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MAY 2014 • EDITION 139



Asia & Oceania




A guide to the highlights at this year’s G2E Asia at the Venetian




he Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is one of the five inhabited US island territories. It consists of 15 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines. The total land area of all islands is and, as of the 2010 census, the Northern Mariana Islands had a population of 53,883, of whom over 90 per cent live on the island of Saipan. Of the 14 other islands, only two - Tinian and Rota - are permanently inhabited. Under US administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge closer links with the US. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the US was approved in 1975, and came into force on March 24, 1976. A new government and constitution went into effect in 1978.



Plans to develop a new casino on the Northern Mariana Islands have taken a leap forward, after two foreign investors submitted applications to operate a gaming resort on the island of Saipan. James Walker reports.

line up for Saipan casino licence

wo foreign companies have applied for an exclusive casino licence on Saipan - the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The applications from Marianas Stars Entertainment and Best Sunshine International followed Governor Eloy Inos’ signing of the Saipan Casino Bill earlier in March. Best Sunshine, a whollyowned subsidiary of Macaubased junket investor First Natural Foods, submitted plans to invest at least $2bn (E1.43bn) for a major integrated resort and casino on Saipan. While Mariana Stars, in which Hong Kong-based Mega Stars Overseas has a 25 per cent stake, has yet to bare its proposal, both companies paid a $1m (E720,000) nonrefundable application fee and have deposited $30m (E21.5m) each in escrow by way of confirming their commitment to the project. Saipan authorities will announce the winning

bidder before June 20. Best Sunshine said it aims to build “four luxury hotels and villas in four stages” on the island. The firm will make an “initial investment of at least $2bn... to include a casino and an integrated resort which will include the construction of 2,000 guest rooms” as the statutory requirements of acquiring the gaming licence. “The submission of these applications and the accompanying funds is the first step in the casino development process,” said Angel Demapan, Governor Inos’ press secretary. Demapan said applicants were required to submit detailed information concerning their financial capability, experience in gaming, development plans and a three-year business plan. All the information submitted will be thoroughly reviewed by a panel consisting of the attorney general, the secretaries of Finance and Commerce, and the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

Governor Inos said: “The deposit of the $2m confirms the viability of the proposal to spur economic development through a highly regulated development plan. This development is not just about casinos. It is about construction of new hotels, expansion of infrastructure and the creation of thousands of jobs. “The issue that is the most appealing is that it will provide an economic future for many families, increased demand for real property, and many business opportunities for local residents,” Inos said. “We will be closely reviewing these applications to ensure that they meet our objectives and protect the long-term interest of our residents.” According to press reports emerging from the region, the Northern Mariana Islands Lottery Commission is considering hiring a Macau-based casino investigator and gaming consultant to help review the applications of the two investor

groups wanting to develop the casino resort on Saipan. An initial measure to legalise casino gambling in the Northern Mariana Islands was shelved in November 2013 before being resurrected earlier this year. Yet while Governor Inos has stressed the benefits the new venue will bring to the local economy, the Saipan Casino Bill has also drawn criticism, as it limits the annual tax paid by the sole licensee at $15m (E10.9m), which opponents state is not in the best interests of the electorate. “We at the Chamber do not necessarily reject gaming outright but the last three pieces of legislation that have come forward including this one have all not been in our view in the best interests of the people of Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands especially with this bill calling for exclusivity to one permit holder for Saipan,” said Alex Sablan, head of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, earlier this year.

Governor Inos

w w w. j c m g l o b a l . c om

CR139-p02-03-World_Coinslot NEW 09/05/2014 09:38 Page 1

News World


Hellenic regulator agrees off-mountain relocation for Casino Mont Parnes

ANALYSIS move closer to the Greek capital will do Regency the power of good: although Mont Parnes is the closest casino to Athens, it can no longer rely on enough of the citizens to make the trek up the mountain, even though there is a useful cable car. Being on the same level as the city, wherever the casino finally opens, will make a huge difference psychologically for players and bring real advantages. And that’s where any trouble might stem from: the only other casino within striking distance is Loutraki, struggling but still just - afloat, and also with great interest in maintaining its Athens clientele who might otherwise be attracted by a brand new venue closer to home. There is likely to be vigorous argument but Regency has behaved impeccably during the financial crisis and has every right to expect a favourable eye turned towards it.


A law change is now required before Regency-operated casino, one of jewels in Greece’s gaming crown, will be able finally to find a venue that will attract more players.


he Hellenic Gaming Commission has recommended to the national finance ministry that Casino Mont Parnes be granted permission to move from its current location at the top of Mount Parnitha in a national park just north of Athens to a location much closer to the city. International Casino Review understands that in a letter to the ministry on April 15, commission chairman Eugene Giannakopoulos said it was in the best interests of the country that the casino’s operator be granted its long-held wish, as a better

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location will see improved tax revenues. He added that with the upcoming introduction of VLTs into the Greek market, the relocation would make the casino more competitive. The minister, Yiannis Stournaras, is expected to accept all the recommendations but will be required to pass a new law to allow the relocation to go ahead. Casino Mont Parnes is majority owned and operated by Regency Casinos, whose CEO is Ian Gosling. Contacted for comment, he said: “At the moment we do not know when any recommendations might

be acted on. Our wish to move is well known and it will be a great benefit to the casino - and a boost to the tax revenues - to be in a better location.” He continued: “We have been working on possible sites for some time, and we have several in mind but cannot yet say which one we are likely to settle on.” The most recent location mooted is the former international terminal at the old Ellinikon Airport on the eastern edge of the city. The site was also the location of various Olympic venues in 2004 meaning that the transport

infrastructure around the area is good. It is not the only location under consideration however. Casino Mont Parnes is 49 per cent owned by the Greek state - it tipped into minority ownership in 2005 after selling a two per cent stake to Regency. However, in the wake of the financial crisis that hit Greece, the state is obliged by the Troika to privatise most of its assets in order to try and balance its books somehow. Not only will a relocated casino bring in more tax revenues, it will also increase the value of

the existing holding, also to the benefit of taxpayers. Regency Casinos has first refusal on the shares. In the past, the Gaming Commission has been reluctant to allow licences to relocate. However, in 2013 it changed its mind allowing Casino Xanthi to move to Alexandroupolis towards the end of the year. In its new hotel home in the first three months of 2014, its revenues have risen almost 70 per cent compared to the previous year, to around E620,000. The casino is simply more accessible, especially to Turkish visitors.

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Nevada casinos see improved March revenues

Sri Lanka in casino u-turn


asinos in Nevada won $982m (E708m) from gamblers in March, which represents an increase of 7.6 per cent year-on-year, led by venues in Las Vegas and around Lake Tahoe. According to a report from the State Gaming Control Board, revenues for the third month of the year on the Las Vegas Strip totalled nearly $561m (E404.4m) - 11 per cent higher than for the same period in 2013, while their downtown counterparts fared even better posting a twelve percent jump to $51.2m (E36.9m). However, the biggest winners for March in southern Nevada were the casinos in Northern Las Vegas with their


In the north of the state, casinos in the Lake Tahoe area saw March revenues swell by almost 32 per cent year-on-year to of $14.9m (E10.7m) although venues in Washoe County were not so lucky, reporting a 10.67 per cent decrease to $60m (E43.2m) despite the annual figure so far improving by almost one per cent to $553.8m (E399.2m). The State Gaming Control Board declared that taxes collected on the state-wide revenues for the month amounted to $84.1m (E60.6m), which is an improvement of 7.4 per cent year-on-year and takes the duties amassed so far this fiscal year to $578.2m (E416.8m). March was certainly one of the 15 per cent year-on-year rise in posted $8.49bn (E6.12bn) in most profitable months for the monthly revenues to $25.6m win for the fiscal year so far, state this fiscal year and was (E18.4m) while the Clark which represents a boost of 1.65 only been beaten by June, OctoCounty area as a whole has per cent. ber and November.


SABMiller mulls Tsogo Sun share sale SOUTH AFRICA


ultinational brewer and beverages firm SABMiller is considering offloading its near 40 per cent stake in South African hotel and casino chain Tsogo Sun Holdings, in a move that could see it pocket more than $1bn (E723m). London-listed SABMiller revealed that it is currently in the process of reviewing its strategic options for the non-core shareholding before adding that “there can be no certainty that the review will

result in SABMiller taking any action”. “This investment is not considered to be core to the beverage operations of SABMiller and, therefore, we are reviewing our strategic options for the shareholding,” the group said. SABMiller is the world’s second largest brewer by sales and first invested in Tsogo Sun some 30 years ago. Last month saw the firm additionally announce that it will be merging its South African business with its wider Africa operations as it attempts to exert greater central control over its more than 200 beer brands and 70,000 employees

spread across than over 75 countries. For its part, Tsogo Sun has more than 90 luxury properties in seven African nations including Nigeria and the Seychelles such as Montecasino, the Tuscan-themed hotel, theatre and casino complex near Johannesburg. It merged its hotels and casinos businesses in 2002 while keeping a 49 per cent share of the enlarged entity. It combined with gaming and theme park operator Gold Reef via a reverse takeover eight years later, which kicked off speculation that SABMiller would be offloading its residual 39.6 per cent stake.


he Sri Lankan government has reneged on plans to build three large resort-style casinos in the country by enacting a total ban on large scale casinos. The announcements follows intense pressure from protesters who fear that gambling venues will attract prostitutes. Sex work is illegal in Sri Lanka, but practitioners are still commonly found close to small-scale gambling venues. The move scuppers plans to construct casinos in three high-end resorts planned for the capital of Columbo.


These developments had already secured investment totalling $1.3bn from casino moguls around the world, including Australian tycoon James Packer. Local operators Dhammika Perera and John Keells Holdings had also planned large casino investments to integrate with the new developments. “We will not allow casinos. That we say very clearly. They asked, we did not allow, nor will we allow,” said economic development minister, Basil Rajapakse. The movement against permitting large-scale casinos had been led by the country’s opposition politicians from the United National Party. The party had organised protests in the the capital, Colombo during recent weeks in a successful attempt to reverse government policy. Its members, some Buddhist monks, had warned that the plans would encourage prostitution and tarnish the nation’s Buddhist values. Packer’s Crown Resorts had planned to construct a 450 room five-star hotel and casino costing over $400m. The venue was set to feature entertainment destinations, fine dining, retail outlets and conference space. This, and the two other approved venues, are still permitted to begin construction, but with loss of all possible gambling revenue it is unknown whether any of the projects will survive. May 2014 casinoreview

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News Europe


The Greek finance minister Yiannis Stournaras, who has instigated the tax reforms on Greek casinos

Greek casinos must pay tax daily



A new taxation regime has taken Greek casinos by surprise. When it comes into force in June, operators will be required to submit taxes every day and face severe sanctions if they don’t. he Greek government has introduced a shock new measure that will require all nine casinos in the country to pay their gaming taxes to the government on a daily basis, not monthly as has been the case until now. New legislation was passed in April without much in the way of consultation and is expected to come into force in June. Sanctions for not paying the amounts due have also been strengthened - and the effects intensified by the short reporting period. Venues that fail to pay their daily taxes will have their operating licence suspended for

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seven days. Three breaches in a year will see the operating licence revoked altogether. Ian Gosling, CEO of Regency Casinos, which operates Casino Mont Parnes and Casino Thessaloniki, said: “This is likely to have a serious impact on a lot of the industry. The casinos we operate are the only two in Greece that are up-todate with tax payments; none of the others are. They will no longer be able to put off payments to the state by months. It will mean a little more bureaucracy for us but not much more trouble than that. For the other casinos, I

think the effect could be quite serious.” Although the law was enacted in April, the government has decided it needs two months to iron out some of the details. “At the moment, there are no provisions for what happens on Sundays or public holidays,” said Gosling. “We also don’t know yet what they plan to do if a casino has a losing day. Over the course of a month, issues like this can be smoothed out before any money changes hands.” In addition, the government has stipulated that the three largest casinos in the

country, Mont Parnes, Thessaloniki and Loutraki, will all have to increase their cash holdings in reserve, while the smaller casinos will be able to reduce theirs. The package of measures also sees the casinos themselves taking over the licensing of their staff from the Hellenic Gaming Commission, to which all workers previously had to apply. This represents a significant reduction in red tape: for a start, personal licences will now last five years instead of just one, and the responsibility for background checks will now be much closer, being handled

by the casino. The casinos, of course, will be expected to adhere strictly to the licensing guidelines as laid out by the gaming commission, and must be rigorous in their documentation of staff and procedures. They face extremely high fines if they fail. “Again this doesn’t have a huge impact on Regency,” said Gosling. “Like all government agencies, the gaming commission has less funding than it used to and this will reduce its costs. But I also think they view the really big fines as a way to generate more income.”

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Private equity firm makes Loutraki bid




ciens Capital Management, a New York-based international firm that specialises partly in private equity deals and distressed investing, is set to take control of Club Hotel Casino Loutraki (CHCL) if the current advanced negotiations are settled. International Casino Review understands that Peter Venison, former managing director of Sun International and a leading consultant on the hotel and leisure sector, is leading the due diligence process and conducted interviews with staff during April. According to sources, the fund is set to invest between E40m and E50m in exchange for a controlling share of the struggling business, a top-class beachfront hotel that is home to what was once Europe’s best-earning casino, and the


Century Casinos inaugurates new Casinos Poland site

ritish poker league operator Redtooth Poker has signed a two-year deal that will see its regional and national finals take place at Grosvenor Casinos sites while the entirety of its online events are now to be hosted at Grosvenor Casinos is the UK’s largest casino operator with 55 venues while it also organises Europe’s largest poker tour, the GUKPT. The new agreement also includes a provision that will see Redtooth Poker’s annual national Pub Poker Champion compete for big money in the prestigious event. Amid stiff competition from another proposed development, Wolverhampton Racecourse Limited has shelved plans to open a multi-million pound casino at its Dunstall Park site. The city of Wolverhampton has a population of nearly 250,000 and was one of 16 local authorities given the right by Parliament in 2008 to independently grant a casino premise license under the Gambling Act. Two bidders soon came forward


S-based Century Casinos has announced that its Casinos Poland subsidiary has opened its relocated venue in Poznan, Poland, within the city’s four-star Andersia hotel. Century laid out $8.7m (E6.2m) in 2007 for a 33.3 per cent stake in Casinos Poland before paying LOT Polish Airlines $6.8m (E4.9m) in April of last year in order to take its total shareholding to 66.6 per cent. Casinos Poland now operates nine properties through the Eastern European nation and guests at the opening party for the new Poznan venue, which offers 50 TITO slot machines and nine gaming tables, were treated to live music and given the chance to taste local specialty foods. The celebration was also filmed as part of fashion television programme that is set to be broadcast throughout Europe later in the year. Listed on the NASDAQ and Vienna stock exchanges, Century Casinos recently released its financial results for 2013 showing a 46 per cent increase year-on-year in net operating revenues to $104.6m (E75.6m). Adjusted annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose by 20 percent when compared to 2012 to $12.6m (E9.1m) while net earnings swelled by over 50 percent to reach $6.2m (E4.4m). Century Casinos revealed that Casinos Poland brought in net operating revenues of $12.8m (E9.2m) for the final quarter of 2013 while the subsidiary generated three-month earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $872,000 (E630,387). For the year, net operating revenues reached $34.8m (E25.1m) alongside just over $2.7 (E1.9m) in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

U Club Hotel Casino Loutraki could soon have new owners

largest by floor space. The investment would see a significant dilution of the holdings of the existing shareholders, the Israeli companies Club Hotels and Queenco, which own 86 per cent and the Municipality of Loutraki, which holds the remaining 14 per cent. CHCL has been teetering on the brink for some time, with revenues falling in the wake of the Greek financial crisis and austerity programme. It is behind on the tax due to the government - which risks its operating licence - and has withheld payments to suppliers on occasions over the past several months. It has also been the subject of strikes by workers, although salary issues were quickly sorted out. The investment would pay off the outstanding debts and allow the venue to continue operating. A previous attempt by the major shareholders to convert CHCL into a public limited company was blocked: the Loutraki municipality is barred by law from ownership of listed companies.

but Wolverhampton Racecourse has now pulled its application to leave rival Casino 36 and its plan to open The Rubicon Casino venue near the city centre in pole position. The Dunstall Park project, which would have created around 280 jobs and been one of the first American-style ‘racinos’ in the UK, was to be the centrepiece of a £23m (E31.7m) regeneration plan also set to have included an expanded hotel and conference facility. In The Netherlands, national gambling operator Holland Casino has been hit by a series of strikes instigated by workers unhappy with new proposals from management. However, the operator is remaining defiant and stated that it was opening all of its venues ‘at the regular time’ although some locations may only offer a select range of games or close earlier in the day. May 2014 casinoreview

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News Europe

GES heads to Barcelona 54



The tender for the 30-year concession of Venice’s two casinos did not have the success hoped by the city’s administrators, as they failed to receive a single offer ahead of the April 18 deadline. James Walker reports.

