of Sihanoukville. The parties are drawing up a blueprint for the long-delayed project, which is scheduled for completion in 2018. The project comprises two 4-star hotels, one 5-star hotel, one “6-star” hotel, a casino, bungalows, villas for private residents, and further infrastructure to serve the resort. Entertainment Gaming Asia said Q4 gaming revenue at its Dreamworld Pailin casino was $305,000 down from $1.3 million in the prior year period as player traffic dropped. The company switched strategy last year, decreasing the use of high-cost tour group promoters to a lowercost leasing model.

plan to accommodate the increased traffic flow to the new property. l

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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SOUTH EAST ASIA 31

SINGAPORE

Increasing capacity to counter sluggish growth

GROSS GAMING REVENUE $6.07b $6.8b +3.8%

Y13

Y14E

$7.1b

$7.5b

Y15E

Y16E

billion, a 1 percent increase. However, recent figures illustrate why the casinos

Sheldon Adelson, chief executive of Las Vegas Sands, is pushing for more room capacity at the company’s Singapore resort Marina Bay in a bid to squeeze further growth from the property as the island’s casino revenue stagnates.

are keen to expand their non-gaming activities, which have been much stronger revenuegenerators than the casinos in recent quarters. A slowdown in tourism arrivals and VIPs from China, combined with market restrictions at home are seen as holding back growth. Marina Bay Sands reported a 5 percent increase in Q1 revenue. Casino revenue rose 6.3 percent to $680.4 million, while the high-margin hotel room revenue gained almost 15 percent. Overall property EBITDA gained 9.7 percent to $435.2 million. The group’s mass market business remained steady. The rolling chip win percentage of 3.41 percent in the first quarter of 2014 was above the expected range, and above the 2.51 percent achieved in the first quarter of 2013. Total mass win per day during the quarter increased slightly to $4.65

G

(Source: CIMB)

million, compared to $4.64 million in the first

Singapore will regulate virtual currency intermediaries such as operators of bitcoin exchanges and vending machines in an effort to curb money laundering and counter-terrorism activities. Intermediaries would be subject to similar rules governing money changers and remittance businesses. Singapore raised so-called “sin” taxes on alcohol and gambling in the 2014 budget. Alcohol taxes will rise 25 percent, while duties on tobacco will jump 10 percent. Betting duties from the state-linked betting firm Singapore Pools will rise to 30 per cent from 25 per cent of gross bets from July.

ross gaming revenue in Singapore

quarter of 2013. Rolling chip volume was $12.94

edged up 3.8 percent in 2013 to $6.07

billion for the quarter.

billion, a far cry from the almost

In Q4 of 2013, Genting Singapore’s gaming

19 percent growth seen in Macau.

revenue declined 19 percent to S$508.6 million.

Forecasts for this year show revenue edging

But the hotels and non-gaming attractions at

slightly higher to $6.8 billion, according to

Resorts World Sentosa performed better, with

CIMB estimates.

a 12 percent rise in non-gaming revenue to

Adelson wants to expand the resort by 60

S$183.9 million.

percent, adding some 1,500 rooms to the

That said the company saw a sharp improvement

property, as well as several conference rooms,

in the first quarter with gaming revenue rising

Convention Center. The Marine Life Park, the

banquet halls, and dedicated exhibition space.

29 percent to S$671.9 million.

world’s largest oceanarium, opened its doors

Adelson said the hotel had an occupancy rate

The company has warned that its profits this

on the 22nd of November 2012.

of 98.6 percent in 2013.

year could be hurt by rising costs as well as a less

Marina Bay Sands, owned by Las Vegas Sands,

Out of the two Singapore casino resorts, Marina

favorable tourism growth outlook for Singapore.

cost US$5.7 billion, including the cost of the

Bay Sands collected the lion’s share of revenue

Resorts World Sentosa, owned by Malaysia’s

land. It’s situated on 15.5 hectares of land with

in 2013 with $3.135 billion, which was a 6.6

Genting Bhd, was built at a cost of S$7.7 billion.

the gross floor area of 581,000 square metres.

percent increase over 2012.

The resort consists of a Universal Studios

The property has a hotel, convention and

Genting Singapore-controlled Resorts World

theme park, a Maritime Experiential Museum,

exhibition facilities, theatres, entertainment

Sentosa’s gaming revenue take was $2.942

spa, casino, six hotels, and the Resorts World

venues, retail, and restaurants. l

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


SOUTH EAST ASIA

32

Malaysia

Genting chases global expansion to boost growth

Genting Bhd is on an expansion drive as the Malaysian conglomerate aggressively seeks global growth to offset a flattening in its core Singapore and Malaysia markets.

he company may spend at least $9.5 billion over the next five years, according to CIMB estimates, and that doesn’t include a potential project in Japan or Miami. The group recently announced a venture in South Korea, a new casino in Las Vegas, and a major revamp of its Genting Highlands property at home. Its name has also been mentioned in connection with possible projects in Florida, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the main prize, Japan. The plans have generated considerable buzz about the sprawling conglomerate that has interests ranging from cruise lines to plantations. Ten of the 22 analysts who cover the company have either a buy, or

T

according to Reuters data. “Expansion plans are important as they are not in Macau,” CIMB analyst Lucius Chong said. “Singapore is highly regulated and showing pedestrian growth while in the Philippines competition is increasing and the local market may not be deep enough.” Chong has an Add rating on Genting. Genting Bhd, the holding company of the group, is 40 percent-controlled by Malaysia’s Lim family. The company reported revenue from its gambling and entertainment businesses of 16.47 billion ringgit ($5.04 billion) in 2013, with the bulk, or 13.94 billion RM coming from Malaysia and Singapore, according to its annual report. The group is made up of five different listed companies. Singapore-listed Genting Singapore controls the Resorts World Sentosa casino on the island. It is also the listed unit that recently formed a joint venture with Chinese property developer Landing International for a $2.2 billion resort on South Korea’s Jeju island. Genting Singapore is spearheading growth in the Asia Pacific region and will most likely be the unit that bids for a Japan license. While the group missed out on a

and already has capital, meaning it’s seen as a strong contender. Genting Bhd had $5.4 billion in cash on the balance sheet at end December 2013. Genting Hong Kong is about 60 percent owned by the Lim family, with Genting Malaysia holding a direct 18 percent stake. It controls Resorts World Manila in the Philippines through a joint venture with Travellers International Group and is responsible for the cruise business, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Star Cruises. The final gaming unit, Genting Malaysia gets 80 percent of its EBITDA from the Malaysian market where it has a monopoly, while the remaining 20 percent comes from operations in New York and the U.K. Genting Malaysia is responsible for Western Hemisphere expansion and the company is betting big on recovery in the U.S. market. The company in April paid a $1 million application fee to explore the possibility of building a resort in New York State, where it currently operates a racino, a combined racetrack and casino. In Las Vegas, CIMB estimates that the construction of a $4 billion, 3,500 room Resorts World Las Vegas will start in the

an outperform, rating on its shares with nine holds, one sell and one underperform,

Macau license, it now has a longer track record as an integrated resort operator

second half of this year, with the first phase to open in the third quarter of 2016.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


SOUTH EAST ASIA 33

GROSS GAMING REVENUE $2b $1.6b The market for the Asian VIP business in Las Vegas is strong and Genting is likely to follow the example of Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands in cross marketing their Asian VIP database into Vegas. However, plans for another casino resort in Miami ran into a setback in April when state legislators failed to reach consensus on a bill to open up the industry in the state. The sticking point was negotiations over an existing gambling contract granted to the Seminole Indian tribe. Genting Malaysia is also involved in major expansion plans at home, spending $1.5 billion to revamp its Resorts World Genting property and bring it up to international standards. The changes include a deal with Twentieth Century Fox to open a giant theme park in 2016. “They have noticed that the tastes of hard core gamblers are changing so they want to spend 4-5 billion ringgit on upgrading. They are planning to add 13-15 percent more rooms and historically adding capacity has boosted growth,” another analyst, who asked not to be named said. Their occupancy rates are 96 percent so demand is there, he added. Chong said the growth prospects for

“They are taking the asset to the next level. It’s the only destination with a casino in a temperate climate in the highlands and is quite a unique location,” he said. “It won’t be as fancy as Genting Singapore, but it’s unique and cost effective for Malaysians, Indonesians and Thais.” While analysts are generally bullish about prospects for the group, there are critics of the unwieldy corporate structure. It gives the company access to capital raising opportunities, but makes it difficult for investors to gain full exposure to the group’s gaming business. “For investors the group structure is a contentious point,” the unnamed analyst said, adding that the interests of the family don’t always align with those of the investment community. That said there may be changes. The company has indicated that it may be prepared to spin off its U.S. and U.K. gambling operations into separately listed companies once they have reached a certain critical mass. Genting Malaysia has also classified its stake in the Hong Kong company as an asset for sale and it’s likely to be placed out to investors, with the Hong Kong company

Malaysia for the next three years are quite strong, as the property was underinvested.

ultimately coming under the direct control of Genting Bhd, analysts say. l

Y13

$2.1b

$1.7b

Y14E

Y15E

Y16E (Source: CIMB)

Genting Hong Kong signed a contract for a second cruise ship for $952 million to help it take advantage of expected growth in the Asia Pacific market. The ship will be designed to cater for the unique demands of Asian clientele, in particular, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, the company said. “Genting’s credit metrics remain supportive of its Baa1 rating and can accommodate its stated growth plans over the next two years, despite its weaker performance in 2013 compared to 2012,” Moody’s vice president Annalisa Di Chiara says.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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34

PHILIPPINES

PAGCOR finalizes rules manual, proposes casino license fee cuts

he Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the state-run gaming and licensing authority, aims to establish a transparent and predictable environment to lure foreign investors as the country gears up to face increasing competition from other Asian markets. Pagcor’s Casino Regulatory Manual updates rules and guidelines that cover matters such as day-to-day operations of gaming venues, venue layout -including the number of tables or slots permittedand more. Francis P. Hernando, the agency’s vice-

allows operators to plan and complete or operate projects in a predictable fashion, for example. “Once they know what the regulator allows in terms of table or slot population, operators can set targets to build and invest [in the project].” “The objective of the government is to establish transparency and predictability, areas that were lacking before.” Additionally it raises the territory’s regulatory standards to an international level as the official claims that these rules and requirements are what operators would expect in jurisdictions such as Nevada, Singapore and Macau. New features detailed in the Casino Regulatory Manual include the latest technical standards for electronic gaming machines. The regulatory official explains: “Instead of relying on certifications of manufacturers obtained from other jurisdictions, the Philippines has launched its own technical standards for slot machines.” He says this would minimize guesswork for both operators and suppliers for doing business in the Philippines. Other features include clear guidelines in matters such as gaming capacity for PAGCOR’s licensees. PACGOR’s Entertainment City is a 120 hectare complex in Manila Bay that features integrated casino resorts, including Solaire Resort and Casino (already in operation) plus Melco Crown Entertainment’s City of Dreams Manila (which is opening this year) and more in the pipeline. These

gaming capacity is directly related to the number of non-gaming facilities and amenities the operator has to fulfill. The Casino Regulatory Manual defines “in very general terms” the scale of non-gaming facilities and amenities operators are allowed to construct, for example. Hernando says there are also separate guidelines for operators on how to prepare for an audit, land compliance, and more. Industry players tend to react negatively to additional rules and regulations that could potentially stifle business operations or opportunities, however the official stresses the contrary by insisting that the latest regulatory framework is to motivate licensees to complete projects in time at the scale committed, at a high standard to attract foreign investors and tourists alike. “Our rules are based on the underlying basis that our operators deliver a quality product that would be comparable to what players would find elsewhere in the region,” explains Hernando. Additionally the Philippines regulator expects little resistance from the industry. Hernando acknowledged that it was “not ideal” to establish this regulatory framework when operations have already been constructed, however industry players have been consulted since the conception of these draft regulations. “We will continue the consensual approach in the foreseeable future, in fact operators would welcome the rules-based environment where they

president for gaming and licensing, says establishing a clear set of rules and guidelines

licensees are permitted a select number of tables and slots; the operator’s total

may have had a hand in crafting it.” Elsewhere, the regulatory body is still trying

The Philippine gambling regulator PAGCOR has finalized a set of rules aimed at bringing the country’s regulatory regime up to international standards and proposes cutting license fees to compensate for recent tax increases

T

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


SOUTH EAST ASIA 35

to settle its tax issues with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), whilst trying to placate its casino operators with a more palatable fee arrangement. Last year, the BIR imposed a 30-percent corporate income tax on casinos, a move that stunned the industry and dampened the area’s ambitions in becoming a major gaming hub on a par with Macau. Originally the tax structure for casinos was a 5 percent franchise fee from gross gaming revenues. Hernando says the effect on the industry was “substantial” and the goal for the gaming regulator is to continue to engage in discussion with the government to bring the situation back to the status quo before the tax ruling. However, the regulatory body is realistic about such prospects. “It’s not going to happen overnight so there are several ways for us in the gaming industry to explore ways to address the situation.” One solution PAGCOR proposes is to amend its license fee structure to help casino operators pay the corporate income tax. According to Hernando, “If the license fees need to be scaled back to a lower rate so there is more money on the table for the licensee to pay these taxes for the government, then PAGCOR is very willing to grant such a situation.” He says the organization has already established a formal arrangement with its Entertainment City licensees to reduce the existing fees. Currently the license fee structure is based on four rates: for mass tables, the rate is 27 percent; for high roller tables, the rate is 17 percent; for slot machines, the rate is 25 percent; for junket tables (which are reserved for foreign players only), the rate is 15 percent. Hernando claims it is these rates that will be reduced so operators can keep more share of the gross gaming revenue to pay the income tax incurred by the BIR. PAGCOR has entered the stage of studying the legalities of implementing this solution. Hernando says, “It looks like

EAST MEETS WEST

PAGCOR and CEZA announce precedent-setting Asian Regulators’ Summit The inaugural East meets West Regulators Summit will be taking place in the Philippines from 23-26 May 2014. The summit aims to provide an opportunity for new and existing regulators to discuss the unique issues relevant to the industry in Asia, learn from their peers, and work towards regional cooperation and a harmonious approach to gaming regulation in the region. The summit will be attended by a number of Chief Gaming Regulators from the region including Mr Cristino L. Naguiat, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PAGCOR; Sec. Jose Mari Ponce, Chairman and CEO, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority; Mr Jerry See, Chief Executive Officer, Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore; Mr Chulmin Kim, Director General, National Gambling Control Commission (South Korea), H.E. Madame Nguon Sokha, Secretary of State, Cambodia. Apart from the above-mentioned Regulators, confirmed participants to the summit also include representatives from Australia, Malta, UK, Germany, and the USA. The summit will open on Friday 23 May with a tour of Entertainment City in Manila, a welcome address by Mr Cristino L. Naguiat, followed by a keynote speech by Mr Lau Peet Meng, President of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). During the three days, summit participants will join discussions on opportunities for cross-border communication, reciprocity of license recognition across borders, cost of regulation and taxation, remote gaming and social gaming, locals versus foreigners and anti-money laundering. The summit is being hosted by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). Supporting organizations include First Cagayan Leisure & Resort Corporation (FCLRC), International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR), International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) and Asia Gaming Brief (AGB).

it is feasible at this point. Now we are moving to document it formally.” l Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


SOUTH EAST ASIA

36

PHILIPPINES

New IRs to jump start growth The Philippines’ ambition to overtake Las Vegas in terms of gaming revenue within six years is starting to look shaky.

G

GR edged up to $2.2 billion in 2013, with growth slowing from an 8.6 percent gain in 2012. That’s far behind the world’s largest gaming destination, Macau, which produced more than $45 billion in 2013. International risk research company, Fitch Ratings stated in a recent report that the country’s gaming industry, now experiencing double digit growth, will likely encounter difficulties which may hamper its prospects beyond 2015. A series of issues including “weak infrastructure, geopolitical tensions that may discourage the entry of VIPs and the possibility of sudden policy changes,” all may crimp growth, it said. In addition, competition in Asia is increasing with the planned legalization of casinos in various markets, including Japan and Korea. According to Cristino Naguiat, chairman and chief executive of the state run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), 2013 gross revenues were $2.2 billion, 10 percent above 2012 revenues, but below earlier estimates for $2.5 billion. The revenue miss follows lower-thanexpected tourists arrivals from mainland China and Hong Kong after territorial

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

conflicts in the South China Sea and a deadly hostage taking in Manila in 2010. The families of eight Hong Kong tourists who were killed have been demanding an apology and compensation with no result. However, new casino-resorts due to open up in the Entertainment City complex in Manila are expected to give the market a boost and may send annual gaming revenue as high as US$7 billion within the next five years, Naguiat estimates. Enrique Razon Jr, the CEO of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation echoes this sentiment saying that most of the growth in the gaming industry over the next few years will come from Entertainment City as it slowly opens up. “In five years time, there will be at least three properties here. The bulk of revenue from the gaming industry will come from Entertainment City while the bulk of the government’s revenue will come from gaming taxes,” said Razon. Despite these geopolitical issues, analysts still see the Philippines as an attractive location to set up a gaming industry. Geographically, it’s well placed, being only a few hours flight from China, Japan, South Korea and China, where most high-

rolling Asian gamers come from. The country also benefits from an Englishspeaking service culture. According to Joe Pisano, CEO of Jade Entertainment and Gaming the Philippines has the best natural and human resources in the region and an abundance of highly skilled service staff. However, the shortcomings are its poor infrastructure, heavy traffic in and out of Entertainment City and its single runway airport that can lead to long delays in arrivals and departures. SOLAIRE RESORTS & CASINO Bloomberry Resorts’ Solaire Resort & Casino was the first to open in Entertainment City and is now set to open its 200,000 square-meter extension in October this year. The $400 million add-on will feature more VIP gaming sections, 300 all-suite hotel rooms, a shopping center with 30 to 40 high-end shops, a 1,800-seat entertainment theater, 3,000 parking spaces, a nightclub and more restaurants. The initial outlay was boosted to $680 million, $60 million more than previously announced. “This is definitely going to drive visitation to Solaire not just from locals but more


SOUTH EAST ASIA 37

so from foreign VIPs going forward,” said Leo D. Venezuela, Director of Investor Relations at Solaire Resort and Casino. Bloomberry Resorts Corp. results improved in the first quarter of the year with an unaudited consolidated profit of P1.46 billion from a loss of P1.06 billion in the same period of 2013. Total gross revenues reached P7.38 billion, over 11 times the P661 million generated in the same period last year, with gaming accounting for 95.7 percent of the total. Since opening in March 2013, Solaire has signed up about 50 junket operators to bring in foreign VIP players. The mass gaming player sign-ups also reached 256,000 in 2013 while total visitation for the year hit the 3-million mark. “Notwithstanding the growing pains that the property experienced in March to April last year, the company has been quite happy with Solaire’s first year of operations. Despite some challenges, the company has been able to maintain positive growth momentum in its operations from Q2,2013 onward, especially since Q3,2013,” said Venezuela. CITY OF DREAMS Belle Corp and Melco Crown's City of Dreams are scheduled to open a $1.3 billion casino resort project towards the end of this year, which Naguiat forecasts will push gaming revenue back to doubledigit growth. City of Dreams will also bring luxury brand, Nobu to the Philippines. It will feature 365 gaming tables, 1,680 slot machines and 1,680 electronic table games upon opening, catering to both the VIP and mass market and 950 hotel rooms. City of Dreams Manila has been permitted to operate a substantially increased number of gaming tables and electronic table games upon opening. “The regulatory revisions allow for an increased number of gaming tables, additional bonus junket tables and electronic gaming machines provided that various size thresholds for hotel rooms, room suites and villas are met,” said Chimmy Leung, director of corporate communications at Melco Crown Entertainment Limited. The increased budget was also a result of

the company’s decision to use its highend “City of Dreams” and “Crown Towers” brands for the 6.2-hectare (15.3-acre) property. Belle Corp., the gaming arm and upscale leisure developer of the SM Group, saw net income surge more than six times to PHP3.63 billion as rental revenues from its new integrated casino project streamed in. RESORTS WORLD BAYSHORE - GENTING HONG KONG AND AGG Travellers International Hotel Group said it will focus on developing Resorts World Manila before pursuing development of the $1.1-billion Resorts World Bayshore along Manila Bay, which is scheduled to open in 2017. The company, a joint venture between Genting Hong Kong and Alliance Global Group has allotted $600 million for the second and third phases of Resorts World Manila to boost retail space by 60 percent. It will add 1,100 rooms to the existing 1,226 rooms in Resorts World Manila’s Maxim’s, Marriott and Remington hotels. Travellers Group president Kingson U. Sian told reporters last July that the 12-hectare Resorts World Manila is already a prime lot with a mature tourism and gaming market so returns will be faster. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange in April, Travellers said Pagcor cleared the installation of an additional 420 gaming tables and 4,148 gaming machines. At end-2013, Resorts World Manila housed 287 gaming tables for the VIP and mass markets, 1,822 slot machines and 210 electronic table games. MANILA BAY RESORTS - UNIVERSAL ENTERTAINMENT CO. Pagcor chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr. warned in March that Universal Entertainment’s Manila Bay Resorts would not be allowed to open its casino until outstanding issues were resolved, including foreign equity limits on land ownership and bribery charges filed against Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada and his companies. Kenji Sugiyama, vice-president of Tiger

Resort, Leisure and Entertainment said the group is still scouting for a local partner for the project after the termination of its agreement with Century Properties Group (CPG) designed to help Universal comply with the Philippines’ 40 percentlimit on foreign land ownership. Despite these challenges, the group has said that it remains on track to open its $2-billion gaming complex by the third quarter of 2015. “We have our executive team in place, and are marketing our property to the most prominent junkets in Macau, all of whom have been impressed with the property and the offering,” said Matt Hurst, executive vice president of casino operations and marketing at Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. The casino will feature 2,000 rooms, state-of-the-art gaming facilities, and an indoor man-made beach club covered by a huge glass dome, high-end and casual dining restaurants, upscale retail shops, trade halls and cinemas. l

PAGCOR GGR Y13

$2.2b

Y14E

$2.9b

+10%

New casino-resorts due to open up in the Entertainment City complex in Manila are expected to give the market a boost and may send annual gaming revenue as high as US$7 billion within the next five years, Naguiat estimates. The bulk of revenue from the gaming industry will come from Entertainment City while the bulk of the government’s revenue will come from gaming taxes.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

38

Emerging Asia rising G Emerging destinations and rapid growth across the continent create excellent prospects for leading regional gaming expo

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

2E Asia 2014 is the most highly anticipated and influential exhibition in the Asian gaming industry calendar. Since its inaugural edition just under a decade ago, G2E Asia has become the ‘must attend’ expo for gaming and entertainment industry practitioners with ambitious growth targets. It is also the ideal opportunity to discover new gaming solutions, establish key industry connections and learn about the very latest in gaming from around the world. This year, international delegations from Japan and Russia will strongly fortify G2E Asia’s assertion that it is the best sourcing platform and network expansion channel in Asia-Pacific’s gaming industry. The rise of these two gaming and entertainment sleeping giants has whetted the appetite of the global

from outside of Macau, representing 72 countries and territories. The show has developed into the farthest-reaching gaming event in Asia over the 8 years. The participating buyers represent gaming’s key markets, and not just those on the Asian continent—Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines—but all over the world. Among the major highlights on the G2E Asia 2014 show floor will be three key segments: iGaming, Business Solutions and Security & Surveillance. Featuring segment leaders like BBIN, Song Tang Casino Software, Yoyougaming, BetCRIS and BetConstruct, this section will be ideal for industry practitioners looking for new partners, seeking to raise brand awareness or learn more about industry regulations. It will also boost customers launching new products.

gaming industry, as a flood of opportunities emerge. Japan, emboldened by the recent awarding of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games to Tokyo, is now brimming with confidence that the announcement will be a major