Venice Casino struggles to find suitor


enice’s municipal administration has failed to receive an offer for the 30-year concession of the city’s two casinos. Despite implementing an extension, which ultimately expired on April 18, no offer was received for the Venice Casino licence. As reported in International Casino Review earlier this year, the Municipality of Venice’s plan was to privatise the management of the two Casinò di Venezia locations - at the Ca’ Vendramin


Calergi palace on the Gran Canal in the historic city centre and the in Ca’ Noghera on the mainland close to Marco Polo Airport - to a proven private casino operator. The privatisation was planned on a bid procedure based on a minimum bid amount of E140m for the first two years. Another E44.3m was to be paid by the new private operator to buy the company that manages the casino, and which holds all of the casinorelated assets. Both locations were to remain the

property of the municipality. The overall minimum price was E508m together with current debt load of E170m. Several global operators applied for access to Virtual Data and attended the casino management presentation, but none presented any offers. Among the names of potential suitors who appeared in the Italian press were Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Partouche, Paradise Group and Slovenia’s Hit Group. Ficom Leisure, a Euro-

pean advisory and consultancy company specialising in the offline and online betting and gaming industry since 1996, has been following the privatisation process over the last two years and has analysed the tender documents in order to assist interested bidders. “We received different enquiries from US operators,” said Christian Tirabassi, senior partner at Ficom Leisure. “The conclusion has always been that the property is interesting but the economics would not work.

“Regarding the economics, the request of minimum bid amount of E140m for the first two years plus E44.3m to buy the company that manages the casino a minimum guarantee of E308m from the third year through the expiry of the concession was considered too expensive. The only reason that would justify such investment and would offer an acceptable ROI for many interested operators was the possibility to build a larger casino resort, possibly close to the airport. But in the tender there was no indication of such a possibility, including location the lack of a location permit that in Italy could take years to be approved, if at all.” Tirabassi added: “In addition, the Municipality of Venice had included clauses of obligations to maintain the current workforce for a minimum of seven years, which was not compatible with a privatised business or financial plan. Another issue was the barrier to entry. In order to participate and qualify to the tender, the bidders must have achieved an average turnover of at least E609m over the last three years, and the company must have accrued at least the past five years of operating experience in the casino sector. This clause alone eliminated many financial bidders and private equity funds.”


Ho confirms Spanish investment SPAIN

awrence Ho has revealed plans to extend the Macau casino empire built by his father, Stanley, onto new shores. The company has released a memorandum of understanding between Ho’s Melco Development company and Veremonte Espana, issued at the close of the Hong Kong Stock exchange. The deal reveals Melco’s plans to manage “one or more casinos” in the new BCN Dream complex. The resort is under construction in Veremonte, just outside Barcelona. It forms part of the larger BCN World development, which will feature casinos, hotels, retail and green spaces under the ethos of creating “a meeting point


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Melco will take managerial control of a number of these resorts, bringing to bear the expertise that has seen them become a major player in Macau’s booming gambling industry. The company’s involvement in the Spanish development has been anticipated ever since Veremonte’s proposal to the Spanish government included a commitment by Melco to operate the Barcelona Dream resort. In concert with local partners, Meliá and Value Retail, it was proposed that a between East and West and between America 1,100 bed hotel, casino and theatre would be and Asia.” spread across land measuring 300,000 square The BCN Dream portion of the project will metres. feature six integrated resorts, a sports arena and The news follows swiftly Ho’s announcement exhibition hall. It is projected that over 10,000 that he will increase his investment in a casino hotel rooms will be constructed, along with project in Eastern Russia through his Summit 5,000 residential units. Ascent subsidiary.


Olympic increases holding in Italian slots group ITALY


lympic Entertainment Group (OEG) is acquiring an additional 20 per cent holding in its Italian joint venture subsidiary The Box. The transaction, which sees OEG’s holding increase to 70 per cent, was valued at E40,000, with the part being acquired from GHolding. In turn, The Box is acquiring a 100 per cent holding in the Italian casino operator Slottery, in order to expand its business operations on the Italian market. The newly acquired Slottery operates 10 VLT gaming rooms with a total of 254 gaming machines and a total floor area of 2,000sq.m in Milan and its vicinity. In April, OEG reported that revenues for the first quarter of 2014 totalled E34.8m, up 5.3 per cent on the prior-year period. Consolidated net profit for the Estonian group totalled E4.9m, compared to E4.6m in the first quarter of 2013. OEG continues to grow its presence across central and eastern Europe. In January, the company announced it had acquired Slovakian VLT slots operator WinWin and plans to open a new VLT slot casino in the country over the coming weeks.



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News Europe

Casino Mont Parnes on the move 4



Commission publishes UK gambling behaviour data

New figures from the UK’s Gambling Commission reveal that 65 per cent of adults in England and Scotland had gambled over the past 12 months.


new report from the UK Gambling Commission shows that 65 per cent of adults around 31m people - in England and Scotland had gambled in the past year. The Commission enlisted NatCen to combine the datasets from the Scottish Health Survey 2012 and the Health Survey for England 2012 to provide a view of gambling participation and problem gambling that is


representative of the region. According to the ‘Gambling behaviour in England and Scotland’ paper, excluding those who gamble only on the National Lottery draw, 43 per cent of adults in England and Scotland had gambled on at least one occasion during the prior 12 months. The Health Survey for England (HSE) covered 8,000 adults and was com-

missioned by the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre. The Scottish Health Survey covered 4,000 adults and was commissioned by the Scottish Government. The rate of problem gambling in the adult population is estimated to be around 0.5 per cent. Patterns of gambling participation indicate that the most popular forms of gambling are still the National

Lottery, scratch cards, other lotteries and betting on horse racing. This is in line with the British Gambling Prevalence Surveys (BGPS), which provided similar data up until 2010. In terms of problem gambling, the prevalence appears to be higher amongst younger men and amongst those who had participated in seven or more activities in the past year. While firm trend figures will

not be available until data is collected from future health surveys, patterns of decline in participation in gambling have also been seen in data collected through the Gambling Commission omnibus survey. Rebekah Eden, the Commission’s programme director for evidence and analysis, said: “It appears that fewer people are gambling but there are still distinct groups that experience problems with their gambling or are at risk. Gambling operators need to do more to identify those players more likely to be engaged in harmful gambling behaviour and find ways of targeting help and support.” In a separate announcement, the Gambling Commission announced it would host a series of training workshops across the country to help local councils identify and manage the siting of illegal gaming machines in their respective constituencies. Training will be provided

by Westminster City Training in partnership with the Gambling Commission’s Local Authority Liaison Unit (LALU), the latter of which regularly supports UK councils and polices forces on joint operations to remove illegal gaming machines. Many of the courses will be hosted in casino premises in order to give participants first-hand experience of a live gambling environment. The new training series follows the success of seven workshops that were held around the UK last year. “Issues around suspected illegal gaming machines are one of the main compliance referrals we make to licensing authorities,” LALU’s Rob Burkitt said. “With the fast moving nature of technical advances in gaming machines, these workshops are a great opportunity for police and council officers to find out what they need to look for when dealing with illegal gaming machines.”



Aspers to host Deep Stacks Poker Tour

Gibraltar fire leaves online operators in the dark



spers Casino Westfield Stratford City in the UK is gearing up to host one of America’s largest poker tournaments for the first time in October with a large contingent of high-profile players from across Europe expected to take part. The five-day Deep Stacks Poker Tour will run in the UK for the first time from October 22-26 with its marquee £650 (E791) buy-in Main Event live-streamed around the world featuring stars such as Michael Mizrachi, Mike Matusow and Tristan Wade. “Our goal has always been to increase our global footprint in key strategic markets like the United Kingdom,” said Chris Torina, CEO of the Deep Stacks Poker Tour. “Partnering with Aspers Casino, the number-one gaming destination in London, is very exciting and we look forward to a great event.” The Deep Stacks Poker Tour is a

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Los Angeles-based tournament series featuring player-friendly structures in addition to the participation of poker professionals and will additionally visit Canada and Malta. “The first time I sat down with Chris Torina to discuss the possibility of bringing the Deep Stacks Poker Tour to London, I knew we could do something really special,” said John Scanlon, head of poker for Aspers. “The idea is to connect players from both sides of the Atlantic for an exciting event in the English capital.” Opened in December of 2011, Aspers Casino Westfield Stratford City serves as the operator’s flagship UK casino and plays host to more than 140,000 guests every month. As well as two bars including one with a terrace overlooking the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and a restaurant, the venue features 50 live gaming tables, London’s largest poker room with over 400 seats, 150 slot machines, 150 electronic live terminals and live sportsbetting terminals.


n explosion and fire in Gibraltar last month disrupted a number of online casino, bingo and sports betting operations and left the majority of the British territory’s 30,000 residents without power for over two hours. The afternoon of April 20 saw a generator at the main Waterport Power Station catch fire and explode due to a mechanical failure, leaving global online casino and betting operators including William Hill, Betfair, Stan James, PartyPoker, Betfred and Ladbrokes unable to accept wagers. The area was evacuated and the fire quickly extinguished without any injuries but the tiny peninsula, which processes some 60 percent of the world’s online gaming revenues, could be left hurting after operators, who choose to be based in Gibraltar due to its low tax rates, were unable to conduct business over a lucrative period in the


Easter weekend. “It’s just one of those freak events nobody could have predicted,” said Graham Sharpe from William Hill. “There will be those who will claim they would have backed a winner but there will be others who have been saved from backing a loser.” Betfred’s operations were down for over six hours while BetVictor was almost unaffected due to the use of an emergency generator. “We apologise to the customers who were affected by the loss of some of those services on Sunday afternoon and have been working hard and successfully to restore thee,” read a statement from Ladbrokes. “None of our staff were affected by the incident and no customer data was compromised during that period.”

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News Europe

PAF unveils more profit 46




Austrian gaming law ‘noncompliant’ with EU regulations

Hungary issues new casino permits

For the second time in six months, the Court of Justice of the European Union has confirmed that Austrian gambling legislation is inconsistent with European law. AUSTRIA

recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) indicates that Austrian gambling legislation is in breach of EU law. The recent ruling of the Pfleger case largely follows an Opinion issued by AG Sharpston on November 14, 2013. The Court confirmed its well-settled case-law according to which a national gambling legislation is compliant with EU law only if it is consistent and if


the declared public interest objectives are pursued free of hypocrisy, in a consistent and systematic manner. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) welcomed the ruling of the CJEU in the Pfleger case, stating: “The Court also ruled that the burden of proof regarding the proportionality and consistency of a measure rests with the Member States. Notably, this is the first time the CJEU has confirmed the applicability of the Charter of

Fundamental Rights in a ruling on gambling.” The EGBA added: “If the national court considers that the real purpose of the restrictive system at issue is not the fight against crime and the protection of gamblers, but a mere increase of State tax revenue, it would have to conclude that the system at issue... is incompatible with European Union law. “Finally, the CJEU reiterates that ‘where a restrictive system has been established

for games of chance and that system is incompatible with Article 56 TFEU, an infringement of the system by an economic operator cannot give rise to penalties’.” EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer commented: “We welcome the Court’s decision, which confirms that the Austrian gambling legislation is in breach of EU law. Today’s ruling strengthens the requirement that Member States’ gambling laws should be consistent.

“In this context, we want to remind that the European Commission acted in its proper role as guardian of the treaties by launching formal infringement proceedings against six Member States last November. Whilst we encourage the Commission to take the appropriate next steps in these proceedings and open new proceedings where necessary, we especially urge the Member States to pursue their stated public interest objectives in a consistent and systematic manner free of hypocrisy.” The Austrian Gambling system has recently been subject to several Court cases, both on national and EU levels, in particular the CJEU cases C-64/08, Engelmann; C-347/09, Dickinger and Ömer as well as C-176/11, Hit and Hit Larix, in which the CJEU has detected major inconsistencies in the Austrian gambling legislation and hence declared that major parts of the Austrian system are non-compliant with EU law.


Casino Sopron celebrates 25th anniversary HUNGARY

here was plenty of reason to celebrate in Casino Sopron on March 26, as the gaming venue in Hungary marked its 25th anniversary. Numerous guests came along to celebrate the event in person, and local management hosted a buffet that included a chocolate fountain and huge birthday cake. Casinos Austria International (CAI) has been successfully operating a casino in the Hungarian border town of Sopron since the 1990s. The group holds a 75 per cent stake in Casino Sopron, which is run in co-operation with a Hungarian partner and moved to bigger


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new premises at the end of 2013 The new 1,300sq.m location in the Mediterrano complex is home to state-of-the-art gaming options. An extra-large LED sign on the exterior of the building draws immediate attention to the gaming on offer, and 150 free parking spaces are available for casino guests. Casino Sopron offers guests a choice of seven gaming tables and 201 slot machines, employing a total of 90 staff to look after its guests. CAI managing directors Alexander Tucek and Christoph ZuruckerBurda were on hand to extend their congratulations in person: “Casino Sopron has been a showpiece oper- always attracted both local and Mediterrano complex is modern ation in an attractive location near tourist visitors alike,” said Tucek. and attractive - and provides everythe border for 25 years and has “The new-look casino in the new thing our guests are looking for.”



he Hungarian Ministry for National Economy has issued seven permits to operate casinos in Hungary. The ministry said that the casinos will each pay an annual concession fee of HUF4bn (E13m) and are expected to each generate around HUF1bn (E3.2m) in VAT revenue per year. The ministry added that the casinos would also create jobs and Five of the seven casinos are located in Budapest

increase tourism. Five of the seven casinos are located in Budapest and surrounding Pest County, while the other two casinos are located in the cities of Debrecen and Nyiregyhaza in eastern Hungary. The permits are valid for a maximum of 10 years. On October 10, 2012, all slot machines outside casinos - totalling some 6,591 units - were banned across Hungary, granting the country’s casino properties an effective slot monopoly. According to the European Casino Association’s (ECA) 2013 European Casino Industry Report, the effect of this measure has been to strongly boost the business of the land-based casinos, making them Europe’s best performing casinos in 2012. Visitor numbers leapt by 44.4 per cent to 296,000 visits.

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Asia & Oceania


The momentum behind the efforts to legalise casino gaming within Integrated Resorts is building in Japan, with locations and possibilities floating tantalisingly before parliamentarians as they prepare to make their decisions.


Osaka agrees location for first Japanese casino resort


head of the expected passage of the IR Promotion Bill in the Japanese parliament, the Diet, in May, the governor of Osaka prefecture and the mayor of Osaka city have announced their preferred location for what could be Japan’s first legal casino. Governor Ichiro Matsui and Mayor Toru Hashimoto have identified 150 hectares on Yumeshima island in Osaka Bay, to be home to an Integrated Resort (IR) that would feature in addition to a substantial casino, a hotel, conference space, enter-

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tainment facilities and a museum. The reclaimed island is made up of landfill, including rubble from the devastating tsunami in Fukuoka three years ago. About half the land is currently given over to a container terminal. The island is very well connected with a bridge that allows drivers to reach the very centre of Osaka within about 15 minutes, and a tunnel that gives swift access to Kansai International Airport via the expressway. Speaking to the press, Hashimoto said: “We plan to

make the area the ‘Venice of the Orient’. We will improve the area with a highly valueadded resort.” Governor Matsui said: “It’s about time that, as a city, we narrow down the candidate sites. We have reached the point where we need to start accepting proposals. Although the reference to Venice might imply that Las Vegas Sands, with its Venetian branded resorts in Las Vegas and Macau and certainly one of the leading contenders to invest in a Japanese IR, might have its nose ahead in Osaka, noth-

ing is certain until the legislation is passed or the tendering process initiated. Other major corporations hoping to win one of the coveted licences include MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, Melco Crown and Genting. The IR Promotion Bill is only the first step: once passed, it would require the government within one year to establish the framework for the licensing, planning and development of IRs, and pass or amend the necessary legislation to allow casinos to operate within them.