The business solutions segment will help participants establish their brands in Asia and uncover new opportunities across the region. The Security & Surveillance segment will showcase technology and products at the very cutting edge of gaming today from

step to legalizing casinos in Asia’s largest untapped gaming market. This easing of government restrictions is also bearing fruit in Russia where plans are underway to legalize online gaming. In the Primorsky Krai gambling zone, an area close to China and Japan, and one of only four regions in Russia in which, currently, gambling is legal, plans are under development around a vision of four major casinos. With the inclusion of Japan, Asia is now the biggest gaming market on the planet. G2E Asia 2014 has confirmed the participation of over 95 percent of Asia’s largest casinos. At the 2013 edition of the show, more than 65 percent of visitors

giants like Dallmeier International, Ace Creation Technology System, IndigoVision, Mega Fortris Trading, Pelco Asia Pacific and Bosch Security Systems. It will also feature a high concentration of decision makers and influencers. In addition to these exhibition highlights, G2E Asia 2014 will also feature a brand new iGaming day as part of the three day conference. Covering issues such as iGaming regulation, convergence between land-based, online and social gaming, World Cup strategies, online casino and poker, and virtual currencies, the program has attracted huge interest. We hope you enjoy Asia’s biggest and best

of the 5,851 high quality buyers were

gaming event. l


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

40

Ramesh Srinivasan, President and Chief Executive Officer

BALLY TECHNOLOGIES

Acquisition takes company to next level

B

ally Technologies recently acquired SHFL entertainment, and is aspiring to connect the gaming world through their cross-platform solutions. “Our acquisition of SHFL entertainment has made terrific progress since we closed the deal in late November,” Ramesh Srinivasan, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “With the combination, we believe that Bally is well positioned to continue leading the industry in innovation and growth.” The acquisition is to strengthen the firm’s capability to serve customers, accelerate innovation, improve their collective product portfolio, and deliver meaningful long-term value to our shareholders, a separate company spokesman said. Bally Technologies said the two companies have the “most complete and dynamic range of products available in the gaming industry,” including electronic gaming machines (EGMs), proprietary table games, casino systems and online gaming. “Our cross-platform solutions give casinos a single view of their player, whether they are in the casino, on the go, or at home,” Srinivasan added, “In the interactive space, we continue to partner with operators to provide our award-winning iGaming Platform for both free-play and wagering.” The company’s open platform includes a host of new online and mobile content, including some of Bally’s most successful slot titles, big licensed brands, progressive functionality, and proprietary table games. To get ahead in the increasingly competitive Asian market, Bally Technologies is committed to serving the needs of the region. Srini Raghavan, Senior Vice President of Asia, India, and South Africa said: “As the Asian market continues to grow, we believe that our recent product development efforts and increased international focus will keep us at the forefront of the region.” For example, the company offers table game products and electronic gaming machines that appear very popular among

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

Asian players, from e-tables with Mandarin-speaking dealers to the proven performer 88 Fortunes. Bally Technologies will present dozens of game titles designed specifically for the Asian market, including licensed branded games such as TITANIC, along with an array of systems technologies and products at G2E Asia 2014. “We will demonstrate an outstanding line-up of new games on both our popular Equinox and Pro Series cabinets, including the new Emperor’s Seal three-level lined progressive and games developed specifically for our award-winning Wave cabinet,” Raghavan said, “That’s in addition to our new licensed, branded games like TITANIC that will connect with players anywhere.” The highlight – TITANIC – integrates Bally Technologies’ mechanics, two base-game mystery features, and three progressive jackpots including two minor mystery jackpots and one large top award. TITANIC video slots intend to deliver a fully interactive and cinematic experience based on James Cameron’s film Titanic. Also on display will be Bally’s Take ‘n Play, the company’s new product that allows the same slot machine game to be played in more than one location by streaming the game content directly from the slot machine to a tablet. Bally Technologies described this product as the first of its kind technology in the industry. Visitors will also see Bally’s content for the Pro Series cabinets, which has expanded with a host of new games features in play mechanics, themes, and animated graphics. Bally Technologies will exhibit two new additions to Bally’s Pro Series cabinet family – the ALPHA 2 Pro Series Wave with the industry’s first concave LCD monitor at more than 100 centimeters. “We’re excited to show a tremendous amount of new content to our customers in the Asian region, including content developed specifically for the market,” Raghavan added, “We expect to have a great show and look forward to spending valuable time with our customer-partners in the region.” l

Bally Technologies will be at stand 469.


It’s in our DNA! G2IEA

S A 939 o bo th

futurelogic-inc.com/DNA


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

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Abbiati says RFID technology helps casino operators reduce labor, eliminate dealer errors and player fraud, all while increasing gaming speed

ABBIATI

Security for success

A

bbiati Casino Equipment has developed a new line of casino currency with innovative security features to help avoid counterfeiting. “Asia is the fastest growing market at the moment and it plays a very significant role in our company’s business,” said Giorgio Abbiati, CEO of the Abbiati company. With a strong presence in most of the Asian markets where gaming is legal, Abbiati’s key markets include Macau, the Philippines and Singapore among others. Abbiati will also focus on new business cooperation with onsite casino operators, who are strategically important to the company’s expansion plans. At this year’s G2E Asia show, Abbiati Casino Equipment will present a brand-new line of chips, plaques and jetons, which include a number of innovative security technologies to avoid counterfeiting in casinos. The company has also increased the manufacturing of products, such as specially designed models of tables for the VIP market, that are related to the constant development of Asian-style games. Visitors will also see an RFID Baccarat table fitted with a Perfect Pay Table Network platform from Abbiati’s partner Walker Digital Table Systems and a special model of Black Jack table that is designed for the progressive game of partner DEQ. “Tables integrated with RFID technology help casino operators reduce labor, eliminate dealer errors and player fraud, while increasing game speed and creating leaps forward in business intelligence and operating efficiency,” added Giorgio Abbiati. l ABBIATI WILL BE AT STAND 1139.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

ALFASTREET

Celebrates 20th anniversary

A

lfastreet, which is well established in the Asian market, is celebrating its 20th year in the gaming industry. Since last year’s G2E Asia show, Alfastreet has developed three new products including new single terminal Wiky, the realistic horse-racing game Royal Derby and compact machine R4. Alfastreet has also launched different products in various Asian markets such as its R8TS and Dual Spin Automated Roulette Wheel in Vietnam, Virtual Tiger VS Dragon with R1SL-M3-23 terminals in Vientiane and Laos, as well as the Multi Game (Semi Live Baccarat and Roulette) in Poipet Cambodia among others. Alfastreet will be exhibiting its innovations, such as the R8 automated roulette, the WOF and the SL single. Visitors will be able to gain first-hand experience of automated and live gaming with these machines. As a regular exhibitor, Alfastreet sees G2E Asia as an occasion to network with its clients and industry professionals around the world. l ALFASTREET WILL BE AT STAND 1429.


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

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FutureLogic sees Macau as “Asia’s Gaming Heart,” but still aspires to expand its presence to other key jurisdictions in Asia

FUTURELOGIC

Printing and couponing made easy

F

utureLogic will be showcasing its portfolio of printing and couponing solutions at this year’s G2E Asia show to improve awareness of its core printing and couponing solutions. FutureLogic sees Macau as “Asia’s Gaming Heart,” but still aspires to expand its presence to other key jurisdictions in Asia and across the globe. Elsewhere, FutureLogic has signed a Sales and Service Agreement through December 31, 2015 with established licensed manufacturer and distributor, Universal Gaming Resources, LLC. Universal will be FutureLogic’s exclusive sales and service provider in Colorado and South Dakota. “We are delighted to have entered into this agreement with Universal Gaming, one of the most reputable slot machine component sales and support companies in Colorado and South Dakota,” said Nick Micalizzi, FutureLogic’s Vice President Sales and Marketing, North America. “With their knowledge base and commitment to meet a wide range of equipment and support demands, Universal Gaming makes an excellent addition to the FutureLogic sales and service force as we continue to expand our portfolio of innovative ticket printing and couponing solutions,” Micalizzi added. The highlight – Ticket2Go – was launched at last year’s G2E Asia show and will be on display again at this year’s show. The solution offers a networkless ticket-out payment solution for machines that have a serial or parallel coin hopper and can be installed across multiple sites that enable operators

to replace coin payout technology with a simple ticketbased solution. With the addition of the Ticket2Go Cash Redemption Module, the system can be integrated with any third-party cash redemption terminal. Ticket2Go is a fully automated solution suitable for larger venues or those with limited staffing. Also on display will be promotional couponing solution PromoNet. When it was first installed in Europe in 2012, almost 30,000 coupons were printed, over 80 percent of which were redeemed by players wanting to enter into the prize draw within 3 weeks. PromoNet has been installed in more than 12 locations worldwide. Last year PromoNet was also selected by Novomatic for its gaming operations in Europe and Latin America. “PromoNet is an incredibly powerful and flexible tool which enables casino managers to recognize and reward players based on their value to the casino without the need for a player tracking system – this will change forever the way casinos market to their player base,” John Edmunds, VicePresident Global Product Management and International Markets for FutureLogic said. FutureLogic will also be exhibiting its TableXchange device, which is designed specifically to enable players to use cashout vouchers at table games. This technology creates a common currency across the casino and creates a bridge between slots and tables. The TableXchange device further streamlines casino operations by reducing the fill amounts at the tables. l

FutureLogic will be at stand 939 Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

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Aristocrat says products give customers flexibility to customize jackpots and create their own jackpotting strategies

AMATIC

Grand Jeu Double comes to Asia

ARISTOCRAT

Customer flexibility drives product design

A matic Industries brings its flagship Grand Jeu Double to G2E Asia hoping to generate interest among operators. Grand Jeu Double is an electronic roulette that incorporates two separate wheels with ten player positions and four large monitors. With its innovative design, players can decide on which wheel they wish to play on, and bet on both wheels at the same time – subject to local legislation. The Grand Jeu Double is currently being certified for the gaming market in Macau, and the company believes that this flagship product fits naturally into the popular table games market there. Amatic Industries sees Macau as a hub from which to grow its business in Asia, including strengthening its

ristocrat will display its four key portfolio segments and the content support behind those categories at G2E Asia and will debut its E*Series in the region. The company says its products give customers the flexibility to customize jackpots and create their own jackpotting strategies. More than 15 of Aristocrat’s dual language titles now have multi denomination functionality and downloadable capability built ready for a downloadable future. Aristocrat will be presenting their downloadable tool ON DEMAND, which, when approved, will allow venues to manage content on their floor at the click of a button. The E*Series range features three product families including Sky Rider, Temple of the Tiger and Storm Queens. E*Series introduces “choose your volatility” features to the Entertainment segment and unlocks potential for venues to create dedicated

market position in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines. Thomas Engstberger, sales manager at Amatic Industries said: “We are proud to be bringing something completely new to the Asian gaming market with this true eyecatcher. Our customers often prefer to place this in a very prominent position on their gaming floor as it also serves to advertise to players their optimal level of investment in gaming entertainment. Given the resort casinos in Macau, we believe that players here will love it.” At this year’s G2E Asia show, Amatic Industries will be showcasing electronic roulette and Multi Game. l

entertainment areas and leverage new IP developed for the series (MAX STACKS). These features differentiate the series from other stacking titles. Another highlight – Legends – is the Aristocrat series designed to leverage Asia’s strongest and best loved gaming brands. In 2013, Aristocrat unveiled two additions to the Legends library; 50 Dragons Deluxe and Fortune King Deluxe. This year, the company will release two new Legends titles with 50 Lions Deluxe and 5 Dragons GOLD at G2E Asia 2014. Also on show will be Players Choice, Cash Express GOLD CLASS and Aristocrat’s latest Linked Jackpot Product based on the ‘God of Wealth’ character – GOOD FORTUNE. l

AMATIC WILL BE AT STAND 853.

ARISTOCRAT WILL BE AT STAND 524.

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Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

46

Aspect Gaming’s Grand Orient Casino offers slot games in Classic, Jackpot and Tournament modes and also features a full array of table games, including Keno, Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack, or Poker

ARUZE

Keeping the momentum going

ASPECT GAMING

A

ruze, which has seen significant growth in terms of units sold and installed, particularly in the U.S., has an aggressive plan to roll out numerous game titles in 2014/15 to keep the momentum going. The company, which is known for its flagship products, such as Lucky Sic Bo and the Ultra Stack series, will bring new game titles to this year’s G2E Asia show, including US Gorilla Jackpot, US Rising Dragon, US Liu Bei, US Feature Africa, 100 lines Stack, 100 lines Stack Dragon, Jungle Tiger, Ninja Warrior, Sunset Lion and Ultra Slide Ryuko. Also on display will be the company’s latest Innovator Deluxe (stepper games) of Ultimate Diamond and Platinum Jackpot. Aruze will also be exhibiting an array of new Innovator (stepper) products such as Ninja Warrior, Cyber Seven and Laser Seven. l ARUZE WILL BE AT STAND 920.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

Sees social casino as the next big thing

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s a slot manufacturer focused exclusively on the Asian gaming industry, Aspect Gaming is working full swing to unlock the business potential of social casino and will not be exhibiting at this year’s G2E. With a library of games fully compliant with new Macau regulations, Aspect gaming positions itself as a manufacturer that can offer Macau operators a broad choice of Macaucompliant games. Aspect Gaming has developed games specifically for players in Asia and its products are also installed in casinos in Cambodia, the Philippines, and the United States. Beyond land-based, Aspect Gaming is dedicated to developing social casino. The highlight - Grand Orient Casino – not only offers slot games in Classic, Jackpot, and Tournament modes, but also features a full array of table games, including Keno, Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack, or Poker. Grand Orient Casino is currently available on Facebook and iOS. It will be available on Android in the foreseeable future. Aspect Gaming launched its video wall technology, Super Ruby OneWall last year, which is designed to enable operators to reduce costs and improve engagement. The company is now developing new games with new features, such as patent-pending Neighbor Jackpot. l


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

47

EZUGI

Live dealer games boom as telecoms infrastructure improves

T

here is no doubt that one of the biggest innovations in online gaming over the last few years is the rapid growth of live dealer casino gaming technology. Investment by the telecoms companies both in the networks and mobile infrastructure has meant that the bandwidth to support the introduction of live casino products is good enough in most markets now. Live dealer games allow players to make bets on their desktop and mobile devices for games that are actually taking place live on a physical gaming table with a human dealer. One great aspect of live dealer games is that it’s easy to confirm the games are fair and trustworthy, as you can see and interact with the dealer, which is another reason for the growth over Random Number Generated (RNG) offerings. So what are the most popular Live Casino Games in Asia? Baccarat, Blackjack, Roulette and Sicbo are all available as live dealer games, however Baccarat is by far the most popular. You only need to look at the revenues from Macau, of which mass market Baccarat and high-end VIP Baccarat combined account for more than 90 percent of all gambling revenues in the world’s biggest casino hub. INNOVATION With such importance on Baccarat, it’s important for live casino providers, such as Ezugi, to not only understand the current needs of both the operators and players, but to innovate our products and software for our clients. For example, there are things you can’t change with Baccarat because players are used to certain information and statistics in order to play the game. But what if you can present this information in a different way, or let the player choose which roadmap he wants to focus on? What if you let the mobile user swipe amongst roadmaps for the best possible mobile experience? Ezugi has looked at these areas and introduced a new Road Maps design for Baccarat that provides a more intuitive way for

players to keep track of recent results in a quick and easy manner. You can also display multiple figures and variables from previous results, which the player may take advantage of prior to betting. This is one example of how we approach Baccarat and games in general, in order to bring more functionality for a better, immersive gaming experience. THE IMPORTANCE OF MOBILE In the U.S., it’s largely accepted that iOS is still the primary platform. However in Asia, the number of Android devices far outweighs that of iOS, with industry figures suggesting some 90 percent of smartphones in China are Android. Without question the key to the provision of successful live gaming solutions in the mobile market is to offer a truly mobile product and experience. It is not good enough to just offer a desktop version through a mobile browser. The user experience must be different for different devices as that is what tech savvy customers expect. To meet the changing UI for mobile, Ezugi has added functionalities, such as a swipe feature that leverages the natural behaviour of the human thumbs on both sides of the mobile device, which the end user is already familiar with. We have also launched an Android Baccarat application for our Asian operators. THE FUTURE Ezugi is an adaptive software solutions provider, in that we respond to all changes and engage with the latest technologies. We now support more than 5 bitcoin operators to allow the use of this growing crypto currency. Recently, we have been chosen to develop a patent pending game called Hybrid BlackJack, which allows multiple players on the same tables. Live Keno is another brand new game from Ezugi that we believe will be very popular in Asia. In the near future we also look forward to introducing Caribbean Stud, to which we have the exclusive rights, to our existing and new Asian clients. l Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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BMM offers gaming technology training course in Macau in conjunction with the Macau Polytechnic Institute and works with Asian regulators

BETCONSTRUCT

Opens in Far East, North America in 2014

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ith its roots in Central Asia and partnerships in Europe, Africa and Latin America, technology and data provider BetConstruct plans to open offices in North America and the Far East this year. BetConstruct, backed by more than 600 traders, developers and other specialists, and with more than 10 years of experience, highlights its strength in responding quickly to changes in regulatory and consumer requirements. The company has recently launched an API Odds Feed solution for online and land-based gaming operators with their own trading resources. This solution provides more than 15,000 real-time data and odds feeds for all major sporting events and statistics. Since last year’s G2E Asia, BetConstruct has launched its Live Casino with plans to grow this business further in the next 12 months. The flagship product – Sportsbook – has also been further improved to give operators a wider choice of options, including the latest HTML5 technology. BetConstruct sees the G2E Asia show as an opportunity to learn further about the Asian market, to meet with its existing and prospective Asian business partners and to showcase its gaming technologies and solutions. l BETCONSTRUCT WILL BE AT STAND 355.

BMM

Online testing in demand

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MM sees emerging business opportunities for its Online Gaming Testing Services as more Asian manufacturers sell into the region’s regulated gaming markets, such as Macau, Singapore, the Philippines and Korea, With its expertise in compliance testing and consulting services, BMM has achieved steady growth in Asia and has expanded its test lab capabilities in Macau, Singapore and Korea. For instance, BMM has extended its 17025 Accreditation scope for BMM Singapore to include online gaming and achieved 17025 Accreditation for the Macau test lab facility. BMM also works with regulators and gaming technology manufacturers, which enables the company to understand how to help its clients meet compliance evaluation and certification needs. Also, BMM has diversified its business by offering gaming technology training courses in Macau in conjunction with the Macau Polytechnic Institute. BMM sees the G2E Asia show as a key event in Asia and as a platform to network and inform its new and existing customers of its views on compliance programs. l BMM WILL BE AT STAND 912.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

CASINO TECHNOLOGY & ALTO GAMING

Eye Asia expansion

49

CPI

Crane aims to show MEI merger potential

C E

urope-based Casino Technology and its U.S.-based partner Alto Gaming will bring a new series of Asianthemed games to this year’s G2E Asia to boost their market share in the booming Asian market. Both companies are targeting legal markets in the Asia Pacific region such as Macau, Cambodia and the Philippines in particular. Their goal is to showcase flagship products that are customized for the Asian market. They will launch a new series of games based on Chinese mythology including Peacock and Dragon and The Five Blessings. Both games support a variety of languages, including Mandarin Chinese. Casino Technology will also be exhibiting The Big 5 suite – a set of systems for landbased, online and mobile gaming, combining a Casino Management System, a Money Management System, a Jackpot system, a Remote Game Server and an Online Gaming System. Also on display will be a new series of bingo games Bingogator, a solution that can diversify the segmentation of slot floors, Gator and multi-game series Gamopolis Multiskin. Alto Gaming will showcase its flagship products Aurora and Sensa Plus. l CASINO TECHNOLOGY AND ALTO GAMING WILL BE AT STAND 513.

rane Payment Innovations, which completed its acquisition of MEI in December 2013, will be aspiring to show the potential of the newly combined company in providing cash management solutions at G2E Asia. The acquisition consolidated the note and coin products provided by MEI and Conlux, as well as different brands, under Crane Payment Solutions. “Of the six CPI sub-brands, MEI has achieved the largest ship share across Asia, with major wins across Singapore, the Philippines and Macau,” says Graeme Lewis, CPI vice president Asia Pacific. Since last year’s G2E Asia, MEI has in particular increased its presence in the Philippines. At G2E Asia 2014, CPI will be exhibiting MEI’s SC Advance, EASITRAX Soft Count and PPM Advance, along with the CashCode SM BackLoad bill acceptor and a range of Money Control coin hoppers. “G2E Asia provides the ideal stage from which to demonstrate how the robust CPI portfolio can serve such a diverse marketplace, while still raising the bar for value and performance expectations on an individual basis,” says Lewis. “Accordingly, we’ve chosen to highlight the products we know will make the greatest impact on operator profitability and player satisfaction in this region.” l CRANE PAYMENT INNOVATIONS AND MEI WILL BE AT STAND 849.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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DLV

EVERYMATRIX

Flagship multigame for Macau

Manila office creates momentum

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LV will launch its multigame Diamond Games Premium VIII and bring other flagship products at this year’s G2E Asia hoping to gain momentum in Asia. Despite a strong focus on the East Asia market, DLV currently has neither office nor presence in Singapore but the company is investigating and analyzing whether it would be beneficial to start working in Singapore and what are the ways of entering the market. Globally DLV also sees potential in Latin America and the Caribbean, in countries such as Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. DLV values G2E Asia as a networking platform to nurture its relationship with current clients and establish contacts to find ways to enter new markets and identify business opportunities. DLV will be launching its most recent multigame – Diamond Games Premium VIII – for the first time in Asia and said it believes that it will generate sufficient interest among potential customers. The company will also be exhibiting a three-level Dragon Jackpot, which has gained popularity among overseas Asian communities. Currently the company is working in full swing to get this Dragon jackpot certified in Macau. Also on display will be other DLV jackpots, each with its original theme: Vollinstars, Jewel Jackpot 3 and Gauya Quest. l DLV WILL BE AT STAND 639.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

veryMatrix is celebrating its success in Asia with four major Asian clients and new momentum in the Philippines. Since last year’s G2E trade show, European company EveryMatrix decided on a strategy to serve the Asian market by setting up a dedicated office in Manila and appointing Ian Sherrington to spearhead its marketing and development in Asia. “There’s not one country that stands out as being our major market within Asia as we have clients and enquirers from all corners of Asia,” says Ian Sherrington, Head of Sales Asia. As the Philippines is the only place where an online gaming company can obtain a license and most of EveryMatrix’s future clients are expected to be Manila-based, the company finds Manila a natural fit for the location of its first Asia office. With four major Asian clients and others in the pipeline, Sherrington said the company’s turnkey solutions and “Software as a Service” approach are the key to win many fans within the Asian gaming community. “Clients like our turnkey solutions such as our Sports Betting product - OddsMatrix - and the choices that they have with Casino and Live Dealer providers all delivered together as a single managed system,” Ian said. EveryMatrix also attended all of the region’s gaming shows and conferences and sponsored all of the Manila Sports Betting Community/Asia Gaming Brief meetups. Tie-ups and partnerships with local gaming companies, both operators and suppliers including some publicly traded corporations, are also in the offing. As an award-winning company that provides the best white-label sports betting and casino products in the industry, EveryMatrix focuses on how its products can help the sales process. “We’re serious about our commitments and we’re willing to go the extra mile to give our clients the products and services they need,” Sherrington added. l EVERYMATRIX WILL BE TAKING MEETINGS AT THIS YEAR’S G2E ASIA.


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Ezugi says its player volume has grown 10-fold from October to March and it expects the same level of growth through the rest of the year

EZUGI

Focus on Asia as players surge

E

zugi says its player volume has grown 10-fold from October to March and it expects the same level of growth through the rest of the year as the company monetizes the next generation of live digital gaming entertainment. The company cites several factors driving growth in Asia, including being the only provider offering Live Keno, offering one of the first Facebook live dealer applications, developing an Android Baccarat application as well as Crypto Currency for its clients in Asia. Since last year’s G2E Asia show, the software solutions provider has completed 23 integrations with 17 more in the pipeline. The company also has launched a complete mobile product and developed an HTML5 version of its products. Despite its global presence, the company will focus on Asia in the next few years. Currently Ezugi has several operators in Asia - both land-based and online – using its Live Casino solutions.