Supporters of the legalisation hope that some casinos at least will be operating in time for the Olympic Games, which Tokyo is hosting in 2020. Tokyo has not yet finally identified the location for its hoped-for IR, however, the leading candidate is also an island in the bay, Odaiba island, which is very close to the downtown area of the capital. Two other large IRs are also expected to be licensed along with up to around ten smaller developments that prefectures around the country are pressing for.

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Bloomberry climbs out of the red PHILIPPINES

ilipino casino resort operator Bloombery Resorts Corporation has released its financial results for the first quarter of the year showing an over 1,000 per cent increase in gross revenues year-on-year to $165.8m (E120m). The Manila-based firm opened its flagship Solaire Resort And Casino on Manila Bay in March 2013 and reported gross revenues of just $14.8m (E10.7m) for the initial three months of last year. Bloomberry revealed a profit for the first quarter of $32.8m (E23.7m) as opposed to a deficit of $23.7m (E17.1m) for the same three-month period last year, while its gross gaming revenues rose by over 12 times year-on-year to reach $158.7m (E114.9m). First-quarter non-gaming revenues came in at $6.4m (E4.6m), which was a five-fold boost yearon-year, although Bloomberry additionally saw overall expenses


ANALYSIS xpectations for the market are high: analysts believe Japanese casinos could eventually generate as much as US$40bn in revenues annually comparable to the Macau market now - making it the third largest gaming market in the world. Although technically illegal in most cases, gambling is nonetheless one of the biggest leisure pastimes for the Japanese with vast sums spent on Pachinko alone, where standards of regulation are far below those expected in a casino environment. Nevertheless, casinos have a bad name in the country - there are plenty of illegal venues with Yakuza involvement which is why officials are choosing the term Integrated Resorts to make the concept more palatable with the often histrionic press. The reality of modern, international standard casinos, once Japan has them, should calm any fears.


swell by 2.5 times to $101.9m (E73.7m) alongside a 157 per cent escalation of operating costs to $101.5m (E73.5m). However, total capital expenditure dropped by 50 per cent yearon-year to $109.7m (E79.4m) with first-quarter earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) coming in at $48.4m (E35m) as opposed to a shortfall of $23.8 (E17.2m) for the corresponding period in 2013. “It is significant that we were able to turn a profit after only a year of operation,” said Enrique Razon, CEO and chairman for Bloomberry. “This is proof positive that the group, without a thirdparty management company, has the ability and the acumen to manage an integrated resort. “During the year we laboured on building our core business while working on the expansion that would make Solaire a truly integrated resort. By the fourth quarter of this year we shall see the fruition with the opening of Phase 1-A.”



n Sri Lanka, the government has refused to allow Crown Resorts to include casinos as part of a trio of planned luxury developments including a $400m (E288m) project envisioned for the capital, Colombo. However, parliament did give the Australian firm permission to build the resorts, which include the capital’s Crown Sri Lanka project without casinos alongside significant 10-year tax breaks. Critics including Buddhist religious leaders had opposed the inclusion of casinos within the new developments, which together are worth more than $1.3bn (E937m), amid concerns that gambling could lead to prostitution

and an increase in crime. However, there are no such worries in Singapore after organisers of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games announced that all athletes, officials and delegates are to be accommodated at 20 of the state’s four and five-star hotels including the Marina Bay Sands. The bi-annual regional sports tournament will take place from June 5 to 16 next year with Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa also due to host athletes. Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s 2,561room Marina Bay Sands opened in 2010 and features a 15,000-square-metre casino with over 600 gaming tables and 1,500 slot machines while Resorts World Sentosa offers a similarly sized gaming area. Similarly, a contingent of lawmakers in Vietnam is not worried after proposing legislation that would open the nation’s casinos to locals. Currently only foreign nationals or dual passport holders are permitted to gamble at casino in the southeast Asian nation but officials have become increasingly worried about losing out to venues in Cambodia, Hong Kong and Singapore. In August, the Communist Party’s decision-making Politburo signed a decree that would permit Vietnamese meeting certain criteria to gamble at a casino due to be constructed in Quang Ninh Province on the border with China. May 2014 casinoreview

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Asia & Oceania

MGS: By Asia for the World 44



India’s largest casino awaiting licence INDIA


Nepalese casinos close their doors NEPAL

After failing to pay outstanding taxes and royalty fees, every one of the 10 casinos in Nepal have been shut by the government.

ll casinos in the Himalayan nation of Nepal have been shut with the loss of over 11,000 jobs, after operators failed to heed the government’s repeated warnings over their failure to pay outstanding taxes and royalty fees. Casino gaming in Nepal dates back to the late-1960s but controversial legislation that came into force last year requires each of the nation’s venues to pay an annual royalty fee of $42,105 (E30,446) to the ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation. The country’s 10 casinos now reportedly owe a total of $11.26m (E8.14m) dating back to fiscal 2006, despite four deadline extensions. Operators claim that handing over such a large amount of money to the


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government would hurt their businesses although sites may now re-open with new licences if they clear their debts and agree to pay income tax. “The ministry didn’t renew licences of the ten casinos operating in the premises of different fivestar hotels in the country as some didn’t apply for renewal within the given time-frame and the applications of others were filed without fulfilling due process,” read a statement from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. In a bid to regulate gaming premises more efficiently, the government ratified the Casino Rules 2013 legislation to bring the venues under the sanction of the 2008 Tourism Policy measure. This made it

mandatory for all casinos to apply for licence renewals only after fulfilling all outstanding debts. Casinos in Nepal were also criticised for failing to restrict local residents from entering their premises and the closures could see the nation lose a valuable source of income from foreign tourists. “Even though we had previously given nine months’ time to clear their dues, the casino operators did not listen to the government, which forced us to close them down,” read the statement from the ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation. However, the move does not mean the end of casino gaming in Nepal as new venues may open for business so long as they promise to abide by the new

regulations. “This doesn’t mean that casinos cannot operate in Nepal, [as] those interested in running a casino as per the new regulation can get an operating licence from the ministry,” said Madhu Sudan Burlakoti, tourism chief in the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. Of the casinos that had not paid their royalty fees, Kathmandu’s Casino Nepal topped the list owing over $2.73m (E1.97m) going back to mid-July. But, this venue was recently purchased by the nearby Casino Mahjong meaning that the operator must only cough up $409,000 (E295,700) in royalties and pay a fine of at least $123,000 (E89,000) before being able to open the property.

he Deltin resort houses what could become the largest casino in India as owner, Delta Corp, continues to push for a gambling licence. The resort has opened its doors for guests seeking to experience the many non-gambling facilities at the 60,000 square feet venue, which is located in Daman, on the Arabian Sea coast. Indian gambling regulators are expected to grant the venue a licence in the near future at which point it would become the nation’s largest casino. “The opening of The Deltin is a milestone for us and underlines our efforts to provide luxurious yet accessible gaming and hospitality destinations in the country,” said Jaydev Mody, chairman of Delta Corp. “I am confident that it will reshape the face of the industry in India.” Local media outlets are quoting a Delta Corp representative who is confident that the venue will open in the very near future, however, the company declined to offer a definitive timeline. Apart from being India’s largest casino, The Deltin will also become the first land-based gambling site to operate outside the province of Goa, which hosts predominantly off-shore venues. It is also the first time that Delta Corp has offered gambling away from its floating cruise ships, the Jaqk and Royale.

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Asia & Oceania

Japan Gaming Congress 54



Twelve developers must now wait to discover who will receive the three new resort casino gaming licences being put up for grabs.

Queensland shortlists resort casino proposals


Echo Entertainment appointment approved NEW ZEALAND



n Australia, 12 developers have made a government shortlist for one of three new Queensland casino gaming licences after paying the required A$100,000 (E67,060) consideration fee. The state government revealed that six of the proposals are for the redevelopment of the Queen’s Wharf area of central Brisbane with mixed-use projects containing sixstar hotels, convention facilities, retail, restaurant and entertainment zones alongside a casino and new open spaces. Crown Resorts and Echo Entertainment Group are two of the bestknown firms bidding for the licence to bring casino gaming to the north bank of the Brisbane River and join SkyCity Entertainment Group, Lend Lease, Greenland Investment and a joint venture from Far East


Consortium and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. The shortlist follows Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s request in October for expressions of interest as part of a state stimulus package at which time he threw in the added incentive of casino licences with any project contract. Those on the shortlist for one of the two regional casino gaming licences include the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort project just north of Cairns, China-Australia Entrepreneurs Consortium’s planned development in Airlie Beach and the Great Keppel Island proposal from GKI Resort. There is also Fullshare International’s plan to redevelop its Fullshare Laguna Resort 26km south of Proserpine alongside Gold Coast developments from Eastern Success Group

and ASF Consortium. “Twelve consortia have now officially submitted expressions of interest to develop up to three new integrated resorts across the state, one at Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane’s central business district and up to two in regional centres of Queensland,” said Jeff Seeney, Queensland deputy premier and minister for state development, infrastructure and planning. “Under the close eye of probity adviser Len Scanlan, my department will now consider the expressions of interest applicants to prepare a final shortlist by the middle of this year. That is when we will ask short-listed applicants to begin preparing fully-fledged proposals for submission by late-2014. The final stage of contract negotiations is expected to run into early next

year with a decision on who will receive licences expected by mid2015.” The government stated last year that successful applications will be required to be more than a casino and must include a “landmark” hotel that will “help put Queensland on the map”. It has left the particulars of this caveat to the developers with Seeney revealing that he has so far only seen a list of names and locations but no proposals. “One of the criteria that we will use when we assess these proposals is their geographical location and how that lends itself to compliment the other tourism operators that are in that region,” said Seeney. “I think it would be evident that you wouldn’t want more than one of these integrated resort developments located in the one area.”

ustralian casino resort operator Echo Entertainment Group has officially named Matt Bekier as its new managing director and chief executive officer, after receiving all of the necessary regulatory approvals. Echo runs The Star Sydney Casino and Hotel (pictured) in addition to Brisbane’s Treasury Casino and Hotel, Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast and Jupiters Townsville while also owning the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre. The Brisbane-based firm first unveiled Bekier as its first choice in early February and accompanied its announcement with a trading update that heralded a 5.7 per cent year-on-year rise in normalised gross revenues for the first three months of 2014 and a 13.2 per cent increase on an actual basis. Echo additionally reported that first-quarter revenues from its domestic operations but


Aquis project ‘does not require environmental assessment’ AUSTRALIA

ackers of a gigantic casino resort being proposed for the far north of Queensland have reiterated their belief that the project does not require a federal environmental assessment despite the fact that it would include an 18-hole golf course and a 33ha lake filled via a 2.2km pipeline from the Great Barrier Reef. The planned A$8bn (E5.7bn) Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort would be built on 340ha of land at Yorkeys Knob just north of Cairns and also feature two casinos and eight accommodation towers for up to 12,000 guests. Backed by the Hong Kong investor Tony Fung, who last year


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bought Cairns casino operator Reef Casino Trust, the planned Aquis Great Barrier Reef is being promoted as “a fully integrated resort that leverages the stunning beauty of the Great Barrier Reef to draw tourists from Asia and the rest of the world”. However, environmentalists

warn that the development on land now used mainly for the cultivation of sugar cane could disturb the delicate Barron River floodplain, pollute the Great Barrier Reef and even heighten the risks of flooding. In addition, community groups have expressed concerns over the size of the proposed

development, the social impacts of gambling and the economic benefits that would flow from tourists arriving on cruise ships. “At a minimum, it should be considered a controlled action to protect the Great Barrier Reef,” said Andrew Picone from the Australian Conservation Foundation. “We have a developer here who thinks he should be given all the approvals but there is due process and the community should have its say. The environment there is already a floodplain, it is prone to flooding even without the creation of artificial lakes. With climate change and rising sea levels, massive developments like this in storm surge zones put the environment at risk and put lives at risk, too.”

excluding its VIP Rebate business had improved by 6.4 per cent year-on-year, with gaming revenues from its Sydney and Queensland sites ‘showing growth’. “The full 2014 financial year result remains subject to a number of factors, which include general macro-economic conditions, significant items, potential hold and win rate volatility in the premium gaming rooms and VIP rebate business, level of debt provisions, success of the company’s marketing programmes and the impact of any regulatory changes,” the group said.

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Africa & Middle East


Sun rebuffs opposition to Tshwane licence move SOUTH AFRICA

The first legal arguments have been made for and against Sun International’s wish to move the Morula Sun licence to a better location in Tshwane. The case is likely to go on for some time, however.


four-day public hearing into Sun International’s application to move its Morula Sun licence from the north-west of Tshwane/Pretoria to a new development in Menlyn Maine, an upmarket eastern suburb, has heard strong objections from both residents and competitors. The Gauteng Gambling Board was told by Peermont, which operates the Emperor’s Palace casino 50km south in the eastern part of the Johannesburg conurbation, that Sun had not demonstrated that there was a significant unsatisfied demand in the area to warrant the relocation or that the proposal had enough merit that it should not have to go through a competitive tender. It noted that the move would also allow Sun to increase its gaming positions significantly. In its submission, Peermont added: “Granting the application would have negative impact on Emperor’s Palace and other exist-

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ing casinos and would be inconsistent with the expectations about the allocation of casinos in the province.” Another objector, Viva Bingo, which operates in the area, said that it would not be able to compete with the casino. The company also argued that Sun’s licensing history at Morula was irregular, claiming that the first licence expired in March 2006 and not reissued until over a year later. Alfred Cockrell, appearing for Sun International, asked the Board to dismiss the objections. He said that the R3bn (E206m) investment in that the plan represents would be the largest ever on a single project in the city. He argued that as Tshwane was already in the catchment area for the Morula casino, moving the licence would have no effect on the number of licences in the province. He also rejected Peermont’s

claims that it would lose revenue. He said: “It would have been a different case if Peermont wanted to make a significant additional investment at Emperor’s Palace, but would be unable to do so if Menlyn Maine opened.” Tsogo Sun, which operates two casinos within a 30-minute or so drive of Menlyn, has not objected to the proposal. The casino would be part of a development called Time Square within the Menlyn Maine development, a ‘Green City’ project offering shopping, entertainment, luxury residences, offices and hotels. It would feature 2,000 slot machines, significantly more than now operated in Morula, with the option to increase the number to 3,000. It would also open with 60 tables, rising to 100 if needed. In return for the better location and the expanded business opportunity, Sun has said it would reduce its holding to just under 75

per cent, with the remaining shares owned by partners plus an increased assignment to black economic empowerment ownership. Construction would create around 10,000 jobs and permanent jobs at the casino would treble to more than 1,200. The company also said that much greater gaming tax and VAT revenue would flow into public coffers, just under R300m (E20m) in the first year, 6.5 times more than Morula could provide - rising slightly over the course of five years. The Board’s legal manager, Lucky Lukhwareni, said that now it had all the representations, it would make its decision by the end of July. Whatever the decision, it is then likely to be reviewed by Pretoria High Court and probably taken to appeal after that. One lawyer representing local residents believes it could go as far as the Constitutional Court.