To realize its business ambitions in the region, Ezugi will partner with a local operator to set up a joint gaming studio in Manila and build a gaming solution Back Office for a specific client in Korea. Given the seniority of G2E Asia’s attendees, Ezugi considers the show as the right platform to network with the decision makers in Asia. l EZUGI WILL BE ATTENDING THIS YEAR’S G2E ASIA AND SPEAKING AT THE IGAMING SUMMIT.

FIRST CAGAYAN

Unrivalled hub for iGaming in Asia

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ith no rival hubs in Asia to date, Cagayan continues to be the pioneering iGaming jurisdiction in this region. One of the most prominent booths at the iGaming Asia Congress this year was the stand from the First Cagayan Leisure & Resort Corporation (FCLRC), which aimed to elevate awareness of the iGaming jurisdiction in the Philippines. The Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, a vast 54,000 hectare site at the north eastern tip of the country, has been a dedicated hub for various industries since 1995. That includes virtual gaming. Courtesy of favourable tax incentives, (including an exemption from corporate tax for the first four to six years), state-of-the art telecommunications and infrastructure, Cagayan has fast become a leading iGaming jurisdiction in Asia. The FCLRC and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority are both governmentbacked entities that oversee this special economic zone. The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority has the power to issue licenses to digital gaming operators, including remote casino vendors, sports book operations, interactive gaming and lottery providers. As of 2013, 81 operators have chosen this area as a hosting location, including Chinese interactive gaming company Xin Tian Di Entertainment, plus sports book provider Sports 888 corporation. The FCLRC is eager to raise awareness of its state-of-the art Data Center at the Cagayan Freeport. At the 10-hectare Cyberpark lies the Data Center, which is designed to accommodate online companies’ networks and data storage needs. CCTV surveillance, among other security features, have been installed at the facility, as well as cooling systems and backup generators to ensure the operator’s platform runs reliably. Essentially, the facility can host servers around-the-clock among other features to support the online vendor’s operation. l Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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Gaming Laboratories International turns 25! Boasts presence in 455 jurisdictions

G&D

Striving for higher level of Automation

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iesecke & Devrient (G&D) aspires to expand its presence in Asia Pacific by offering high security automated cash processing solutions. While G&D describes its solution as having “the highest level of automation available in the casino market,” it has advanced its solution by adding an automated player card and chip verification as well as destruction systems. The company has created momentum in the region including their count room processing systems employed in Macau since 2005 and a new site in one of the largest casinos in Manila, which is set to open in Q3, 2014. With locations throughout the Asia-Pacific region including China, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, and Australia, G&D is also serving countries like Malaysia, South Korea, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. G&D also eyes potential opportunities in other jurisdictions such as Taiwan and Japan should the two markets open to gaming. At this year’s G2E Asia show, G&D will be exhibiting the Casino’s Count Room Efficiency Solutions for cash processing needs, and cash processing systems including BPS C4, BPS C1 integrated with cash management software – BPS Connect Casino, and Numeron and Bank Express SystemTM integrated with Compass CasinoCM at the booth. The highlight – BPS Connect Casino – is a tailored software solution that offers header card creation and tracking, processing and monitoring with consolidated reporting and analysis. l G&D WILL BE AT STAND 219.

GLI

Testing lab celebrates 25th anniversary

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aming Laboratories International (GLI), which is marking its 25th anniversary, has global partnerships with more than 455 jurisdictions. GLI has a very strong position in Asia, with full service labs in Macao, China, and in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. The company offers its clients a wide range of services, including lottery testing, gaming device and systems testing, online g a m i n g systems and security testing, rule writing, consultation and professional services. “As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we have a more diverse range of services than ever to offer to suppliers, to regulators and to operators. From IT security audits to exclusive tools that open the global marketplace to suppliers, we are better positioned to assist clients than any other gaming test lab. All of these services underscore the fact that GLI is so much more than just testing,” said GLI Vice President of Global Services Ian Hughes. The highlight - GLI Certified mark - gives confidence to regulators that the devices and systems on the floor in their jurisdictions meet the highest testing standards and operate in a fair way for everyone – from players to operators and government agencies. Most recently, the company assisted regulators in developing the PAGCOR (Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation) Technical Standard for Electronic Gaming Machines. GLI sees G2E Asia as an opportunity to discuss its testing, certification and consulting services with regulators, suppliers and operators. The company will present its wide range of tools, one of which was created with an eye on the Asian marketplace, GLI Link. GLI Link allows device testing against systems from any of GLI’s global locations, saving time and money and speeding time to market. Also on show will be several exclusive tools, including Point. Click, a transfer service, where suppliers can transfer previously certified products into jurisdictions around the world with the click of a mouse. l GLI WILL BE AT STAND 439.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

GPI

New solutions to meet Asia needs

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aming Partners International will showcase its range of casino currency products and RFID solutions, along with the company’s newest additions at this year’s G2E Asia show. The highlight – 3-in-1 UV – is a security taggant that remains invisible under standard UV wavelengths. With its compatibility to chip materials, it can help validate chips with a specialized tool and offer three levels of authentication. Also on display will be the Dragon’s Eye plaque, a new stand design customized for Asian players. The design is built on the success of GPI’s European plaque collection and can be further enhanced with new material patterns and colors, extending its visual appeal. GPI will also be exhibiting the J3 hybrid jeton – a combination of the practicality of American-style chips and the visual appeal of European jetons. With the LaserTrack embedded in each chip’s edge spot inserts, it’s easy to validate when in stacks and racks. Scott McCarthy, GPI Asia’s Vice President of Sales commented: “Asia is such a dynamic market, and with a number of new large casinos slated to open over the next few years, it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. The upcoming G2E Asia show is a great forum to meet with our customers and demonstrate these newest products alongside our full suite of table game products. We look forward to the show and getting the industry’s feedback on how we can continue to support their operations.” l GPI WILL BE AT STAND 547.

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GTECH

Rebranding to unify

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ottomatica Group’s rebranding brought together formerly separate business units under the GTECH corporate brand name, including SPIELO International, in a bid to provide its customers with a single complete source of gaming solutions across all channels. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, GTECH UK has completed its cash acquisition of the entire issued share of Probability Plc, U.K.-based, AIM listed mobile gaming solutions company for approximately £18 million (€21 million). The acquisition allows GTECH to accelerate deployment of existing game technology into the mobile market and pursue cross-selling opportunities. Last year, the company continued its growth in Asia with large-scale systems installations in Korea and Cambodia, including its deployment of GALAXIS casino systems in Kangwon Land as well as of the SYSTEM2go slot management system at Dreamworld Poipet, Dreamworld Pailin, and Nagaworld Casino. “Just one example of our successful work in Asia is the systems installation at Kangwon Land in South Korea, the country’s biggest and busiest gaming venue. With 200 tables and 1,496 slot machines, it’s the perfect venue to demonstrate the robustness and flexibility of our GALAXIS casino management system,” said Chiang Lai Fatt, GTECH General Manager for Casino Systems in Asia. To support regional growth, GTECH has set up its Local Level One Support Team for all its Asian customers, and the team is now able to cover Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean languages. GTECH is also focusing on extending its footprint in the Philippine market and re-entering the Macau market. To achieve that, GTECH works closely with its distributor RGB in the Philippines and has appointed Maria Garcia as its Macau-based Director of Sales for Asia. “We have continuously increased our presence here in Asia and are very pleased to bring our greatest and most innovative products to G2E Asia and to the market,” Chiang added. At this year’s G2E Asia, GTECH will be presenting its latest range of innovative casino systems solutions including Rub4Riches, JP2go, GALAXIS ANALYTICS, GALAXIS Casino System and SYSTEM2go. Also on display will be a select range of award-winning slot products such as SPHINX 3D, Plants vs. Zombies Gargantuar and Plants vs. Zombies Backyard Showdown. l GTECH WILL BE AT STAND 501 AND 601. Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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“The future of sports betting in Asia is an exciting one. So far the regulators have not been making strong enough headway, but there seems to be momentum that things will change from India to Malaysia,” Inspired Gaming Group’s Harmen Brenninkmeijer

IGT

Taking slot gaming to full potential

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GT is investing in market research on player preferences to develop games that appeal to Asian audiences as slot gaming grows in Asia, as illustrated by the expansion of slow play. Eric Tom, IGT Executive Vice President of Global Sales commented: “IGT is laser-focused on the gaming market in Asia. As opportunities in the region grow, so do the opportunities to provide unequalled gaming experiences.” “The Asian players are some of the most discerning in the world, and IGT has made a point to create appealing and imaginative games directly based upon player preferences,” Tom added. With this year’s theme “Experience – A Vision for the Future”, IGT will be showcasing its innovation of the year. Visitors will also see a tradeshow with information about the region’s latest trends in slot gaming. Following the success of last year’s Money Frog theme, IGT will release San Xing Bao Xi Lucky Dragon at G2E Asia 2014. This medium-volatility game features a fire dragon in the base game, which reveals expanded substitutes to boost the number of awards. Another highlight – Yin Yang – presents an auto-rolling bonus game, which is built upon new math models. A credit multiplier bar featured in the game formulates a mechanism with auto-rolling bonus functionality. Also on show will be Azure Dragon Video Slots, Dragon Dance and Extra Chance Jetsetter. While the former two are high-volatility slot games that engage players by vivid imagery, the latter is a medium-volatility trio. l IGT WILL BE AT STAND 908.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

INSPIRED GAMING GROUP

Sports betting gaining momentum

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nspired, which isn’t exhibiting at this year’s show, said it sees momentum for changes in regulation that could unlock the potential of sports betting in Asia. “The future of sports betting in Asia is an exciting one. So far the regulators have not been making strong enough headway with new regulations, but there seems to be a momentum that things will change from India to Malaysia,” said Harmen Brenninkmeijer, Inspired’s Senior Vice President Asia and Strategic Markets. “Especially as sports betting is the fastest growing market segment within gaming and a lot of money is left on the table as people find ways to place a bet with, or without, sound regulations,” Brenninkmeijer added. Since last year’s G2E Asia, Inspired has launched two new Virtual Sports – Virtual Darts and Virtual Basketball – and advanced its BetBOX Virtual Sports bet management system. With a self-service kiosk BetBuilder, BetBOX reduces the workload of cashier desks. Inspired has a portfolio of 10 Virtual Sports and 4 numbers games for land-based, online and mobile operations. It said its high-frequency Virtual Sports and Numbers Games are proven to add 10-15 percent to sportsbook revenues. Inspired has gained significant momentum in China. Its Virtual Football is now approved by the Chinese Ministry of Finance, and its “E-Ball” has the largest market share in China’s sports lottery market at 14.6 percent. Brenninkmeijer will join the panel discussion; “Know the rules: State of iGaming regulation in Asia” at the G2E Asia iGaming Summit. l INSPIRED IS SPONSORING THE IGAMING REGULATION PANEL AT THE CONFERENCE.


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55

JCM GLOBAL

Casino openings to drive expansion INTERBLOCK

G5 products make Asia debut at G2E

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nterBlock brings the fifth generation of its HD product to G2E Asia hoping to establish the firm as a market leader in the ETG sector. The company has a strong presence in the Philippines and Vietnam and now seeks to further expand in the Philippines and Macau. The company has released a new G5 product line that features the new G5 Play Station. It differentiates itself from the G4 platform through an updated logic board, wider Play Station monitor, upgraded modules, added side bets and high resolution game graphics. The G5 product will be on show for the first time in Asia. The new G5 Play Station is a fully automated device and can accommodate a larger LCD display. It also offers better security, a high-quality sound system and faster and more powerful embedded graphic engines. It also has an added feature that is a power meter with easier access for maintenance, low maintenance costs and low energy consumption. The highlight – Interblock Hologram Gaming Lounge (IBHGL) – is an award-winning innovation, which is described by the company as a first of a kind in Asia. Interblock will also present a scaled down version of IBHGL, namely G5 IBHG (Interblock Hologram Games) which is able to connect up to 5 G5 Play Stations. Interblock will also exhibit the G5 Bubble Generator, an electromechanical generator customized for the company’s Pop’n Poker and Keno games. The generator is able to display a large number of results in a short period of time and allows several games to be played simultaneously. Also on display will be the G5 Wheel Generator with the Big3Six game and the G5 MiniStar Roulette with 08 G5 Play Stations, which is said to be the smallest and best-performing eight-seat product available in the market. l

I

CM Global, which has its bill validators on half of all floors in Asia, sees further opportunities in the next three years with major casino openings planned around the region, in particular in Macau and the Philippines. JCM has a 100 percent market share at Macau’s City of Dreams and Wynn Casinos, 80 percent at Mocha Clubs and 65 percent at SJM. The transaction technologies supplier will be launching its new product – iV8 – around the time of the G2E Asia show. The product is created specifically for heavyvolume table markets such as Macau and Singapore. Also on display will be other validators including iVIZION, TBV Transactional Bill Validator, iPRO UBA 14 and ICB cash box and VEGA and VEGA-RC Twin. JCM will also be exhibiting printers, such as the PayCheck 4 thermal printer, HSVL Transformer printer as well as EZ-Tear and other technologies such as ICB 3.0 intelligent cash box, the BlueWave firmware upload tool and sentry line of smart bezels. Thecompany’sofficesin Tokyo, Osaka, Bangkok, Taipei, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau are also working closely to localize its sales strategies and customer service. JCM’s local office in Macau will be at the G2E Asia show to meet potential customers. l

INTERBLOCK WILL BE AT STAND 1210.

JCM WILL BE AT STAND 653 Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


G2E ASIA 2014 SPECIAL REPORT

56

JUMBO

New Alphabet at G2E Asia

KONAMI

Eyes slot play growth in Asia

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J

umbo Technology Co. Ltd, as part of Jumbo Group, will launch its new gaming station, Alphabet, hoping to gain from the growth of Integrated Resorts in Asia. While the company eyes opportunities in Southeast Asia, it’s taking an aggressive approach in Macau and the Philippinesamidstthe growth of Integrated Resorts in the two markets. Since last year’s G2E Asia, Jumbo Technology has expanded its market presence to Cambodia and South Korea. GAMA Technology, the firm’s sister company, which provides casino management solutions, has completed a 5,000-unit system project with Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Jumbo Technology and GAMA Technology have connected around 10,000 terminals throughout casinos and gaming operations in Asia. Both companies will take part in this year’s G2E Asia under the name of Jumbo Group. With its high-definition graphics, embedded sound and atmospheric lighting and master control programs, Alphabet is described as “a technical marvel and a design masterpiece.” Visitors are promised “a one-of-a-kind gaming extravaganza.” Also on display will be GAMA’s new interface and functions. l JUMBO GROUP WILL BE AT STAND 323. Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

onami Gaming, Inc, which is seeking to expand its footprint in Asia through a broadened catalogue and game library, has its sights set mainly on Macau and Singapore, but is also dedicating resources to the Philippines, Vietnam and South Korea. To secure significant market share in the region, the company has introduced functionalities that comply with local requirements relating to games, operating systems and progressives, exemplified by More Gold More Silver, Great Luck Great Profit, and Brothers of Fortune. Meanwhile, Konami has appointed senior executives dedicated to the Asian market including Eduardo Aching, Mitsuhiro Miyazaki, John Gomes and Jeffrey Chen. Since last year’s G2E Asia show, Konami has expanded its offices in Las Vegas and doubled the size of its facilities. A company spokesperson said their products “have generated sustained growth” and are “starting to get traction in Macau and Singapore.” Konami will be showcasing several new additions to its expanding product portfolio at this year’s G2E Asia. One of the highlights – The Rapid Revolver – is described as the “first game ever to be released on the Rapid Revolver Cabinet” by the company. The game has a mix of video game content, spinning reels and multiple bonus features that will offer a unique video reel experience and raise the standard for the next level of EGM. Also on show will be SYNKROS, Konami’s gaming enterprise management system, which provides a multitude of features with unparalleled reliability, flexibility and marketing horsepower that enable casinos to analyze their business and help increase efficiency. l KONAMI WILL ALSO EXHIBIT GAMES ON THE SELEXION MULTIGAME CABINET, PODIUM MONUMENT CABINET, PODIUM GOLIATH AND DRAGON’S VICTORY AT G2E ASIA 2014.


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Jumbo Technology plans aggressive expansion in Macau, Philippines as new IR expansion fuels growth

LT GAME

Operator wins, player wins too MATSUI

L

T Game will bring products that aim to improve game productivity and gaming experience to create a win-win situation for both casino operators and players. Last year, LT Game launched the Multi-Touch, commonly known as LMG-6, which allows two Game Players to bet on one terminal simultaneously through a multi-player mode and increases game productivity with a reduced amount of human error. Another new product - E-Baccarat - provides first hand interaction between the dealers and players in the electronic gaming world. This product is tailored to those gamers who are comfortable with having an intimate dealerplayer interaction. Meanwhile, it will increase average player wagering and offers more marketing promotion tools for operators. Currently the company’s Live Multi Game Systems and Slant Tops have been deployed in all major properties in Macau, such as the Venetian, Sands Cotai Central, MGM, Wynn, Galaxy and Grand Emperor Casino. LT Game values G2E Asia not only as an opportunity for promotion, branding and lead generation, but also a platform to collect customer feedback. At this year’s G2E Asia show, LT Game will be exhibiting products including The LMG-5, MultiTouch, E-Baccarat Table, E-Mahjong Table, Airline Concept Betting Terminal, and Intelligent Cash Access. l LT GAME WILL BE AT STAND 647.

Winning customers in security and style

M

atsui will be exhibiting its flagship product – Matsui Chips and Matsui Layout – with strengthened security and polished style at this year’s G2E Asia. The highlight with be Matsui Chips. These are made of a unique material, which is difficult to copy, and the product itself is fully secured with several security features. It is used at most major casinos in Asia and Oceania. Recently Matsui announced the release of 15 new colors for Matsui Chips and the sample color kit for those new colors are available free of charge to casino customers on request. “Those new colors look very striking and very much different from standard colors that all the chip manufacturers have offered,” Shigeki Machida, Managing Director of Matsui Asia, in Matsui’s Macau office said. “Bright and impressive colors like Gold and Silver, which are favorites of Asian customers were difficult to make by standard chip material, but it is available now from us,” Machida added. Also on display will be Matsui Layout, which is available in both Synthetic and Wool material. Matsui Layout is widely used by casinos in Macau, the Philippines, Cambodia, and rising markets such as India and Vietnam. Matsui also offers customized design with special logo, event theme and commemorative designs to meet the increasing demands over table layouts in Asia. l MATSUI WILL BE AT STAND 859.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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Online gambling operators can longer rely on a one-stop jurisdiction for market penetration, with more and more countries locking down their markets, whilst setting the bar high for entry in terms of technical and security requirements, NMi says

NMI

Taking online to emerging markets MICRO GAMING

Live Dealer for G2E Asia

M

icro Gaming seeks to impress visitors to the G2E Asia show with its Live Dealer product and wide range of online games. Since last year’s G2E Asia, Micro Gaming has further developed its core products with substantial growth. With its Live Dealer studios available in three different continents, the company has introduced a new game type – Dragon Tiger – to the Live Dealer series. Micro Gaming’s other offerings including mobile-dedicated games and Quickfire platform have also gained momentum. Currently the company offers over 160 mobile games and has more than 200 brands using its Quickfire platform. At this year’s G2E Asia show, Micro Gaming has a bar instead of a booth. Visitors will be offered a drink and an opportunity to see a product demo. The highlight – Live Dealer series – incorporates a multilanguage facility for the localization of Casinos and Live Games. It also offers High Definition video streaming and a wide range of game titles such as Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack and Dragon Tiger. Micro Gaming will also exhibit its Playboy Live Dealer, which is described as “the world’s first branded Live Dealer studio” by the company. Also on display will be its online games including The Dark Knight™, The Dark Knight Rises™ and Playboy™. l MICRO GAMING WILL BE AT STAND 839.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

I

ndependent Testing and auditing laboratory NMi has moved from strength to strength in recent years, leveraging laboratories in multiple time-zones globally and handling projects for operators and B2B providers alike with their compliance requirements in Europe, Asia, and North America. “Doubling our customers and capacity year on year in online gaming is a testament to the investment and reputation we are building in this market” says Julian Borg-Barthet, business development manager for NMi Gaming worldwide. “Online gambling operators can no longer rely on a one-stop shop jurisdiction for market penetration, with more and more countries locking down their markets, whilst setting the bar high for entry in terms of technical and security requirements. Gaming operators and content providers need to look at their first certification as being the first of many, meaning they need to pick the right lab with the resources and expertise to take them into emerging markets,” Borg-Barthet added. NMi is one of the few labs that have a track record in highly regulated markets, understanding that regulator perception of laboratories’ independence and resources is just as important as their ability to deliver highly-specialized testing and auditing. As an ISO17025 accredited laboratory with over 35 years in the gambling industry, NMi Gaming is part of a larger organization which offers assurance in markets as diverse as traffic management, weights and measures, and oil and gas meter calibration, worldwide. l


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ORTIZ GAMING NOVOMATIC

Bingo!

NOVO LINE aims for VIP comfort

N

OVOMATIC, one of the largest integrated gaming groups in the world, will showcase its flagship products, including the Dominator, a range of NOVO LINE Interactive multi-game mixes and the new Octavian Superia-Games mixes 1-3 at G2E Asia 2014. There are two different jackpot concepts – the MAGIC JOKER jackpot and the JEWELS FACTORY hybrid jackpot – behind two of the Dominator machine groups. While the highlight of the MAGIC JOKER jackpot is its six LCD screens on display, the JEWELS FACTORY hybrid jackpot stands out through its flexible jackpot display option. The highlight – NOVO LINE Interactive mixes – transfers the game screen onto a giant 46” LCD screen. Together with the Crown V.I.P. chair, integrated sound system and start button located in the armrest, this product aims to create a sense of true V.I.P. comfort in panoramic style. On display will be Panther Roulette, the successor of Pinball Roulette. Visitors will see two versions – Panther Roulette and Panther Roulette II. Both versions have a comprehensive multi-game offering of 23 HD video slot games. NOVOMATIC will also be exhibiting a group of NOVOSTAR SL1 slant tops, the Novo Multi-Roulette wheel and a broad choice of fully animated electronic live games that can be selected from different terminals, including Novo Flying Black Jack, Novo Flying Baccarat, Novo Flying Sic Bo, Novo Flying Poker 3 and Novo Flying Double-Action Roulette. Also on show will be Octavian’s ACP Casino Management System (Accounting – Control – Progressives), a modular system that differentiates itself by additional functionality, such as Cashless, TITO, Player Loyalty, Cash Manager and Gate Manager. NOVOMATIC subsidiary Austrian Gaming Industries GmbH (AGI) and its local partner Jade Gaming will meet visitors at the exhibition. l NOVOMATIC WILL BE AT STAND 308.

O

rtiz Gaming has an ambition to become a mainstay in the Asian gaming market and will be bringing its flagship Bingo game Triple Bonus to G2E Asia. “As a part of our business strategy, Asia is definitely a market where Ortiz Gaming is already investing and working to deliver the Maximum Performance in Bingo; including launching new games and systems over the next few months,” says Roberto Regianini, Vice President of Sales and Head of Ortiz Gaming’s Asian Gaming Division.