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SOUTH AFRICA YXYXYXY Tsogo Sun’s Montecasino 3


LEGISLATION The Time Square development at Menlyn Maine may be delayed while arguments rage

South Africa publishes draft Remote Gambling legislation SOUTH AFRICA

n South Africa, the government has published its draft Remote Gambling Bill 2014 ahead of an expected legalisation of internet gaming sometime in 2015, with the proposed legislation now open for public comment. Published in the Government Gazette by Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry Geordin HillLewis, the draft proposals are scheduled to be debated by the Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee beginning later this month. Should the measures be approved by this smaller body, they could go before Parliament for a final vote within the next nine months, although Hill-Lewis intimated that a number of things could delay this process. “It is important to note that Parlia-



AFRICA&MIDDLE EAST ROUND-UP asino operators in Kenya’s most populous state, Nairobi County, have won a temporary reprieve against paying a twelve percent tax on income that was brought in as part of controversial gambling legislation ratified earlier this year. The tax clause in the Nairobi County Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Bill has been scrapped temporarily as the local government consults with the National Assembly, which is the only body in the country permitted to levy income tax, and industry leaders. South African online sportsbook BetFlash has


ment and the Portfolio Committee take the final decision on whether the Bill is passed into law or not,” said Hill-Lewis. “So it is, at this stage, far from certain that the Bill will definitely become law.” Key points of the draft bill include a requirement that South African Internet gaming providers hold a licence from the National Gambling Board regulatory agency before offering online gaming services, applications for which must be approved by provincial authorities. It also contains a measure that would require operators to site “some part of the remote gambling equipment” within the province in which the application was made while players from outside the nation would be permitted to play so long as they had registered. Operators would also not be permitted to extend credit to customers with each of the country’s nine provinces responsible for imposing their own tax rates.

ANALYSIS un International has a very good case for the transfer of its licence to Menlyn: there would be more jobs and more revenues for the state. Everyone would do better. Peermont’s competition objections are unlikely to stand, given the distances involved. Bingo halls in South Africa can work even if there is a casino in the neighbourhood, weakening another argument against. However, it is the pressure from churches and local residents arguing against a business they don’t fully understand that holds the most danger for the proposal: it’s the same all over the world, and Sun has to hope that the Gambling Board and the judges can cut through the economic case.


launched a new desktop and mobile in-play offering utilising software from automated data feed provider Betradar that allows punters to place wagers on three sports at the touch of a button. The new innovation currently offers markets on rugby, soccer and tennis while up to eleven further sports are due to be added in the near future to offer 12,000 matches per month and over 100 bet types. “We are very proud to offer our in-play product on mobile, tablet and PC and believe it to be superior to any other in-play product currently in the South African market,” said Samantha McMurtrie, general manager for BetFlash. “We have focused on a clean and easy-to-use screen layout as well as keeping the markets open for longer.” Also in South Africa, 78-year-old Solomon ‘Sol’ Kerzner (pictured) is to retire as chairman of luxury hotel and casino operator Kerzner International Holdings following a 45-year career. The move comes only weeks after The Investment Corporation of Dubai purchased a significant stake in the company established 20 years ago but recently suffering from debts associated with the global recession. May 2014 casinoreview

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North America


MGM unveils ‘The Park’: outdoor space all year round Another investment from MGM Resorts that it hopes will attract even more people to its properties: a large plaza-cum-park that will encourage outdoors eating and socialising.



GM Resorts, despite having suffered dramatically through the years of the financial downturn, has announced another investment to complement its stake in the AEG Arena that’s being built on the land behind and between New York New York and Monte Carlo, on the west side of the Las Vegas Strip. The Park will cover about 3.25 hectares between the two resorts and will incorporate Rue de Monte Carlo, which will be remodelled to a gently curving approach to the new 20,000-seat arena. The frontages on to The Park from both resorts will be completely remodelled,

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with indoor-outdoor eating and entertainment amid the landscaped, tree-lined spaces. Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts, said: “Beautiful public spaces are highlights of many of the work’s finest cities, and Las Vegas shouldn’t be the exception. The Park will be the first of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip and is an embodiment of MGM Resorts’ commitment to engaging guests through arts and innovation. To create this picturesque outdoor destination, we are literally taking down the walls and opening the doors to develop a unique dining and entertainment district that complements

its lush new surroundings.” The Park will feature long water walls and dramatic planting, as well as live entertainment from buskers and street performers. The company hasn’t yet put a figure on how much extra the development will cost. It is already committed to a share of the $350m building cost of the arena, although much of its equity involvement in the JV derives from the land ownership. Construction on the arena is expected to start this summer and open in 2016. MGM Resorts made the announcement the day before it released its results

for the first quarter of 2014, which saw a dramatic turnaround in performance from the same period last year - although that was entirely due to its life-saving involvement in Macau. MGM China saw revenues rise 26 per cent with improvements in turnover and hold at the VIP tables making a significant contribution. It achieved a record Adjusted EBITDA of $241m, up 33 per cent over the year. In the domestic market, business remained difficult, with revenues at wholly owned resorts down two per cent, largely due to a five per cent drop in slots revenue from its

off-Strip properties. Even so, hotel occupancy was up and high at 92 per cent, along with improved room rates. Jim Murren commented: “We are off to a strong start in 2014, with double-digit Adjusted EBITDA growth at our wholly owned domestic resorts and record results at MGM China and CityCenter… Our development projects are well underway as MGM Cotai, our second Macau property, is on schedule to open in early 2016 and we are preparing to break ground on the MGM National Harbor in Maryland this summer, where we expect to open in 2016.”

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ANALYSIS ust three years ago, MGM Resorts was teetering on the edge of collapse; its huge infrastructure investments, financed by huge debts, cost more than anticipated then failed to bring in as much as was



University of Nevada nurtures next generation of developers

The Park follows a trend among LV operators: to link properties with useful outside space


needed as fast as was needed. Its Macau joint venture, while nothing on the scale of the now rapturously wealthy LVS or Wynn, at least brought in a steady and growing stream of cash that helped the company endure the terrible conditions of its home market in Las Vegas. That continues to be the case, although there are some improvements back home. The nifty management strategy has been to invest rather than retreat. Those investments, however, have a lot of work to do, not only to pay off on themselves but also help pay down some of the company’s existing vast loans.

tudents from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) club at the University Of Nevada Reno recently held a fourhour coding open house attended by some 70 local children of all ages. Co-sponsored by the Discovery Museum and, 10 ACM volunteers as well as faculty members David Feil-Seifer and Richard Kelley taught the fundamental principles of programming while additionally introducing attendees to Scratch, which is a free programming tool designed for students by the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. The University of Nevada Reno has close ties to the gaming industry through its Institute For The Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming and revealed that the event, which it hopes to hold on an annual basis, is part of an ongoing partnership with ACM, and Marketing


Evolution in collaboration with the Raggio Research Center For STEM Education that aims to get students across Northern Nevada interested in coding. In other news, the university has announced the appointment of veteran scholastic IT director Huapei ‘Pei’ Chen as its new chief information officer following a national search. Previously information technology systems, services and infrastructure senior director at the University of Texas Austin, Chen also has experience at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California Berkeley’s College Of Engineering and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She will now be responsible for the Nevada institution’s information security, application support, information and database administration, network operations and unified communications department as well as critical systems, user services, iNtegrate applications and information technology administration.

NORTH AMERICA ROUND-UP as Vegas is to play host to the first US edition of the annual Rock in Rio music festival next year, with attendees able to enjoy a ‘flying’ DJ booth and more than 100 acts on six stages. Due to be staged in a 33-acre open-air development christened City of Rock (pictured) currently being built between the Circus Circus hotel and casino and Sahara Avenue, the festival will also feature a giant roulette-like Ferris wheel, a 400ft zip-line and themed streets boasting the sights and sounds of Brazil and the UK. The brainchild of Brazilian entrepreneur Roberto Medina, Rock Ii Rio has partnered with MGM Resorts International, Cirque Du Soleil and Yucaipa Companies to bring the music festival to Nevada and is expecting to welcome around 320,000 people over two weekends in May of 2015. Also in Las Vegas, Station Casinos is to spend $35m (E25m) on a six-month renovation and expansion project for its Red Rock Casino, Resort Spa property. The 800-room venue originally built eight years ago at a cost of $925m (E670.5m) will now have its T-Bones Chophouse restaurant remodelled along with 26 of its suites and its 25,000 square-feet spa. The changes will also see the property connected to the nearby Shops At Summerlin development to benefit from the under-construction retail site’s expected 2,000 employees and increased customer traffic. In New Jersey, the Division Of Gaming Enforcement has fined Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City $70,000 (E50,600) for improper security staffing levels, while also


issuing the nearby Revel Casino Hotel with four penalties totalling $37,500 (E27,100) for allowing self-excluded punters to place bets, failing to properly collect cards after a blackjack game and violating cashbox collection security rules. The casinos involved have declined to comment, but have now paid the total for the infractions, which took place between November of 2012 and August of last year. May 2014 casinoreview

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North America

Summit in Vancouver 55




Caesars Entertainment, Empire Resorts, Genting and Pinnacle Entertainment are among those hoping to win one of New York’s four new operating licences due to be handed out later this year.

Cromwell Casino opens casino floor


ew York is continuing with plans to license four Las Vegas-style upstate resort casinos and announced that its Gaming Facility Location Board has received 22 separate proposals each paying an initial $1m (E722,681) consideration fee. November saw residents of the eastern state approve a controversial constitutional amendment authorising the establishment of up to seven non-aboriginal resort casinos with full-table gaming facilities. The first four developments are to be sited outside of New York City in areas around the central Hudson River or Catskill Mountains, near the state’s ‘southern tier’ border with Pennsylvania and


Applications flood in for New York resort casinos close to the state capital, Albany. New York already has five aboriginal-run casinos alongside nine racinos offering slot-like video lottery terminals with the first tranche of new resort developments due to be followed after seven years by another three although no more than two are to be permitted in each region. The five-member Gaming Facility Location Board began accepting applications in late-March and is expected to make its final recommendations by the end of June before licences are awarded in the autumn. Caesars Entertainment Corporation is among those hoping to obtain one of the new licences and has already agreed a plan to develop a resort casino near the town of Woodbury some 50 miles

north of New York City on land under the control of developer David Flaum. Las Vegas-based Caesars already operates 53 properties around the world and stated that the proposed venue would be sited on 121 acres of land in Orange County and feature ‘a range of amenities’ including a hotel, casino, restaurants, bars and retail space alongside entertainment and meeting facilities. Malaysia’s Genting Group has also submitted an application and wants to build its resort casino near the town of Tuxedo, which is the closest proposal to New York City at 40 miles and also in the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley areas. These locations are seen as the most lucrative due to their proximity to New York City

and its metropolitan population of over 23m. Others bidders for one of the initial four licences include Pinnacle Entertainment Incorporated, Saratoga Casino And Raceway, Baltimore-based Cordish Companies and Greenetrack, the owner of an electronic gambling hall in Alabama, alongside Foxwoods Resort Casino and local firm Empire Resorts. Applicants will now attend a meeting open to the public intended to give them more of an idea on how to obtain one of the licences after which they are to be informed of the minimum capital investment required for their project to be considered. This figure may well vary depending on region, which could see a number of bidders drop out.


Crown prepares $2bn casino bid UNITED STATES

nderscoring its ambition to move into more markets, Australian gaming and entertainment group Crown Resorts is reportedly considering whether to bid for a $2bn (E1.44bn) loss-making casino complex in Las Vegas. According to numerous media reports, the Melbourne-based casino operator is set to lodge an expression of interest for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which was inaugurated a little over three years ago but fell into the ownership of Deutsche Bank in 2008 following a foreclosure on the original developer. Located next to MGM Resorts International’s Bellagio venue, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened in December of 2010 and offers almost 3,000 hotel rooms, several restaurants and a 75,000sq.foot casino. Despite attracting guests and being voted as The Best Hotel In The World by Gogobot, the


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venue has failed to turn a profit and has so far racked up net losses of $298.3m (E215.4m) including $25.5m (E18.4m) for the final quarter of last year. Any bid would represent the third time

Crown Resorts, which is controlled by billionaire entrepreneur James Packer, has attempted to enter the American casino market. In 2009, the firm terminated a deal to purchase operator Cannery Casino Resorts for $1.8bn (E1.3bn) and was subsequently required to pay $320m (E231m) in fees and penalties. Two years earlier, the company ended its efforts to build the Crown Las Vegas venue after the Federal Aviation Administration rejected plans for a record-setting 1,888ft tower at the property. Away from the United States, Crown Resorts is currently hoping to build a $1.2bn (E871m) luxury hotel and high-roller casino alongside the Sydney waterfront and also has plans to spend $400m (E289m) to construct a new hotel and casino in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. Its Melco Crown Entertainment joint venture is developing new venues in Macau and the Philippines while entry into the Japanese market worth up to $4.6bn (E3.3bn) is also on the cards should the Asian nation legalise casinos.



aesars Entertainment has opened the casino floor at its newly renovated Cromwell Casino. The venue, situated on Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, features 434 slot machines and 66 table games, spread across 40,000 square feet of gaming floor. The venue is billing itself as a boutique casino, featuring 188 rooms which are currently operating on limited availability for invited guests only. Remodelling the hotel facilities forms one part of a $185m renovation project that has seen the creation of a second floor restaurant, fashionable night club and 65,000 square foot rooftop pool. Although patrons can begin gambling today, Cromwell will be given an official opening ceremony on May 21, 2014. The new resort replaces Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon, which itself replaced the original Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino that has stood in the same location since 1979. The news of this new opening follows a recent decision by Caesars to close Harrah’s Tunica, after the company failed to arrest declining revenues. The venue faced stiff competition from other casinos in the surrounding area, including the Caesar’s owned Horseshoe Tunica and Tunica Roadhouse Hotel and Casino. Harrah’s Tunica will continue to operate as normal until its doors close for good on 1 June, 2014.

CR139-p24-25-SAmerica_Coinslot NEW 09/05/2014 10:26 Page 1


South America


Mexico forces Playboy Cancún closure amid licence crackdown Unlucky for some: 13 casinos have been closed down simultaneously in Mexico as the current administration tries to expose the sins of its predecessors.



he Mexican regulator, the Gaming and Lotteries Directorate, swooped in to close 13 casinos operated by companies belonging to Juan José Rojas Cardona, the so-called ‘Casino Tsar’ on April 24. The move follows the revocation on April 1 of Cardona’s licences, which was finally sealed on April 17 after a legal challenge failed. The two companies affected are Entretenimiento de México and Exciting Games: the permit given to the former allowed it to operate up to 50 gaming establishments, including betting shops and slot parlours, however at the time of the action 26

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venues were recorded as operating including a number of casino, of which seven have been forced to close, including the flagship Casino Palmas Playboy in Cancún. All six of the Exciting Games casinos, three ‘Kash’-branded venues, two ‘Palmas’ and one Master Tournament were shut down at the same time. Police and enforcement officials from the task force known as ‘Rhinoceros’ surrounded the Palmas Playboy casino at around 2pm on April 24. Casino workers initially barred the officials’ entry but were soon admitted. ‘Closed’ notices were

fixed to the six entry and exit doors. The action was co-ordinated with the other forced closures across the country. The permit under which these venues were operating was issued during the administration of the former president Vincente Fox, despite the existence of a ban on casinos that has not been repealed, and was due to last until 2030. Additional licences were awarded by the Felipe Calderon government, just hours before it left government. The legislative picture of gambling in Mexico has long been criticised for being a hodge-podge that

allows too many exceptions and too many opportunities for corrupt practices to creep into the licensing process in particular. While there is clearly demand for casinos, the lack of clarity in the law means the supply has necessarily entailed elements of shadiness. The current president Enrique Peña Nieto has pledged to try and sort out compliance, however, wholesale reform to allow a well-regulated casino industry to develop in the country seems a long way off, with the government instead apparently intent on investigating the actions of the former

administrations. The Palmas Casino Playboy Cancún opened amid great fanfare in December 2010 but was subject to a closure order in 2011 for failing to meet security measures. In addition to the Playboy, the following casinos we closed in April: Bet & Win, Allende; Casino Live, Boca del Río; Palmas, Aguascalientes; Palmas Cumbres, Monterrey; Palmas Miraville, Monterrey; Sportzone, San Juan del Río; Kash, Villahermoso; Kash, Puebla; Kash, Alvaro Obregón; Master Tournament, Huixquilucan; Palmas, Cuernavaca; and Palmas, Naucalpan.

CR139-p24-25-SAmerica_Coinslot NEW 09/05/2014 10:27 Page 2

CHILE YXYXYXY / MEXICO Mexican crackdown 24


NEW LICENCE The now closed Casino Palmas Playboy in Cancún

Four bidders for new Chile casino CHILE

hile is set for a new casino, as the Chilean Gaming Control Board’s Resolution Council considers four proposals to replace the Termas De Chillan venue that closed in early December. While prospective operators Marina Del Sol Chilla, Chillan Casino Resort and Casino De Juegos Chillan want to build a casino in the city of Chillan some 85km from the nation’s second largest urban area, Concep-


ANALYSIS exico is stuck in its usual rut: while rooting out corruption associated with casinos is undoubtedly laudable, to do so while the whole framework of casino legislation is broken and riddled with rot is a futile exercise. While the government is chasing down the criminals and their corrupt former political masters, they are not able to think clearly about what kind of gaming legislation they could have. Mexico needs clear and strongly enforced gaming legislation because the current semi-legality provides an open door for the laundering of drugs money, the other major social and criminal issue that prevents the country from taking its place among well ordered nations.




cion, bidder Casino Luckia Arica said it would use its licence in the northern port town of Arica (pictured) only a few miles from the border with Peru. The Casino Luckia project would host 350 slots alongside twelve gaming tables and 60 bingo places within an 80room hotel. The $40.3m (E29m) project would create 360 jobs and additionally consist of restaurants, bars, a cafeteria, conference halls and underground car parking. For its part, Marina Del Sol wants to spend $56.3m (E40.6m) in order to operate

elecommunication firm Mondia Media has partnered with Canadian software provider Las Vegas From Home Entertainment to create a new mobile social gaming client for players located throughout Latin America. Using Mondia Media’s digital distribution network and for a one-time payment, the HTML5based gaming platform will allow players to enjoy a large selection of poker and casino titles using iPhone, iPad and Android-based smartphones and tablets without the need to download or install software. “Latin America is a key strategic region for us and this partnership not only allows us to reach over 70 percent of mobile subscribers in Mexico but also the prospects of exploring additional strategic and

450 slots, 20 gaming tables and 68 bingo places inside a new 100-room hotel. The proposal would also create restaurants, bars, a concert hall and a convention, business and sports centre with 575 jobs. The most expensive project at $87.3m (E62.9m), the Casino De Juegos Chillan proposal would host 500 slots, 20 gaming tables and 40 bingo positions inside a 104-room resort and create 705 jobs while also building a museum, exhibition centre, amphitheatre and urban park. Finally, Chillan Casino Resort would lay out $54.1m

mutually beneficial opportunities with both Mondia Media and its partners in the telecommunication industry,” said Jake Kalpakian, president and CEO for Las Vegas From Casino games manufacturer Casino Technology, meanwhile, has signed a deal with Codere that will see its Gamopolis Highway multi-game series (pictured) and Sensa Plus slot utilised at the operator’s venues in Columbia. The agreement follows previous successes the Bulgarian developer has enjoyed in the region including in Uruguay where it recently installed its Tangra Touch slant-top cabinets featuring Fusion multi-level jackpot system at the Atlantida Casino near Montevideo. Sofia-based Casino Technol-

(E39m) in order to build an 86room resort casino featuring 400 slots, 20 gaming tables and 60 bingo places along with an observatory, children’s play area and business centre for 346 jobs. Termas De Chillan cited unfavourable market conditions along with a poor location for the failure of its Chillan venue while regulations passed in 1995 require any new casino to be located outside of the Santiago metropolitan area, at least 70km from an existing venue and not in a region that already has three sites.

ogy also began the year by installing its Gamopolis Highway innovation and Sensa Plus slots at the Enjoy Coquimbo Casino in Chile. Also in Columbia, gaming testing laboratory and technical consultancy firm BMM Testlabs will now be able to offer its range of services to regulators in the country after receiving approval from ColJuegos. “We are very pleased to confirm that BMM is now accredited in Columbia through the recent approval from ColJuegos,” said Travis Foley, operations executive vice-president for BMM Americas. “BMM will continue to support regulators in the South American market and we are looking forward to expanding our services into Columbia.” May 2014 casinoreview

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Comment & Analysis



Galaxy chairman lays out a roadmap for the future

As Galaxy Entertainment Group reports record revenues of HK$66bn (E6.2bn) for fiscal 2013, Lui Che Woo, chairman of the Asian gaming and entertainment giant, explains how the company will seek to play a key future role in supporting Macau to become a world centre of tourism and leisure.

2013 was another successful and eventful year for Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG). Record highs were achieved in revenue, earnings and net profit attributable to shareholders. We strengthened the balance sheet by reducing borrowings by 96 per cent. The group’s two flagship properties were largely responsible for driving revenue and net profit attributable to shareholders higher by 16 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively. Efforts to optimise the potential of Galaxy Macau continue to pay off, and growth initiatives implemented at StarWorld Macau in 2013 have led to a marked resurgence. Both properties finished 2013 reporting their strongest ever quarterly performances, driving GEG’s full year Adjusted EBITDA through the HK$12.6bn (E1.2bn) mark. Development of our landbank in Cotai also gathered pace, with Phase 2 of Galaxy Macau on budget and on schedule to complete by mid-2015 as the next major project in Macau, and construction of Phases 3 and 4 targeted to commence as early as late 2014. We also expanded our presence in Cotai with the strategic acquisition of the Grand Waldo Complex in July 2013, which is immediately adjacent to our site in Cotai. Further out, the proposed RMB10bn development of a land parcel to develop

a world class destination resort in Hengqin Island will significantly differentiate us from our competitors, complement GEG’s business in Macau and play a key role in supporting Macau to become a world centre of tourism and leisure. We are also exploring new opportunities to expand our brand beyond Macau into overseas markets. We are confident that our short, medium and long term roadmap for growth will enable the group to create further value for shareholders for many years to come. Recognising the exceptional growth and achievements of the business, GEG became a constituent of Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index in June 2013. We believe that with our significant cash generating capability, combined with our confidence in the outlook for the future of Macau, we have the ability to continue with our development pipeline, maintain a strong balance sheet and return to shareholders. Macau continues to reinforce its reputation as one of the world’s most dynamic and vibrant tourism and leisure destinations. Total visitor numbers increased from a high base by four per cent to 29.3 million, with Mainland visitations growing at a faster rate of 10 per cent to 18.6 million. Visitors from the Mainland now account for 64 per cent of all visitors.

Total gaming revenues grew faster than that of 2012, increasing close to 19 per cent to HK$350bn (E32.7bn). The higher margin mass segment was again the best performer recording revenue growth of 35 per cent and VIP experienced a very encouraging 13 per cent increase in revenue. The long-term trend toward the mass segment shows no sign of diminishing. The increasingly affluent Chinese middle class has an appetite for travel, and this is being facilitated further by transport and infrastructure improvements such as the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Mass Rapid Transit and increased processing capabilities at the Gongbei border gate, which became effective in December 2012 and June 2013, respectively.”

orders in place in Singapore, with 153,000 of those self-imposed. Of the 73 noncasino operators in the country, only 21 have signed up for the launch of the new system. Potential money laundering hubs on floating offshore casinos have been raided by income tax officials, according to the Times of India. Four vessels were raided by operatives from Bangalore, amid fears that lax checks on high rolling gamblers had created an environment in which ill-gotten cash could be ‘cleaned’. “We received information that the casinos were being used for money-laundering. As many of the high-rollers do not divulge the source of the money they spend gambling, the casinos are also unable to keep an account of the same,” said an Income Tax official. The casinos, located in the Goa region of India, are subject to laws which required them to keep a record of every customer and the source of their money. The Las Vegas Sands’ owned Sands Bethlehem Casino in Pennsylvania, USA is

to appoint a new president, reports local news outlet WFMZ, scotching rumours that it was up for sale. Former Atlantic City casino executive, Mark Juliano is set to take up the roll, following an official announcement from the Sands corporation. News of the venue’s impending sale had begun to surface after the casino’s first-quarter net revenues fell about 5 percent year-on-year to $117 million. Finally, Hollywood star Ben Affleck has been reportedly banned from playing Blackjack a Las Vegas casino. Tabloids had initially claimed that he was banned from the Hard Rock Casino for counting cards, but the Independent reports that he was simply asked to stop playing for being “too good” at the game. When contacted for comment, a spokesperson from the Hard Rock said that, “Mr. Affleck, a valued guest of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, is not banned from our property and is welcome back any time.” The Oscar-winning writer of Good Will Hunting and soon-to-be Batman was in Vegas on a short trip with his wife, the actress, Jennifer Garner.

Lui Chi Woo: ‘The increasingly affluent Chinese middle class has an appetite for travel’


Hollywood gossips while problem gamblers in Singapore are given control of their own destiny, Indian tax officials raid offshore venues and Sands stands by its ailing casino. A varied month in the news.

26 | casinoreview May 2014


ingaporeans can now ban themselves from a wide range of gambling venues, as rules regarding selfexclusion are strengthened. Channel News Asia reports that Singaporeans have previously only been able to bar themselves from the country’s two casinos. However, thanks to the introduction of a centralised system, other kinds of venues that offer gambling facilities are able to share exclusion data. The outlet revealed that there are currently 200,500 exclusion


















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CR139-p30-38-Preview_Coinslot NEW 09/05/2014 10:45 Page 1


G2E Asia 2014 IGT

IGT heads to G2E Asia with marketspecific slots IGT is once again driving gaming innovation to the attendees at G2E Asia this year.


TCS brings high-tech solutions to G2E Asia


UK-based TCS John Huxley returns to G2E Asia with an expanded portfolio of leading edge gaming solutions.

CS John Huxley, leading global innovator of live gaming solutions, will showcase its broad technology product portfolio at G2E Asia 2014. With a focus on key products - Gaming Floor Live, Supernova Progressive and Blaze Gaming Surface Technology - the company will also feature industry leading products including traditional gaming tables, roulette wheels, Chipper Champ 2, e-FX Displays and the all new A-Plus shuffler. “At last year’s G2E Asia we spoke about our investment in product, people and infrastructure,” said Cath Burns, TCS John Huxley Group CEO. “This continues for 2014, with our main focus being on customer driven innovation and commitment to develop key products in our range. “Our enabling technology innovations are already delivering solutions to customers across the globe. By providing visibility and real-time data to refine and optimise processes, this adds up to a significant and

30 | casinoreview May 2014

positive change to profitability. We are very excited about the future and how our products are transforming our customers’ businesses.” One such product, being shown for the first time at G2E Asia, is Gaming Floor Live Baccarat. This realtime game optimisation tool is designed to maximise key performance areas and profitability. Casinos now have powerful information at their fingertips that can assess dealer accountability by giving real-time feedback on dealer performance as well as speed of each of the hands being dealt; pit visibility with table alerting and reporting; increased security providing surveillance views of all tables, alerts and incidents; and complete floor optimisation, with back of house reporting for table optimisation. All this is available on an open platform that can interface with existing systems, if required. Also on show will be the Supernova Progressive Platform featuring a new

Baccarat game. This exciting addition to the Supernova range delivers floor wide event and mystery progressives that drive increased revenues and adds higher levels of player excitement. This flexible platform adapts to almost any table game and allows casino operators to configure as many different prizes and jackpots as they want. Sicbo Blaze, the innovative gaming surface technology, offers stunning game animations projected through a traditional gaming layout. For added game security, all winning bets and game sequences are highlighted and standard gaming layouts cover the complete table surface instead of the traditional acrylic playing surface. The flexibility of the system allows casinos to include their own graphics and branding if required. Blaze gaming surface technology will be rolled out in the coming year to cover a full range of table games.

STAND: 1239

GT’s theme at G2E Asia this year, ‘Experience A Vision for the Future’, speaks to the great strides that the group has made in the gaming market in Asia. Having proactively evaluated and gauged player preferences, IGT arrives on the tradeshow scene armed with the information and immense potential to cultivate the interest of the slot players in the region. “IGT is laser-focused on the gaming market in Asia. As opportunities in the region grow, so do the opportunities to provide unequalled gaming expe-


see the fruits of IGT’s labours, with a consciously crafted and market-attuned line-up of best-in-class slot machines. IGT welcomes all G2E Asia attendees to come by its booth and see this year’s games, including Dragon Fairy, Extra Chance Jetsetter, Jade Fortune and Harmony Riches, among others. Inspired by the IGT classic theme Mystical Mermaid Returns, Dragon Fairy is a highvolatility game theme is available as a video and MLD slot with configurable lines to provide

riences,” said Eric Tom, IGT’s executive vice president of global sales. “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.” As immense growth is expected in the region, including the growth of slot play, IGT directs its creativity toward slot games that appeal to regional players. Great care is taken when formulating game themes and math models. Based on extensive market research IGT has taken a comprehensive approach, from the visuals to the auditory, to develop all aspects of the game with the Asian player in mind. At G2E Asia, you will

customised games to match players’ preferences. Extra Chance Jetsetter features three games Jetsetter Paris, Jetsetter London and Jetsetter Sydney - for world-class fun and excitement as players take chances for big wins on this playerfavourite, mediumvolatility trio which has been refreshed for the Asian market. With Jade Fortune, meanwhile, players enter a magical world where beauty and excitement collide in a world of emerald green hues. This high-volatility game charms with stacked symbol excitement and chances to win free games during bonus rounds.

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Konami builds on KP3 platform Konami Gaming will showcase several new releases to their expanding product portfolio at this year’s G2E Asia tradeshow in Macau. uilding upon its powerful KP3 platform, Konami Gaming will show a range of games on the all-new Rapid Revolver cabinet, the flexible SeleXion multigame cabinet, the engaging tall top Podium Monument cabinet and the award-winning Synkros casino management system at this year’s G2E Asia. Konami will deliver Asiaspecific game titles such as More Gold More Silver, Great Luck Great Profit and its latest progressive, Brothers of Fortune, at the Macau showcase. Unlike any other machine, Rapid Revolver combines a video reel experience with an oversized top box featuring six vertically-mounted spinning reels. This dynamic mix of video game content matched with unique cyclonic top box reels allows casino operators to provide their players with an unmatched gaming experience. The SeleXion multigame product line provides operators and players with the ultimate flexibility by offering the instantaneous switching between high performing Konami games. SeleXion brings together the latest player interface technology and the flexibility to build custom multi-game/multidenom packages for any type of casino environment. SeleXion offers up to 8 multi-language, multi-denom KP3® titles through an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen and dynamic button panel. “Avoid loading time and the wait, SeleXion provides Instantaneous game title changes.” Podium Monument leverages the capabilities of the KP3 platform to deliver an engaging gaming experience via a 22-inch touch-screen LCD for the base game and a high definition 32-inch vertical top box monitor. The Monument will attract and entertain customers with cabinet-exclusive game themes and progressives, and a full-face perimeter attract lighting package that synchronizes with game


play. This uniquely designed, dual-display platform will undoubtedly get noticed on any gaming floor. Synkros is best known for its reliability, innovative marketing tools and advanced real-time analytics. It provides a multitude of features that provide casinos with the ability and flexibility to accurately analyze their business and help increase efficiency. Synkros not only creates the ability to control gaming markets, but also generates the power to expand them. With advanced marketing features such as a SuperSeries, casinos can attract and engage their patrons with a variety of configurable, automated, multi-level and multithemed bonuses. The popular Podium Goliath and Dragon’s Victory will also be on display this year at G2E Asia. Since last year’s G2E Asia show, Konami has begun construction to significantly expand its offices in Las Vegas. The company is essentially doubling the size of its facilities in order to create the space for additional R&D and customer service personnel, as well as enhanced manufacturing capabilities designed to support its growing business. Konami has also hired an international product manager, Jeffrey Chen, who is dedicated to ensuring that products are designed and delivered to Asian markets like Singapore and Macau. Chen will work closely with John Gomes, Konami’s general manager for these markets, Eduardo Aching, vice president of sales, international, and Mitsuhiro Miyazaki, director games R&D, international to ensure that our customers have access to a robust catalogue of products that will help them grow their businesses.