Ortiz Gaming’s most recent game – Pilibingo – allows players to play up to 20 bingo cards at once. At this year’s G2E Asia show, the company will be exhibiting its flagship Bingo game Triple Bonus, which consists of a 3x5 bingo card instead of the typical 5x5 card. Both Pilibingo and Triple Bonus have a bonus game triggered by making the SQUARE pattern. “We are getting amazing feedback from our partners in Asia and most of them already have the Ortiz products as an exclusive partner for their Bingo machines,” Regianini added. Ortiz Gaming describes G2E Asia as “a very important step” in the Asian market. l THE COMPANY WILL ATTEND THE SHOW FOR MEETINGS. Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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PADDY POWER

Targeting expansion in regulated markets PALTRONICS

E

uropean online betting giant Paddy Power is concentrating its efforts on regulated markets in the Asia region. “Our preferred model is to talk to regulators and to get an operating license,” explains Harish Narayanan, president of Asia at the Dublin-headquartered company. “We look at products that are within the law, so if a particular country regulates one kind of gaming activity, that is the way we enter the market,” he said. However, during a panel talk on accessing Asian iGaming markets at the iGaming Asia Congress in Macau, the executive acknowledged that this approach can be challenging as Asia is still in its infancy when it comes to online gambling regulation. Narayanan remains optimistic about the future of remote betting in Asia. “We believe that regulation is going to happen, it’s a question of whether it will be two, three or five years.” As more markets gradually open up, the Irish betting provider is eager to provide its sportsbook and other products in various markets. On how to cooperate with regulators to monetize opportunities in this industry, Narayanan said; “We believe that regulated operators and regulators alike have similar objectives: consumer protection against problem gambling, consumer protection against underage gambling, money laundering, and games’ match-fixing and fraud.” The company works with authorities on these issues, including sharing experiences such as technologies that help fulfill these objectives. To combat match-fixing, Paddy Power’s approach involves running several algorithms each game to detect patterns, including anomalies that could be sports fraud activity. “Even for a single NFL game, we have over three billion calculations made, so from these complex algorithms we watch every move and every betting pattern,” he said. Its system calculates the profile of each player, including the average size bet, it provides a benchmark to help detect unusual play patterns, which sets off an alert within Paddy Power. Narayanan says such transactions would immediately be monitored and the company would notify the authorities of any kind of irregularities. l

Expanding its reach in Asia

W

ith a strong presence in Macau, gaming system solutions provider Paltronics Macau has begun reaching out to other Asian markets. Paltronics Macau is registered as a Macanese company but the company needs a regional perspective for its multi-jurisdictional clients. In the past year, Paltronics Macau has been working on both side bet games, with Bonus Spin and Pontoon Pandemonium and incorporating these products into its 3E suite and upgrading the platform to run these products. Meanwhile, the company has extended its reach in the region exemplified by its One Link installation in MBS Singapore, Solaire Manila, The Grand Vietnam and other Asian countries. The company sees G2E Asia as an opportunity to get customer feedback, discuss products and issues around existing and emerging jurisdictions including Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Saipan, Korea, Cambodia and Vietnam. At the G2E Asia show, Paltronics Macau will be exhibiting its advanced One Link 3E systems 5.4. The focus of this product is its virtualized Jackpot controllers, flat user-friendly system and expansion into table and non-gaming media. These enhancements allow for greater billing options from the media sector allowing proof of play and media played reports to allow external and internal - inter department invoicing for content played on the system. l PALTRONICS MACAU WILL BE AT STAND 739.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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Paddy Power stakes bets on regulated markets while waiting for legal changes. They will happen, it says

PLAYSCAN AB PLAYING CARD

High quality flagship products

Bringing responsible gambling to Asia

T

he United States Playing Card Company sees Asia’s tremendous opportunities in the next few years ahead, and it aspires to show its flagship product to operators at G2E Asia. The company describes its growth in Asia as very encouraging with great progress in the Philippines and the South Pacific market in particular. Playing Card has been supplying playing cards since 1885 with its signature brands including Bee, Bicycle and Congress. Coupled with its cards, the company launches Bee-Tek Intelligent Electronic Baccarat Shoe, an ergonomic card dealing solution that differentiates itself from other market offerings by its strengthened security and efficiency. With the philosophy to focus on limited products with high quality, the company will be exhibiting Bee-Tek Intelligent Electronic Baccarat Shoe and its cards only at this year’s G2E Asia show. l PLAYING CARD WILL BE AT STAND 360.

T

ogether with Northberry AB in Sweden and FuSheng Interactive in Hong Kong, Playscan brings its responsible gaming solutions to China, hoping to position itself as a leading solution provider in Asia that minimizes the harmful effects of gambling. With a mission to share its knowledge and responsible gambling solutions, Playscan’s product is designed to help both the operator and the player make informed choices in the area of sustainable and responsible gambling. Its latest version – Playscan 4 – has an improved risk-scale and optimized content. With the analysis provided by Playscan 4, an operator can detect and predict risky behavior associated with potential problem gambling. Playscan also focuses on the online market, with two eGaming machine clients that have gone live recently. Players gaming at physically standing eGaming machines are now provided with an early warning if their gaming starts to appear risky. Playscan’s product brings in evidence-based practice and moves a step forward in providing Responsible Gambling tools in the land-based gaming environment. l Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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Playtech to launch software solution - Livo - at this year’s G2E Asia. The software enables operators to capture and store detailed game data, analyze performance, model demand and delivery.

PLAYTECH

Rapid growth anticipated in Asia

QUIXANT

For the first time at G2E Asia

T ith more than 3,400 employees and market presence in 12 countries, Playtech has identified Asia as its key growth market for its land-based technologies and it expects rapid growth in the next 2 years. While Playtech sees The Philippines as its base in Asia, the company also has a focus on introducing its products into Macau. Since last year’s G2E Asia, the company has provided the technology for the Coral Connect program that connects Coral’s online gaming operation to its 1,800 retail betting shops to provide a single customer account for interactive gaming, electronic gaming machines and over-the-counter betting. With a goal to showcase its system to a wider audience in Asia, Playtech will be launching a software solution – Livo – at this year’s G2E Asia show. The software enables operators to capture and store detailed game data, analyze performance, model demand and delivery. The capacity of data mining helps operators plan capacity at a global level and generate a return on their investment through both revenue uplift and cost control. Another highlight – Neon – is a land-based casino management system that will manage customer data, cashdesk operations, table gaming, incentive programs and compliance across the group. Currently the company already has large-scale slot system installations in Asia with thousands of slots connected to Neon. Also on display will be Premo, Playtech’s on-premise mobile gaming platform with a new range of content including Baccarat, Sic Bo, Roulette, slots, Bingo and virtual sports. l

he global gaming platforms designer and manufacturer Quixant will be exhibiting at the G2E Asia show for the first time and using this opportunity to launch its new flagship platform QX-50. In view of the unique challenges and stringent regulatory requirements of each geographical market, Quixant provides specialized support to its customers through any regulatory approval process, regardless of jurisdiction. Quixant has achieved growth with new customer business throughout the region, expanded its North American office and continued to recruit specialized software and hardware engineers in its Italian and Taiwanese facilities. Following its visit to G2E Asia last year, Quixant has decided to exhibit at this year’s show with a goal to showcase its new products and meet potential and existing customers. The highlight - QX50 - is a gaming platform that can bring game console levels of graphics performance to the PC and will allow game developers to create more vibrant, next-generation games. Quixant already previewed QX-50 at ICE Totally Gaming, London in January 2014. Also on display will be the company’s range of all-in-one gaming platforms including the cost effective QXi-200 and QXi-300; the mid-range QXi-4000; and the high-end QX-40. l

PLAYTECH WILL BE AT STAND 247.

QUIXANT WILL BE AT STAND 312.

W

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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RFRANCO

Innovations for Asia RFranco: Innovations for Asia

R

ecreativos Franco aspires to impress visitors with innovations specifically adapted to the Asian market to showcase its ability to meet specific regulations in different jurisdictions. The company has developed products that are customized for several Asian markets, including Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Macau. The company places particularly strong focus on Laos and Cambodia. Last year, the company developed the Tombola Roulette, the Vídeo Poker and the VLT for the Spanish market. In the years ahead, RFranco will be presenting the multipost SICBO and the Tombola Roulette in two completely new versions in different cabinets. At this year’s G2E Asia show, RFranco will be exhibiting its new TOMBOLA Roulette in its upright version. The size of this new version is tailor-made for its players, and also in a cabinet with an ellipsoid drum mechanism. Also on display will be RFranco’s multi-post terminals that are connected to a 3-dice mechanic draw and Bingo Bombo, one sole drum with 37 balls of the roulette. RFranco will also be exhibiting its machines with five mechanic reels and video-reels, such as the Golden Dragon and Golden Sphynx, RF Confidencial and Treasure of the Seven Seas. l

RGB

One stop solution

A

s a manufacturer, distributor, concession and technical support services provider, RGB is looking for new opportunities for its technical support and management operation. In Asia, RGB substantially invests in products with the highest return, including WMS, SHFL, Aristocrat’s EGM and Spielo’s Casino Management System. The company is particularly proactive in promoting the WMS Blade EGM product and the SHFL EGM & Table Games Utility product. RGB positions itself as a one-stop solution provider and constantly adds new products to its portfolio. For instance, since last year’s G2E Asia show, RGB has introduced the WMS Blade Standalone EGM and SHFL new games. RGB values G2E Asia as a platform to showcase its latest products hoping to generate sales leads and seal deals. At this year’s G2E Asia show, RGB will be exhibiting its latest RGB games that are specifically with an Asian theme and local content. The company will also be showing Trackside (Virtual Racing), a computeranimated virtual racing game with a complete betting system. The game is RGB’s collaboration with Tabcorp from Australia. l

Pantone Cyan Magenta Yellow Black Red Green Blue RGB

Websafe

RAL

RFRANCO WILL BE EXHIBITING ITS

RGB WILL BE AT STAND 300.

Applicationfilm

PRODUCTS AT RGB’S STAND 300. Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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SPINTEC SILVER GOOSE 8

Inks new deal

Product redesign for Asia

S

o far, 2014 has been a winning year for Silver Goose 8 (SG8), a web gaming provider with an extensive range of products, such as online slots, live dealer casino products and real-time binary trading. The company just cemented a deal with DFNN Inc, a technology firm listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, which specializes in gaming solutions and systems. DFNN will distribute SG8’s slot games to various gaming outlets in the Philippines. The web gaming operator is a major player in the online gambling space in Asia especially with sport themes. One of its platforms includes sportsbook site S68Sports.com, which covers more than 3,000 matches every month, particularly major league soccer events. Additionally, the online operator specializes in offering multiple games from a single platform so players can engage in various products simultaneously. Operations manager Joe Tang said the company is currently seeking operators who are interested in the company’s products for their online cash market. On upcoming trends in the live dealer world, SG8’s senior executive Jeremy Tan shared his forecast during a panel discussion at the 2014 iGaming Asia Congress at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Macau. Users can expect a more refined and personalized player experience. Tan says better browser technology has enriched the interpersonal experience of live streaming casinos, particularly individual player personalization. “Players can pre-select their favourite betting on the roulette table or play multiple table games at one time, among other features,” he said. Additionally, technological advances will fuel rising demand for live dealer games. Tan says in this era where users can get better, faster and cheaper Internet connections, more vendors can deliver high-quality content, particularly High Definition (HD) visuals. He adds that many operators are already using content distribution network technology to deliver HD gaming content. “This technology can detect users’ download rates and deliver the appropriate levels of streaming to optimize the user experience.” l

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014

S

pintec seeks to showcase its innovative approach through its redesigned products with features customized for the Asian market. As Macau is one of Spintec’s key target jurisdictions, the company has redesigned its 12 stations and two wheel roulettes specifically for the Far East region and all major Macau operators. Spintec has also incorporated strong Asian themes into the classical automated game of American Roulette. Spintec sees G2E Asia as an opportunity to showcase the quality, calibre and inspiration behind its successful expansion in one of the most important markets in the gaming industry. The company has prepared information about the technology that inspires its products for visitors. The company will be also launching a range of multiplayer automated American Roulette gaming solutions, including eight stations compact installation with topper. l SPINTEC WILL BE AT STAND 467.