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G2E Asia 2014



GTech to present new turnkey jackpot solution at Macau expo

The awardwinning Sphinx 3D

Taking centre stage on GTech’s booths at G2E Asia are the new JP2go standalone solution customised for the Asian market, along with Rub4Riches on-screen scratch cards and Sphinx 3D. tech is showcasing new and award-winning products from its Spielo Casino Systems solutions and Spielo slot gaming product portfolios at the Venetian Macau during G2E Asia 2014. New for the Macau expo in 2014 is the JP2go turnkey jackpot solution, which is offered in straightforward standalone packages. It offers targeted, revenue-building mystery, progressive and wide-area jackpots to create excitement on the floor and increase machine play for an all-inclusive, permachine price. At G2E Asia, JP2go will be introduced with an Asian version, specifically created with Asian players in mind. Gtech’s Rub4Riches onscreen scratch card product, the newest in the Galaxis Bonusing module, brings the thrill of scratch cards to slot machines and provides opera-


tors with a novel, interactive bonusing tool that instantly rewards players at the point of play. Once a player reaches a play threshold or meets other criteria predetermined by the casino, Rub4Riches displays a customised scratch card on the touchscreen player interface. Players use the interface to rub areas on the screen for a chance to win promotional credits in real time, directly at the slot machine. Integrated into the Galaxis Analytics portfolio and supplied in partnership with BIS2, GameViz advanced gaming analytics will also be demonstrated at G2E Asia. GameViz provides a new way to visualise advanced business intelligence using sophisticated ‘Super Graphics’. It helps operators to understand slot machine performance and customer preferences to identify

practical ways to improve revenue and profit. “We have continuously increased our presence here in Asia and are very pleased to bring our greatest and most innovative products to G2E Asian and to the market,” said Chiang Lai Fatt, Gtech’s general manager for Casino Systems in Asia. “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.” In addition, by introducing the three-time award-winning Sphinx 3D and two extremely

popular PopCap titles at G2E Asia, Gtech is reinforcing its commitment to the Macau slot market. Sphinx 3D is the first title in the new Spielo True 3D product line, which uses a glasses-free 3D display designed exclusively for Gtech for the gaming industry by SeeFront. It uses a unique, patented autostereoscopic technology with integrated eyetracking to make images jump off the screen or stretch into infinity in high resolution.

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Bringing added security to Asia t this year’s G2E Asia, Dallmeier will present its complete end-toend video security solutions for casinos. Special emphasis will be placed on the new high-resolution cameras and the user-friendly and intelligent video management system with sophisticated video analysis especially for casinos. The latest developments in the field of data handling and third party integration will also be shown. With the CasinoCam Panomera, Dallmeier presents a completely new and patentend camera technology. The multifocal sensor technology delivers previously unseen resolution quality, in real time and at high frame rates of up to 30fps. In addition, Dallmeier will display its


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installation. For the control and management of the video system, Dallmeier offers a professional and extremely efficient video management system with optimum user friendliness: the SeMSy Security Management System. SeMSy offers a comprehensive range of functions, including the display of live images, various search options within the footage, the control of PTZ cameras and an easy archiving of relevant sequences. The system can be operated intuitively via drag-and-drop. Workflows and complex manoeuvres can be deposited in the sysrange of PTZ and fixed dome cameras, tem, allowing for very easy and intuitive which score not only because of their pin operation by personnel. sharp images, but also because of their easy and convenient configuration and STAND: 339

Abbiati to present new products at G2E Asia


bbiati Casino Equipment, the Italybased provider of casino chips, plaques and table game equipment worldwide, will demonstrate its new innovative products during G2E Asia 2014. “Asia is the fastest growing market at the moment and it plays a very significant role in our company’s business,” said CEO, Giorgio Abbiati. “The G2E Asia show provides us a unique opportunity to introduce our innovative products to the Asian operators.” The company will feature a specifically for the show developed RFID Baccarat table. Fitted with a Perfect Pay Table Network platform, this table - exclusively designed and manufactured for Abbiati’s partner Walker Digital Table Systems - will demonstrate the Italian manufacturer’s leading position as an RFID 13.56 MHz PJM technology integrator and supplier. “Tables integrated with RFID technology help casino operators reduce labour, eliminate dealer errors and player fraud while increasing game speed and creating leaps forward in business intelligence and operating efficiency,” Abbiati stated. “The Baccarat RFID table has been designed to receive any professional optional equipment for dealers such as shuffling machines, intelligent shoes, electronic displays, full RFID equipment to name just a few.” During the expo, Abbiati will also showcase a singular model of Black Jack table, manufactured with special composite materials and especially designed to accommodate the progressive game of its partner DEQ. The Black Jack will feature a unique high-end design with elegant and refine finishing which make it a valued product.

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G2E Asia 2014



Novomatic to extend a warm welcome in Macau

Continued success for JCM in Asia

Austrian Gaming Industries’ Dominator, Novostar VIP and Panther Roulette will take centre stage at the group’s booth in Macau this year. n booth 308 at G2E Asia 2014, Novomatic subsidiary Austrian Gaming Industries (AGI), together with the local partner Jade Gaming, will present their latest range of the product highlights and solutions for Asian gaming markets. The Dominator will take pride of place at the group’s booth in Macau. This international top performer will be presented with a range of Novo Line Interactive multigame mixes as well as the new Octavian Superia-Games mixes 1-3. Two of the Dominator machine groups will feature two different jackpot concepts. The Magic Joker Jackpot will be displayed on the six LCD screens of large double-sided jackpot sign S655 while the hybrid jackpot Jewels Factory Jackpot will demonstrate the flexible jackpot display option on the Dominator’s 18-inch TFT topper. Another booth highlight will be the Novo Line Interactive mixes in the Novostar VIP


slant top, complete with the luxurious Crown VIP chair with integrated sound system and start button located in the arm rest. In combination with the Flipscreen functionality, which transfers the game screen onto the giant 46-inch LCD screen, this slant top guarantees true VIP comfort in panorama style. A further highlight to be seen in Macau will be the Panther Roulette - the successor of the already extremely popular Pinball Roulette. It will be presented in two versions, Panther Roulette and Panther Roulette II. The Panther Roulette comes with a new Start button on the right hand side of the hand rest for increased player comfort. The Panther Roulette II additionally features a second 32inch full HD screen in a vertical position on top of the machine and in an ideal position for the slot gaming offering. Both versions are available with a comprehensive multi-game offering of 23 HD video slot games. The Novo Line Novo Unity


investment in gaming entertainment. Given the resort casinos in Macau, we believe that players here will love it.” Amatic will also present its Multi Game solutions in the latest cabinet series, the Performer. “G2E Asia is just as it says – the show for the Asian market,” Engstberger. “We look forward to greeting our customers from around Asia, including the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.”

CM Global has achieved a great deal of success in the Macau region, including 100 per cent share at the entire City of Dreams and Wynn Casinos, more than 80 per cent at Mocha Clubs and 65 per cent at SJM. The transaction technologies supplier will bring its award-winning line of validators, printers and technologies to G2E Asia 2014. On the JCM stand, attendees will discover a range of validators, including iVizion, the iV8 table game bill validator, the Transactional Bill Validator (TBV), Vega and VegaRC Twin and iPro. The company will also showcase exclusive technologies such as the ICB 3.0 intelligent cash box with ondemand web reporting, the BlueWave firmware upload tool for fast and easy firmware uploads without opening the validator and the Sentry line of smart bezels that communicate with the player in up to four languages. JCM has a local office in Macau, fully staffed with sales and support teams that service JCM clients in the region.

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II presentation in Macau will feature a group of Novostar SL1 slant tops plus the fully automated Novo MultiRoulette wheel. A broad choice of fully animated electronic live games will be selectable on each of the terminals: Novo Flying Black Jack, Novo Flying Baccarat, Novo Flying Sic Bo, Novo Flying Poker 3 and Novo Flying DoubleAction Roulette. Also demonstrated at the show will be the many advantages of Octavian’s ACP Casino Management System. This modular system is a flexible and comprehensive solution for all modern gaming management and accounting requirements and apart from the basic modules accounting, control and progressives - includes additional modules such as cashless, TITO, player loyalty, cash manager, gate manager and more.

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Grand Jeu Double will be a highlight at G2E Asia matic Industries of Austria will be bringing its Grand Jeu Double to G2E Asia 2014. This fully automatic, 10player electronic roulette includes not just one but two roulette wheels. Four large monitors are included as standard in this unique electronic roulette. They can provide all the necessary game information - including hot and cold numbers - to give players the right overview of the game statistics. Players can bet on either wheel and, depending on the local legis-


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lation, both at the same time. “G2E Asia is an excellent platform to present our unique dualwheeled automatic roulette,” commented Thomas Engstberger, sales manager at Amatic. “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

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G2E Asia 2014



GLI to demonstrate much more than testing at Macau

CPI promising total solution at G2E Asia


urrently celebrating its 25th anniversary, Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), the world’s leading gaming testing laboratory and technical consultancy, is bringing its world-class services and award-winning and patented products to G2E Asia. “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,” said GLI vice president of global services, Ian Hughes. “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.” GLI has a strong position in Asia, with full service labs in Macau, China, and in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. The company has had a great deal of success across the entire region, and its business continues to grow exponentially, in established markets as well as in emerging markets. Most recently, GLI assisted

Philippine regulators in developing the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Technical Standard for Electronic Gaming Machines. At G2E Asia, GLI will meet with regulators, suppliers and operators to discuss the company’s unsurpassed testing, certification and consulting services. The company’s services go well beyond testing and include lottery testing, gaming device and systems testing, online gaming sys-

tems and security testing, rule writing, consultation and professional services. The company will also present its wide range of exclusive tools, one of which was created with a keen eye on the Asian marketplace, GLI Link. GLI Link recently earned a US patent and allows device testing against systems from any of GLI’s global locations, saving time and money and speeding time to market.

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ash management specialist Crane Payment Innovations (CPI) is to exhibit a full range of solutions at G2E Asia, in a bid to demonstrate how OEMs and operators can cover their entire cash handling needs with a single company. MEI’s SC Advance, Easitrax Soft Count and the PPM Advance will form the core of the company’s display, alongside the CashCode SM BackLoad note acceptor and a range of Money Controls coin hoppers. These are some of Crane and MEI’s most successful products, with the SC Advance already boasting an install base of nearly one million units. “Of the six CPI sub-brands, MEI has achieved the largest ship share across Asia, with major wins across Singapore, the Philippines and Macau,” said Graeme Lewis, CPI’s vice president in Asia Pacific. “The CashCode and Money Controls brands also continue to gain momentum in premier gaming jurisdictions.” Visitors are also likely to check out the CashCode SM BackLoad note acceptor, which has the


fastest note-to-stack speed in the world at 1.7 seconds. The machine is designed to support doormounted applications with small footprints, such as bingo, roulette and tabletop

sports betting terminals. “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,” said 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.”

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LT Game to champion terminal gaming at G2E Asia acao casino company LT Game is bringing a diverse collection of products to G2E Asia. Chief among them is the technology driven Live Multi Game System (LMG-5). The LMG-5 connects terminals around a casino floor to a live game taking place elsewhere on the premises, with patrons able to switch between different


cameras and games at will. The system is designed to support live-table gaming, promising to deliver more hands dealt per hour alongside improved security and reliability. A wide selection of other products will round out the LT Game booth, including Multi-Touch, EBaccarat Table, EMahjong Table, Airline Concept Betting Terminal,

36 | casinoreview May 2014

and Intelligent Cash Access. Many of these play into the company’s overall goal of making a chip-less casino a realistic possibility. Since last year’s G2E Asia, many of these products have seen instillations taking place in Macau and around the world. Venues along the Cotai strip currently using LT Game products include the Venetian,

Sands Cotai Central, MGM, Wynn, Galaxy and Grand Emperor Casinos. “Our expectations for this year’s G2E Asia 2014 are promoting our technology, increasing brand awareness of our products in the gaming industry and approaching more potential customers,” said a company spokesperson.

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G2E Asia 2014


GPI brings added security to Asia casinos GPI’s latest ultraviolet security solution and two innovative new plaque designs will take centre stage at G2E Asia. t this year’s G2E Asia, Gaming Partners International (GPI) will exhibit its extensive range of casino currency products and RFID solutions, and will introduce several new products developed to meet the unique needs of Asia’s casinos. New to the company’s currency security features portfolio, 3-in-1 UV is a security taggant that remains invisible under standard ultraviolet wavelengths. Because it can be added to plastic injectionmoulded chip materials, it is easy to validate chips with a specialised tool when chips are placed in


stacks or racks. Best of all, 3-in-1 UV offers three levels of authentication, including a forensic verification that uses Scanning Electron Microscopy. Adding to GPI’s unmatched European plaque collection, the Las Vegas-based company will introduce two new standard plaque designs including the Dragon’s Eye - a strong design sure to appeal to the Asian market- and the new Ribbon design, which is available with two different ribbon pattern widths. These new designs can also be enhanced with several new material patterns and colours, extending their overall visual appeal. Of

particular interest are four new Chameleon plaque materials we will debut that shift colour when rotated, providing a strong visual effect. These new choices are available in both transparent and opaque options. At G2E Asia 2014, GPI will also highlight its J3 jeton and two new security feature options that extend its operational value. By combining the easy handling and quick identification of Americanstyle chips with the visual appeal of European jetons, the J3 provides operators

with a unique alternative to plastic injection-molded chips or traditional-shaped European jetons. And, thanks to feedback from GPI’s Asian customers and the innovation of its development team, the group now has the ability to add LaserTrack to each chip’s

jetons. GPI Asia’s vice president of sales, Scott McCarthy, 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. Over the past year, our development team has been hard at work developing these new currency products that directly address the unique challenges our edge spot Asia customers face. The inserts, making them easy upcoming G2E Asia show is to validate when in stacks a great forum to meet with and racks. In addition, the our customers and demoncompany has developed a strate these newest prodway to add LaserTrack to ucts alongside our full suite the gold lace as well, a new of table game products and security feature option that RFID solutions.” is available on the J3 and on traditional plaques and STAND: 547


Intelligent Gaming to launch Livo at G2E Asia Playtech subsidiary Intelligent Gaming will put in a second appearance at G2E Asia in 2014. laytech is the only company in the gambling industry that offers a fully integrated, multi-channel, multi-platform and multi-product offering as well as a full range of services. The group recently underlined its plans for growth in the land-based sector with the Coral Connect programme, which has seen the launch of the first unified multichannel system connecting interactive and retail gaming. Coral Connect links the UK bookmaker’s online gaming operation to its 1,800 betting shops to provide a single customer account and wallet for interactive gaming, electronic gaming machines and over-the-counter betting. For G2E Asia 2014 however, the


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focus will be the casino management systems developed by the group’s Manchester-based subsidiary Intelligent Gaming, whose director of consulting, Chris Dempsey described the objectives for the show: “We are now working with a number of tier one operators including Genting and Crown and are underway with a number of ground-breaking projects in Asia. We are looking to increase awareness of our systems and our flexible approach and continue our growth in the region.” Dempsey added: We will showcase our management systems for live gaming, slots, CRM, loyalty and business intelligence and we will also exhibit Premo, our onpremise mobile gaming platform

with a new range of content including Baccarat, Sic Bo, Roulette, Slots, Bingo and Virtual Sports.” G2E Asia will see the launch of Livo, Intelligent Gaming’s tablegame optimisation solution, which will help live-game operators to optimise their product, pricing and productivity. Livo captures and stores detailed game data and provides tools to analyse performance and model demand and delivery. “Automation is key and we’re connecting to all manner of devices including video analytics, digital shoes, wheel readers, chipping machines and RFID equipment to deliver accurate real-time data,” explained Tom Arnold, strategic account manager. “Where manual entry is required,

we have the flexibility to record detailed data during the hand either within the Neon Tables app (iPad or Windows 8) or as a standalone native app on a small dealer unit (iPod, Windows Mobile 8 or Android).” Once collected the data is pushed in real-time to the Livo Data Mart where analysts can examine the operation in an unprecedented level of detail, using familiar tools such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Power BI and HTML 5 dashboards. “Our real-time analytical engine will provide suggestions directly to the floor by combining the global demand and supply models with event-based data,” Arnold said. “This allows your manage-

ment team to react in a profitable manner, generating revenue whilst controlling costs.” Playtech has significant scale and offers the broadest range of gambling products and ancillary services, underpinned by a stateof-the-art technology platform, which unites all product verticals, an extensive content library, third party content and complementary services; these are delivered seamlessly through multiple channels including web, mobile, live and broadcast, enabling players to move effortlessly between product verticals using one wallet, maximising player value and ultimately licensee revenue.

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Project1_Coinslot NEW 09/05/2014 11:51 Page 1




Turning Stone selects Synkros

Astra acquires Extreme Live Gaming he Astra Gaming Group, the wholly owned UK subsidiary of Austrian Gaming Industries (AGI), has acquired a majority holding in Extreme Live Gaming. Based in Manila, Philippines, the live dealer gaming solutions provider operates studios in Asia, employing both Asian and European dealers. It joins stablemates Astra Games, Bell-Fruit Games, Empire Games, Gamestec, Greentube, RLMS Sales and Mazooma Interactive Gaming. Integral to the deal, which was completed for an undisclosed sum, will be the opening of a European studio located in London, scheduled to become operational in the third quarter of 2014. Additionally, Extreme will integrate with Greentube’s gaming suite which will allow operators seamless access to Novomatic



onami Gaming has installed its Synkros management system along with 120 Class III games at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, following a deal with the Oneida Indian Nation. “Turning Stone is a world-class resort, which has been growing for 20 years,” said Steve Sutherland, COO and executive vice-president for Konami Gaming. “Today, a comprehensive gaming enterprise management system like Synkros can help the management team synchronise all aspects of their expanding business. “Turning Stone Resort Casino now offers four hotels, two spas, five golf

courses, conference and meeting space, an events centre, 19 restaurants and more than 125,000sq.ft of Vegas-style gaming. Konami and Turning Stone are an ideal fit because Synkros was designed to manage a resort casino operation this large and a set of offerings this varied.” Located in the heart of upstate New York halfway between the cities of Utica and Syracuse, Turning Stone has become one of the state’s topfive tourist destinations since opening in 1993. “Turning Stone attracts 4.5 million visitors each year and we are committed to offering the best products and the best service to our guests,”

said Guy Renzi, gaming operations vice-president at the facility. “The Synkros system from Konami provides us with tools that will help us to manage all aspects of our business in real time, so that we can continue to surprise and delight our guests with amazing experiences while contributing sustained revenues to the Oneida Nation and surrounding communities. “We needed a system that could manage the gaming and non-gaming aspects of our business seamlessly. We were impressed with Synkros’ reliability, its single code base and the marketing horsepower that it offered to our management team.”


EGT receives business excellence award ust one month after receiving a ‘True Leader’ award from business information services group ICAP Bulgaria, Euro Games Technology (EGT) has been praised for excellence in software implementation at the annual SAP Quality Awards for Central and Eastern Europe. The ceremony celebrates businesses that have excelled in the planning and execution of their SAP software implementations. The prestigious awards recognise customers who effectively manage and execute implementations marked by complex technical and business process requirements, and deliver significant business benefits to their organisation. EGT and its implementation partner Squilline have been distinguished for their project for optimisation of service processes with SAP’s


Work Manager mobile application. The project has generated many advantages for both EGT and their customers. By implementing SAP Work Manager mobile solution, EGT has achieved increased customer satisfaction by faster resolving technical issues and immediate response to its customers; significant cost reduction by optimising the procurement process and

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reducing the stock levels of spare parts; and real-time information which allows for faster decision making process of the management. “EGT is one of the fastest growing companies in the gaming manufacture business worldwide,” said Stanislav Stanev, director of sales and marketing for EGT. “It is a challenging task to keep our top position, to broaden the pro-

duction more and more and at the same to provide products with excellent quality as well as effective and prompt support. “By implementing the SAP mobile platforms and apps we take one step forward to achieving a superior management and better service which will affect positively our team, our customers and our business.”

content within the live dealer product and leverage Greentube’s comprehensive back office capability. Founded in 2013, Extreme Live Gaming has revolutionised the player experience in the live dealer space via its unique Extreme Mode feature. Its portfolio includes mobile and web versions of the system for roulette and baccarat, while blackjack will be added later this year. Commenting on the acquisition, Astra Gaming Group CEO Zane Mersich (pictured) said: “This is a deal that will add immense value to what we offer as a gaming Group,” he stated. “Our aim is to deliver to customers and players a world class experience in every facet of what we do. The Extreme Live Gaming brand brings an exciting, new and highly innovative edge to our portfolio - it exemplifies everything the Astra Gaming Group stands for.”

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WMS wins largest share in Casino Cosmopol tender

Dallmeier opens video IP showroom

MS Gaming, a Scientific Games company, has announced that Casino Cosmopol, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Svenska Spel, has released the final results of its tender for slot machines, with WMS winning 30 per cent of the total order size - the single largest share awarded in the tender. Sweden-based Casino Cosmopol, which has casino properties in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmoe and Sundsvall, currently operates approximately 125 gaming tables and 1,100 slot machines, with slots accounting for about 60 per cent of its net gaming revenue. In order to provide its players with a cutting-edge gaming experience, Casino Cosmopol is look-


ing to continually replace their slots and to offer a selection of machines on the forefront of technological developments within gaming. The proven-performing Blade cabinet and the Game Chest Multi-Game Series, specifically tailored to the European marketplace, are among the WMS products to be featured at Casino Cosmopol. The Wizard of Oz Emerald City and Haunted Forest themes on the playerfavourite Gamefield xD cabinet are already in operation at the Cosmopol casinos. Sebastian Salat, president of WMS International, said: “We are

delighted and honoured to have achieved this fantastic result in the Cosmopol tender process. We worked very closely with our Scientific Games colleagues in preparing our successful tender proposal, which we believe bodes well for continued success for our recently merged company.” Eight gaming companies submitted tenders for the deployment of slot machines to the four Cosmopol Casinos. WMS and five other companies were awarded a contract.


erman security solutions group Dallmeier has opened a video IP showroom in Bitburg, where both new and existing customers can experience for themselves the advantages of the company’s video IP solution. Dallmeier’s comprehensive range of products is on display at the Dallmeier Solution Centre, including: surveillance for protection against intrusion, theft and vandalism; industry-specific solutions; and video analysis with functions such as people counting and object detection. Visitors to the showroom can also experience the unique Panomera camera technology for full video surveillance of large areas at first hand, and find out about the added value offered by this patented multifocal sensor system in real life situations.


Bally to demonstrate complete gaming floor solutions at G2E Asia ally Technologies will display a wide array of products at this year’s G2E Asia, giving visitors a chance to experience firsthand how the group gives casinos a single view of their player at the casino, on the go, and at home. Bally Technologies’ senior vice President of Asia, India, and South Africa, Srini Raghavan, exlpained: “Visitors will see that Bally is committed to serving the needs of the Asia-Pacific market, with our booth featuring an outstanding lineup of new games designed specifically with the Asian player in mind. We will also demonstrate how our innovative systems, table game products, and interactive technology can connect operators’ entire gaming world.” At G2E Asia, Bally will feature more than 40 unique game titles, including the world-class licensed


branded game Titanic, which swept the awards at the Macao Gaming Show in November 2013, winning in all four categories presented at the VIP Slot Room. Titanic video slots by Bally deliver a fully interactive and cinematic experience centred on the iconic star-crossed lovers from James Cameron’s Titanic one of the highest-grossing films in history. Also prominently featured will be Bally’s Pro Wave cabinet, which features a 40-inch concave high-definition monitor. In addition, the company will unveil Emperor’s Seal, a new three-level linked progressive with two Block Pays-style Asian-themed games. Beijing Opera and Forbidden Beauty feature vibrant jackpot celebration animations and stacked symbols to deliver an play experience.

May 2014 casinoreview

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IGT creates a trio of millionaires

Lucrative month for Bally slot players

T IGT’s innovative MegaJackpots progressive slot jackpot system has awarded three fortunate US players with cash prises totalling over $5m. asino gaming entertainment developer and manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT) is heralding its range of MegaJackpots progressive jackpot slots after three of the machines paid out prizes recently totalling almost $5m (E3.6m). The multi-million cash prize wins began in March with a player at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, Florida, landing a reward of $1.3m (E941,000) off of the Wheel Of Fortune: Double Diamonds slot machine tied to the progressive MegaJackpots. The anonymous player was casually enjoying a few $5 (E3.62) spins and stated that he will use his new-found wealth to ‘help his kids a little more’. A lucky slot player at Down-


stream Casino Resort in Quapaw, Oklahoma, was the next recipient of a life-changing cash prize after banking in excess of $2.6m (E1.8m) on April 12 courtesy of the MegaJackpots game James Cameron’s Avatar. The unnamed winner was visiting the casino with a friend when his video slot journey to Pandora turned into a life-changing experience and he now plans to live life ‘with less financial stress and pressures’. The MegaJackpots siren sounded again last month when it was triggered by a customer at the Eldorado Resort Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana, for just over $1.03m (E745,000) courtesy of the Wheel Of Fortune: Five Times Pay slot. The fortunate player jumped up and down with excitement and a feeling of

‘complete joy’ after his win and plans to keep working because he ‘loves his job’. IGT launched the MegaJackpots progressive product line in 1986 and has since produced thousands of winners with jackpots ranging from $1m (E724,000) to a worldrecord cash prize of more than $39m (E28.2m). Continuing its legacy of firsts, IGT also recently successfully connected casino properties in New Jersey and Deadwood, South Dakota, for the industry’s inaugural Powerbucks inter-jurisdictional wide area progressive jackpot. An add on for fan-favourite titles linking progressive pools from participating jurisdictions, IGT stated that Powerbucks has been designed to award frequent life-changing


EGT on parade at SAGSE Panama


uro Games Technology (EGT) continued its traditional participation at SAGSE by joining this year’s exhibition for Central America and Caribbean at the Hotel El Panama in May. EGT’s booth caught the attention with some of the company’s brand new products, including the innovative Cat 4 Cash Jackpot System, which is one the three original themed jackpots from the Premier

Series of products that made an impressive debut earlier this year. The Cat 4 Cash Jackpot System features an attractive jackpot panel and an impressive cabinet from the Premier series. The system offers a multigame with unique mathematics and popular titles conveying a onetime experience to the players. One of the main eye catchers at the SAGSE show was the

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EGT configuration of Stork Multiplayer Terminals with automatic roulette wheel. The visitors will have the chance to experience the new EGT Multigame-1, which combines roulette play and blackjack. The introduction of EGT cabinet Premier P-24/24 Up provided another highlight of the show. With its elegant design and ergonomic features the cabinet has already become the first choice of all EGT supporters.

jackpots at any bet level. “Linking the Deadwood, South Dakota, properties and the New Jersey properties with Powerbucks is an exciting occasion for IGT,” said Joe Sigrist, product management and global product development vice-president for IGT. “Bringing industry-first innovation and truly transformative gaming experiences to the players who crave it is at the core of what IGT does. The company looks forward to the expansion of Powerbucks and creating jackpot mania like never before.” Finally, IGT announced that it has licensed the popular tokidoki lifestyle brand and plans to launch a new themed slot game at select casinos in Macau and Singapore next year.

he last month has seen widearea progressive slot link systems from gaming machine developer Bally Technologies Incorporated award a trio of American players with cash prizes totalling over $2.8m (E2m). The winning began on April 2 when a Missouri man triggered the Cash Connection wide-area progressive slot link to bank in excess of $1.3m (E937,979) while enjoying one-cent spins on the Michael Jackson: King Of Pop slot at the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Tulsa in Catoosa, Oklahoma. This was followed nine days later by a payout of more than $298,600 (E215,400) for player Patrick Calma from Watertown, Connecticut, after the 43-yearold set off the QuarterMillion$ Instant Fortune wide-area progressive slot link at Mashantucket’s Foxwoods Resort Casino while also enjoying a one-cent denomination game. Finally, a penny wager on Bally’s Money Vault game at the same Connecticut venue activated the Millionaire Sevens wide-area progressive slot link on April 20 to award 28-yearold Kerry Gillis from Wilmington, Massachusetts, with a cash prize of $1.18m (E851,200). Las Vegas-based Bally has also signed a deal to supply the Majestic Star Casino And Hotel with its awardwinning iGaming platform. The Gary, Indiana, casino plans to utilise the system to its provide customers with ‘an array of play-for-free poker, slot and table games content’ supplied by Bally along with a number of other partner content providers. “This outstanding technology from Bally will help us continue providing our patrons with a great gaming experience, no matter if they are on property, at home or on the go,” said Craig Ghelfi, general manager for the Majestic Star Casino And Hotel. “Additionally, playfor-free applications will allow players to continue enjoying the excitement of Majestic Star from anywhere.”

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Proven concepts to be showcased by Casino Technology at G2E Asia




Casino Technology will showcase a mix of proven products and novelties at G2E Asia 2014.

host of new game titles and concepts will meet visitors at Casino Technology’s booth at G2E Asia this year. The new Bingogator mix will open new opportunities for the operators looking to offer their clients the excitement of bingo. It is exclusively housed in the new Gator slant top, which provides a compact, optimised solution for locations looking for more diversity in the segmentation of their slot floors. Bingogator includes a selection of new bingo games - Bingo Fast, Bingo Best, King’s Tomb Riches and 90 Ball Bingo - available for land-based, server-based and online gaming. The games are offered as single titles as well as in a multipack suite. Another highlight on Casino Technology’s G2E Asia stand this year is the latest addition

DLV set for G2E Asia


LV, the Latviabased gaming machine manufacturer, heads to G2E Asia this year with a range of cabinets and regional specific jackpot systems for standalone machines. Among the jackpot solutions, DLV will be at the Macau expo to promote Dragon Jackpot, which is already being operated in Cambodia. The company will also showcase the three-level Jewel Jackpot 3, the four-level Vollinstars and Guaya Quest. For the first time at G2E Asia, DLV will present Diamond Games Premium VIII, its continuation of 15-games sets for standalone machines.

AWARDS WMS wins manufacturing leadership award


MS Gaming, a Scientific Games company, has been honoured with a 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Award in supply chain leadership for its

to the successful Gamopolis multigame series, Gamopolis Highway, which features 40 games. Among the novelties to be showcased on Casino Technology’s booth is a new set of systems that providing seamless transition from the landbased gaming to online and mobile channels. By combining a Casino Management System, a Money Management System, a Jackpot system, a Remote Game Server and an Online Gaming System, the Big 5 suite offers a wide range of options and sophisticated tools for both traditional and online business.

STAND: 513

achievements in developing a world-class governance and material sourcing strategy. Now in its 10th year, the Manufacturing Leadership Awards recognise companies and individuals that are shaping the future of global manufacturing. “This achievement represents truly collaborative innovation across WMS’ entire end-to-end supply chain,” said Chris Hillman, vice president of global supply chain for the group. “This is a testament to WMS’ leadership and commitment to optimising our performance for our customers.”

SOFTWARE Playtech completes Coral installation


aming software and solutions provider Playtech has announced the successful launch of its new multi-channel solution across the entire Coral betting shop estate in the UK. According to the group, the Coral Connect programme is the first time online and retail systems have been totally unified, allowing players to use one account across all platforms. Through the programme, customers can open an account in a retail betting shop and then use the account to place bets online or via mobile. For retail purposes, the multi-channel account can be used to

place bets over the counter (OTC), play casino games on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and deposit or withdraw funds.