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Silver Goose 8 cements deal for DFNN to distribute its products to gaming outlets in the Philippines

TCS JOHN HUXLEY

Provides technology to drive profits

T

CS John Huxley, a live gaming solutions company, will be showcasing its latest products designed to provide casinos with information on dealer performance and speed, ultimately allowing clients to maximize performance and boost profit. “At last year’s G2E Asia we spoke about our investment in product, people and infrastructure,” said Cath Burns, TCS John Huxley Group CEO. John Huxley will continue with its vision in 2014, with the main focus being on customer driven innovation and commitment to develop key products in our range, Burns said. This year, TCS John Huxley will showcase the company’s latest products including Gaming Floor Live, Supernova Progressive, Blaze Gaming Surface Technology, Traditional Gaming Tables, Roulette Wheels, Chipper Champ 2, e-FX Displays and the all new A-Plus shuffler. The highlight - Gaming Floor Live Baccarat – is a Real-Time game optimization tool, which will be shown for the first time at G2E Asia. It provides casinos with key information about dealer performance and the speed of each of the hands being dealt and helps casinos maximize key performance areas and profitability. “Our enabling technology innovations are already delivering solutions to customers across the globe,” Burns added. “By providing visibility and real-time data to refine and optimize processes, this adds up to a significant and positive change to profitability.” Also on display will be the Supernova Progressive Platform featuring a new Baccarat game. This platform adds higher levels of player excitement, offers flexibility for casinos to configure prizes and jackpots, and thus drives increased revenues. Another key product – Sic Bo Blaze – is a gaming surface technology with strengthened game security and animations projected through a traditional gaming layout. It incorporates flexibility to allow casinos to include their own graphics and branding. This technology will be rolled out in the coming year. l

TOM HORN ENTERPRISE

Presents new video slots to Asia

T

om Horn Enterprise, a Gibraltar-based gaming developer eager to develop its presence in Asia, was a newcomer to the iGaming Asia Congress (iGA) this year. A casino software producer for online and land-based operators, its stand at the event in the Grand Hyatt Macau focused particularly on its games library. Business director Ondrej Lapides says: “We would like to present our portfolio of games, which is continuously growing with 20 new games every year.” He adds that the company has a gallery of more than 80 games. The newest themes showcased at the convention include middle-to-high volatility video slots, such as Gangland (a mafia-themed video slot) and the Drunken Vikings (a beer-themed game set in a tavern in medieval Scandinavia). The titles feature 15 winning lines, a bonus round and more. Like many products generated by this gaming producer, the content was built with flash technology, which means it can run across browsers on various tablet and mobile platforms. “We provide gambling games that are entertaining and engaging. The difference between us and other operators is that we are flexible in terms of Return-to-Player (RTP),” says Lapides. The Slovakian added that the company is seeking opportunities with white label providers, companies that generate turnkey solutions for operators. “We can integrate our games with these operators, for example, we can provide sportsbook, or more games if the operator wants to extend its portfolio.” The company also specialises in server–based gaming and systems with API, or Application Programme Interface, a software-to-software interface that allows an application to be integrated with third-party systems. Tom Horn Enterprise has a strong presence in Europe, Russia and South America. Its offices in Slovakia and the Czech Republic are dedicated to software development, including originating and developing games. The company also has offices in Costa Rica to support its strong presence in South America. l

TCS JOHN HUXLEY WILL BE AT STAND 1239. Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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Weike eyes gaming growth in Macau and the Philippines in the year ahead but also sees business opportunities in Asia, such as ETGs in Vietnam and slot gaming in Malaysia and Singapore

WEIKE

Winning customers through partnership TRANSACT TECHNOLOGIES

Epicentral gains momentum

T

ransAct’s promotion and bonusing software system, Epicentral, which has achieved a significant increase in its footprint worldwide, will be on display at this year’s G2E Asia show. Epicentral allows casinos to design and run floor-wide promotions with the touch of a button, eliminating the need for a visit to the gaming machine by a floor attendant for printer and/or device configuration. Currently Epicentral is delivering customized promotions and coupons directly to casino patrons in 11 casinos worldwide, representing a total installed base of more than 10,500 electronic gaming machines. TransAct will also be exhibiting its Epic 950 ticket printer. With its TicketBurst technology, the system allows operators to eliminate player/ticket interference. TransAct continues to deploy the Epic 950 printer in the Asian market through sales to major slot manufacturers and through its distribution partner Transcity/Suzo-Happ. Also on display will be its Epic family of roll-fed printers, the Epic 430 and Epic 880. These compact, modular printers allow for easy integration into all game types that require roll-type receipts. At this year’s G2E Asia show, TransAct will have the installations, the proven results from the installations, and dedicated staff to explain how Asian operators can use TransAct’s products. l TRANSACT WILL BE AT STAND 539.

A

sian casino gaming supplier Weike Gaming Technology will be exhibiting its complete gaming portfolio at this year’s G2E Asia show and will be seeking customer feedback and insight. With its focus on growing customer partnerships, Weike incorporates customer insights into its product development to provide high-quality products that are competitive in the Asian market. This year Weike has expanded its system and product management departmentandlaunched its Victory progressive link on the Infinity X gaming machines. The company has increased its presence in Macau, particularly with its WeSystems and other machine products, but is also targeting all Asian markets with a focus on Macau and the Philippines for the year ahead. Meanwhile, Weike is also looking into business opportunities in other Asian markets such as ETGs in Vietnam, and slot gaming in Malaysia and Singapore. At this year’s G2E Asia show, Weike will be showcasing its complete gaming portfolio including Infinity X Gaming Machine, Infinity Electronic Tables Games and WE gaming system. l WEIKE WILL BE AT STAND 137.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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RUSSIAN GAMING WEEK 4-5 June 2014

Sokolniki, Moscow, Russia http://rgweek.ru/en

N. AMERICA GAMING REGULATORS ASSOCIATION (NAGRA) 30TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE 8-12 June 2014

Radisson Blu Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota www.nagra.org

PERU GAMING SHOW 11-12 June 2014 Peru, Lima www.perugamingshow.com

CANADIAN GAMING SUMMIT 23-25 June 2014

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OCTOBER IMGL AUTUMN CONFERENCE Date tba

Florence, Italy

JULY WORLD GAMING EXECUTIVE SUMMIT 8-10 July 2014

W Hotel, Barcelona, Spain www.terrapinn.com/conference/wges

CASINO MARKETING CONFERENCE 15-17 July 2014

Paris, Las Vegas www.casinomarketingconf.com

24 June 2014

RAI Amsterdam

AUGUST GAMING, RACING & WAGERING AUSTRALIA (GRWA) 11-12 August 2014

Radisson Hotel, Sydney www.gamingdownunder.com

AUSTRALASIAN GAMING EXPO (AGE) 12-14 August 2014

Sydney Exhibition Center @Glebe Island www.austgamingexpo.com

SEPTEMBER

www.gaminginholland.com

IGAMING SUPER SHOW 24-27 June 2014

EIG

21-23 October 2014 Berlin, Germany www.eigexpo.com

EASTERN EUROPEAN GAMING SUMMIT 21-22 October 2014

Inter Expo Center, Sofia, Bulgaria www.balkangamingexpo.com

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GAMING REGULATORS (IAGR) ANNUAL CONFERENCE 29-31 October 2014

Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia www.iagr.org

Vancouver Convention Centre www.canadiangamingsummit.com

GAMING IN HOLLAND

www.gaminglawmasters.com

10TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON GAMBLING STUDIES & POLICY ISSUES 9-12 September 2014

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GAMING ADVISORS (IAGA) ANNUAL CONFERENCE 29-31 October 2014

Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia www.theiaga.org/iaga-summit

NOVEMBER WORLD LOTTERY SUMMIT 2-5 November 2014

Cavalieri Convention Hotel, Rome http://www.wls2014.com/startseite

MALTA IGAMING SUMMIT 11-12 November 2014

The Hilton, Malta http://www.maltaigamingseminar.com/

SAGSE LATIN AMERICA 12-14 November 2014

www.igamingsupershow.com

Helsinki, Finland www.easg.org/website/conference

Buenos Aires, Argentina www.monografie.com/sagse_bsas/ingles/ index.php

FADJA PERU

GLOBAL GAMING EXPO (G2E)

MACAO GAMING SHOW

Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas www.globalgamingexpo.com

The Venetian Macau www.macaogamingshow.com

RAI Amsterdam

25-26 June 2014 Westin Hotel and Convention Center www.fadja.com.pe

30 Sep - 2 Oct 2014

18-20 November 2014

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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OPINION

Asia driving global mobile growth

A Mathias Larsson*

sia is viewed by analysts as the panacea when it comes to growth in mobile commerce and mobile gaming, with the region likely to far outpace expansion in Europe and the U.S. The worldwide forecast is for all forms of online and mobile gambling to be worth more than $44 billion annually by 2015, up from $34 billion in 2012 according to analysts H2 Gambling Capital. By the end of 2018, mobile is expected to account

burgeoning wearable tech consumables, such as smart watches. In fact according to Ericsson, Hong Kong has the highest level of smartphone and tablet users worldwide, with 34 percent of web users owning a tablet, followed by 31 percent in Singapore. Some experts even say that the challenges to the mobile revolution may actually come from lesser known startups involved in Messaging Apps, or more importantly mobile-content

for just under 44 percent of all interactive gambling. Economies in Asia are booming and shall be growth centres for several decades to come. According to GSMA Intelligence, a definitive source of mobileoperator data, analysis and forecasts, Asia was the only global region to have experienced double-digit annual revenue growth in 2012, accounting for almost two-thirds of total global growth. Furthermore GSMA forecasts that mobile operator revenue generated in Asia will cross the $500 billion mark this year, making it the most valuable and fastest-growing regional mobile market in the world. Asia-based operators generated some $478 billion in revenue in 2012, an increase of 10.4 percent on the previous year’s volumes. This means Asia represents around 42 percent of global mobile revenue, which is the same as the North American and European mobile markets combined.

platform development. These free services command significant numbers of users that the mobile operators may not be able to monetizise in the near term. Line, the Japanese/Korean messaging service with more than 230 million registered users, is one such example of the different attitude to mobile usage in Asia. WeChat, the messaging service developed by Tencent, has more than 400 million registered users (235 million use the app per month) and is another example of such a service. It recently made its first move towards monetization by rolling out a gaming platform and stickers.

gaming. He previously held the

CHALLENGES - TECHNOLOGY There is bound to be a significant number of challenges and complexities in the Asia region. Some relate to the platform and much debate has centered on iOS vs Android. In the U.S., iOS has market dominance, however in Asia it is Android that is the leading operating system for mobile. In mainland China, 90 percent of smartphones sold are Android-based, with reports of some variant of the Google operating system installed in half of the other available smartphones in the market. In Korea, home of the tech behemoth Samsung, Android also dominates mobile web usage, with Android devices accounting for 70 percent of shipments in the Southeast Asia region as a whole. This huge variation in the hardware, back-end and front-end services which form the Android-user device base, and indeed forked local Android installations, could discourage

CHALLENGES – CUSTOMER BEHAVIOUR For mobile, it is absolutely essential to look at consumer behaviour and adapt the product to those specific device-based behavioural needs. For example, a mobile user in general plays a game for 3-10 minutes and then puts the mobile away as he, or she, is usually in a situation that involves a certain amount of distraction, such as waiting for a train, bus, cab, or waiting in line to buy lunch. Therefore time is a critical aspect in product development. Mobile product strategy involves creating separate applications for separate products, such as Baccarat and Roulette, if played on the mobile. So when a player decides to play a game on the mobile, he or she should instantly get access to that game. If the loading time is too long, or if they have to go through too many pages to find the game they will abandon the process and not play. For tablets, the behaviour is different since most players use the tablet at home connected to their WiFi network and therefore have fewer distractions and a more stable mobile internet connection. Players still want a fast mobile experience, but developers can offer a larger version with a games lobby to heighten player engagement. These challenges of how consumers use devices and the differing technical infrastructure in

positions of Managing Director

developers. That said most mobile developers agree

each Asian market, mean the mobile developer must

that an Android application is central to growing a mobile-centric strategy in the Asia region, whether for live gaming or other content-based services. Another challenge is the number of connected devices available to the Asian mobile internet consumer. Around ninety percent of all our entertainment and digital media interactions are through a plethora of screen-based devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and the

understand the hierarchy of needs of the consumer and must invest in the latest adaptive software solutions. In order to truly succeed in the mobile commerce environment, you need a clear strategy from the ground up of the mobile ecosystem. It is therefore clear that merely having a mobile version of a desktop website, or optimized website or business model isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Mathias Larsson holds a Masters in Finance and is an experienced technology entrepreneur. He has held senior C-level executive positions and management consultancy roles in industries ranging from aviation, digital media and affiliate networks to product lifecycle marketing. He has a specialism in mobile with live dealer casinos, product expansion strategies, revenue and lifetime yield management, gained in online

with Ho Gaming’s subsidiary, Ho Broadcasting; Deal Group Media, a leading internet marketing company and served as management consultant to several igaming businesses.

Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


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Asia Gaming Briefings | May 2014


Agbriefings May 2014 G2E Asia edition