COMPONENTS Gamesman look to build on success in Asia


amesman, the internationally recognised gaming equipment components and systems manufacturer, part of the Esterline Corporation, will be attending G2E Asia as it seeks to build on the successful business relationships already achieved in what is a strategic and growing market for the company. Key to the growing importance of the market are the arrival of Asian machine manufacturers as Gamesman’s sales director, Arturo Catano, explained: “Machine manufacturers based in Asia are now supplying the international casino market and looking to us for proven and reliable components from standard push button solutions through to toppers and dynamic button deck products. “It’s very important to our customers in Asia that we are on the ground and accessible rather than having simply a ‘Skype relationship’. To this end our wholly owned, 3,250sq.m manufacturing facility in Shenzen, China, employing over 100 staff is an important part of the design, supply and customer support service that we are able to supply our Asia customers.” May 2014 casinoreview

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LVS reports record quarterly results

G The success of global casino resort operator Las Vegas Sands’ Asian operations has seen the group report revenues of over $4bn for the first three months of 2014.

lobal casino resort operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS) has released its financial results for the first three months of 2014 showing that net revenues rose by over 21 per cent year-on-year to reach a record $4.01bn (E2.8bn). Las Vegas-based LVS operates three gaming properties across the US in addition to the Sands Macau, The Venetian Sands Macau Resort Casino and the Sands Cotai Central in the enclave of Macau and reported that “strong gaming volumes” from its Chinese businesses drove adjusted property earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation up by 49.1 per cent year-on-year to an all-time high of $939.8m (E677.6m). LVS also runs the Marina Bay Sands resort casino in Singapore and stated that first-quarter consolidated adjusted property EBITDA increased by 26.8 per cent when compared to the same period last year to reach a record $1.48bn (E1.06bn). All of this saw the company return $810m

44 | casinoreview May 2014

(E584m) to shareholders through its Stock Repurchase Program over the three-month period, which was in excess of its previously stated minimum target of $225m (E162.2m). “I am extremely pleased to report another quarter of record financial results that reflect continued strong growth in revenues, cashflow and earnings per share,” said Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer for LVS. “The focused and consistent execution of our global growth strategy, which leverages the power of our conventionbased integrated resort business model, is clearly driving our financial results. Continued execution of that strategy will extend our position as the global leader in integrated resort development and operation.” Adelson revealed that Macau was again the company’s most profitable market with more than 17m visitors over the threemonth period while its two Las Vegas properties posted total net quarterly revenues $382.7m

(E275.9m), which was a decrease of seven percent year-on-year. “We remain confident that our market-leading Cotai Strip properties including our latest integrated resort on the Cotai Strip, the Parisian Macao, which is targeted to open in late 2015, will meaningfully enhance the appeal of Macao to business and leisure travelers and provide an outstanding platform for growth in the years ahead,” said Adelson. LVS declared that Singapore contributed $435.2m (E313.7m) in adjusted property EBITDA due to ‘strong growth’ in nongaming activities, steady mass gaming results and a higher hold rate on VIP play. “The prudent management of our cashflow including the ability to increase the return of capital to shareholders while maintaining a strong balance sheet and ample liquidity to invest in future growth opportunities remains a cornerstone of our strategy,” Adelson said.

MGS confirms G

The Macao Gaming Show (MGS) has set its s be great. To ensure it hits the mark, MGS is workin support of the November exhibition at the Venetia he Macao Gaming Show (MGS), which takes place on November 18-20 at the Venetian Macao, has appointed GB Media as principal media partner in support of the 2014 exhibition. The UK-owned company, which also has offices in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Palma, Majorca, is the world’s biggest publisher of specialist business-to-business gaming media, producing over 100 publications a year and covering all forms of online and offline gaming. Marina Wong, general manager and event director of MGS, commented: “In 2013 we enjoyed a very positive launch event when we welcomed 8,000 visitors to the exhibition. We were delighted with the outcome. It has provided solid foundations, which we now want to build on.



Bad weather hurts P


S casino operator Penn National Gaming has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2013, showing a 19.6 per cent decrease year-onyear in total revenues to $641.1m (E462.3m). Penn National own and operates over 25 facilities in the US and Canada, and reported first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rent of $174.7m (E126m), which was down by 20.8 per cent year-on-year, while its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped over 68 per cent to 70.4m (E50.7m). All of this left the Pennsylvania-based firm with net earnings of $4.5m (E3.2m),

CR139-p44-46-Business_Coinslot NEW 09/05/2014 11:08 Page 2


rms GB Media tie-up

S) has set its stall out for the 2014 edition: if last year was good, this year will MGS is working has appointed GB Media as principal media partner in at the Venetian. “We met with GB Media director John Sullivan at the beginning of the year and were highly impressed by his company’s credentials. Their award winning magazines are the best in the business, and the team has worked with a large number of international gaming brands using the influence of their titles to deliver value. Wong added: “They bring in-depth gaming knowledge, creativity, energy and a competitive edge to the work they deliver on our behalf. I am confident that with their expertise and commitment we will be able to take Macao Gaming Show to the next level. Our ‘By Asia for the World’ advertising campaign is already appearing across international gaming media alongside media relations activities and

social and digital marketing initiatives.” John Sullivan, director of GB Media, said: “We are delighted to be selected as principal media partner for MGS 2014 and to be working alongside Marina Wong and the highly talented team which has made Macao Gaming Show such a formidable brand in such a short period of time. “Our media channels will connect the campaign with an international audience of gaming professionals building on the fantastic success achieved by last year’s exhibition. By Asia for the World is a powerful message and one which connects with the community of buyers and influencers many of whom have already confirmed their attendance and registered for MGS 2014.”

hurts Penn National results which was 93.1 per cent lower than for the same period in 2013, although this was $200,000 (E144,245) higher than its guidance. “Despite challenging operating conditions, first-quarter consolidated results were in line with our expectations with revenues, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rent, adjusted earnings before interest,

tax, depreciation and amortisation and diluted earnings per share at or near guidance,” said Timothy Wilmott, president and CEO of Penn National. “During the quarter, we saw a significant increase in both the number and severity of weather impacted days compared to the first quarter of 2013. While weather presented a significant drag on earnings, particularly to our newly defined East/Midwest segment which includes our three largest properties, our property level management teams continue to be diligent in maintaining margins.” May 2014 casinoreview

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& City News

Somewhere to Park 20



MGM China posts improved quarterly results

PAF increases profits for third consecutive year


The operator behind MGM Macau saw its net revenues and earnings for the first three months of the year increase thanks to improved performances from its mass-market and VIP table games offerings. acau casino operator MGM China Holdings Limited has released its financial results for the first three months of 2014 showing an over 26 per cent increase yearon-year in net revenues to $941m (E678.9m). MGM China operates the 600room MGM Macau in partnership with Pansy Ho and reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the initial quarter of the year of $241m (E173.7m), which represents a 32.7 per cent boost over the same period in 2013. The firm’s Las Vegas-based parent, MGM Resorts International, stated that MGM China


saw first-quarter VIP table games turnover swell by twelve percent year-on-year to $28.9m (E20.8m) while its main floor counterpart improved by 45 per cent to $770,826 (E555,682m), which outpaced the entire enclave’s mass-market market growth of 40 per cent. “The mass-market is now getting to that point where it’s anchoring most of the operator’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation performance,” said Grant Bowie, CEO of MGM China. Formerly known as the MGM Grand Macau, the MGM Macau was opened in 2007 and offers 192 main floor gaming tables alongside 234 VIP counterparts.

“MGM China will continue to redeploy more gaming tables to mass-market gamblers,” said Bowie. The Macau operator’s firstquarter hold percentage rose by 0.2 percent when compared to the corresponding period in 2013 to three percent while its adjusted earnings included $16m (E11.5m) million in branding fee expenses versus $13m (E9.3m) for this time last year. Operating income for MGM China came in at $165m (E118.9m) for the first quarter compared with $99m (E71.3m) for the same period last year with the company paying out a dividend of $499m (E359.7m) with $254m (E183.1m) of this going to

MGM Resorts International. In terms of slots, MGM Macau offers 69 less machines than it did a year ago at 1,292 although these units saw their overall first-quarter handle go up by 11.7 per cent year-on-year to $1.6m (E1.1m) while gross win improved 4.6 percent to $79,098 (E57,023). The machines’ hold percentage dropped by 0.3 percent when compared with the corresponding period last year to 4.8 per cent with an average daily win per slot of 5.3. For the operation as a whole, room occupancy rates for the first three months of 2014 rose by 1.4 per cent year-on-year to 98.5 per cent while operating income stood at $215,581 (E155,436).


WMS purchase a boon for Scientific Games aming products and services firm Scientific Games Corporation has unveiled its financial results for the final three months of 2013 showing that it achieved a 63 per cent increase in overall revenues to $401.9m (E289.8m). However, the New York-based firm revealed an operating loss for the three months to the end of December of $67.5m (E48.6m),


which is in contrast to a profit of $10.1m (E7.2m) for the same period in 2012, although its fourth quarterly net losses improved from $12.4m (E8.9m) last time out to $500,000 (E360,603) more recently. Scientific Games parted with $1.5bn (E1.01bn) in cash last October to purchase WMS Industries and this acquisition helped its fourth-quarter earnings

46 | casinoreview May 2014

before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation improve by 45.1 per cent year-on-year to $130.5m (E94.1m). “Fourth-quarter revenues reflect solid growth in our lottery business and a partial quarter of WMS results,” said David Kennedy, president and CEO of Scientific Games. “We are focused on growing our customers’ revenues and

capturing new growth opportunities by accelerating development of innovative content and technology and continuously improving our core competencies. At the same time, we are focused on achieving the targeted cost synergies related to the acquisition of WMS and driving profit margin and cash flow improvements across all of our businesses.”

innish gambling operator Alands Penningautomatforening (PAF) has released its financial results for 2013, showing a third straight year of profit increases to E31.4m, which also represented a 17 percent rise year-on-year. Based on the autonomous Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea, PAF saw its total revenues for the 12-month period improve by three per cent year-on-year to E108.2m. The group has proposed donating E21m of its profits to the local government for the public good. “The positive trend from 2012 has continued in 2013 with increased revenues in most months of the year compared with the same months in the previous year,” said Anders Ingves (pictured), CEO of PAF. “The rate of increase was particularly pro-

nounced during the first two quarters while the trend in the last two quarters was weaker.” Annual gaming revenues from the online operation rose seven per cent year-on-year to E73m while takings from land and ship venues dropped by six percent to E34.6m. PAF recently embarked on a cost-cutting programme and this saw it buck lowered growth rates to post an operating profit for 2013 of E30.9m, which was a swell of 25 per cent when compared to previous twelve months, off of a margin of 28.5 per cent. “As a whole, we are satisfied with the 2013 results,” said Ingves. “We have increased profits for the third consecutive year and we go into 2014 with the objective of restoring growth in our existing markets and increasing growth overall by expanding into a new international market.” Marcus Prater, Executive Director +1 702 812 6932 • Tracy Cohen, Director of Europe + 44 (0) 7970 833 543 • Connie Jones, Director of Responsible Gaming +1 702 528 4374 • ©2014 Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM). Membership list current as of April 2014.

CR139-p48-People_Coinslot NEW 09/05/2014 11:02 Page 1




‘Asia is driving core development and innovation’ Casino currency and table game equipment group Gaming Partners International is well positioned to support growth in the Asian gaming market. Scott McCarthy, vice president of sales in Asia, explains exactly why the region lives up to its reputation of being dynamic, diverse, challenging and rewarding.


asino Review: How would you summarise trading for Gaming Partners International (GPI) over the past 12 months? Scott McCarthy: As the leading casino currency manufacturer, we have always placed a lot of emphasis on product innovation, which is why GPI products continue to set the benchmark for casino currency. Over the past 18 months, we have really pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with our currency products, releasing no fewer than six security features and even more new design options – an exceptional accomplishment that demonstrates our dedication to meet the increasingly challenging requirements of such a dynamic market. We have also upgraded our RFID Chip Inventory System (CIS) from a closed to an open platform, which now means that it can be fully integrated with all casino management systems. This enables infinite possibilities across the diverse operational requirements of our customers, and is helping to drive the technology forward. We were also excited to release our new J3 jeton that takes the best aspects of our prestigious plaques and jetons and combines them with the best features offered by American-style chips to create a truly remarkable and unique product.

48 | casinoreview May 2014

CR: Would it be fair to say that RFID has been the most significant technological development to have taken place in the casino currency sector over recent years? SM: RFID can be summed up in two words: endless possibilities. That’s what RFID offers when combined with the proper inventory platform like CIS. This open source database takes all RFID chip reads and turns them into real-time opportunities. There are many challenges facing casino operators today, and time is money. CIS makes it possible for operators to capitalise on that reality in real time by providing automated and bespoke functions that help improve operational efficiencies. Just imagine being able to balance a table at the push of a button, review your win/loss position in real time and streamline or automate manual functions that cost time and are susceptible to human error. We are well on the way to making these and many more operational and budgetary efficiencies a reality.

diverse, challenging and rewarding. There are so many interesting projects going on at any one time, it’s hard to comment on how the market could look in six months, let alone 36 months. One thing’s for sure: with this many seasoned operators so close to so many serious players, the results should be nothing less than amazing, and we’re well positioned to support this growth by working closely with our customers to meet their needs. GPI Asia is growing. When l started three years ago we had a team of three people. This figure now stands at 10 – and counting. As the region continues to expand, we too are expanding, focusing our growth on addressing customer currency product needs and their related security, technology and efficiency issues. We are fortunate to have an executive management team and board of directors that understands what’s going on in Asia and makes sure we meet the needs of the market and adapt or expand wherever an opportunity arises.

CR: Looking specifically at Asia, how would you define the market in 2014? Is GPI’s Asia division growing? SM: When asked about the Asia market, l usually define it as ‘DDCR’ – dynamic,

CR: Do you feel that the internal business structures of companies which serve global gaming markets are now changing due to growth in Asia? SM: Without a doubt. Asia is driving core development

and innovation, redefining how casinos operate now and in the future. Most properties have teams of analysis and technology innovators working to understand outcomes in real time. You’ve never seen a 350-table main gaming floor change its entire layout as quickly as the properties in Asia to answer changing customer demands. This is a market dynamic like no other, and some of the best minds in the industry are right there at its heart making sure that every response is calculated and precisely executed, then measured and refined in real time. It’s such an exciting time to be in gaming, and something tells me the best is still yet to come. CR: How closely do you work with operators to ensure your products are performing to their best? SM: We work very closely with operators to make sure our products meet their needs. This is absolutely critical. In fact, all developments we’ve undertaken in the past two years have been market-driven based on customer feedback and direction. We have numerous other projects in the pipeline, many of which have the potential to revolutionise how things are done on the casino floor today, and we are fortunate to work alongside some of the industry’s most innovative and successful operators.

BIOGRAPHY: SCOTT MCCARTHY ased in Macau, Scott McCarthy is the vice president of sales in Asia for GPI, and is responsible for supporting customers located throughout the Asia-Pacific region. With over 18 years of industry experience and extensive casino finance and operations expertise, most recently as director of cage and count for City of Dreams, McCarthy combines his passion for customer service with a goal-oriented focus on supporting strong client relationships. He is also an advocate of industry innovation, working closely with operators to identify new product ideas that meet the needs of individual customers and the wider market sector. To accomplish this, Scott draws heavily on his operations expertise that includes extensive cage currency operations, VIP junket operations and casino opening project management experience.


B&G plaques are always first to go beyond the ordinary with new designs and dynamic materials that turn your high-end currency into something extraordinary. Enhanced further by cutting-edge security features unavailable anywhere else, our newest plaque innovations transcend the rest. To see our new plaque advancements firsthand, visit us at G2E Asia booth #547.










Global Circulation

Readership breakdown by sector



13.8% Suppliers



C-Levels (chairman, president, CEO, partners)

Senior management (Operational managers, sales/ marketing/PR managers…)








Managing directors/ general managers

Others (senior game designers, financial directors…)




2,004 11.9%

Readership breakdown by job title

2.9% B






Land based casino

2.5% Lottery



Slot halls/Street gaming


62.9% Readership breakdown by type of gaming

PRINT 4,061



When the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara wanted to launch it’s gambling tourism vision for the Black Sea resort of Batumi, it immediately turned to Casino Review appointing it as the exclusive media partner. The integrated above and below the line campaign run only through Casino Review exceeded expectations and resulted in 120 investors from 25 countries traveling to Batumi The EXCLUSIVE European media partner for the Association of Gamto do business. ing Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) and the Official Publication of If you want more information on how International Casino Review the European Casino Association (ECA), the magazine is also used can work with you to help achieve your commercial objectives simby Reed Exhibitions to promote G2E Las Vegas and G2E Macau; ply contact Publisher John Sullivan at Monografie S.A to promote SAGSE Buenos Aires and by Clarion Events in support of its flagship London event, ICE Totally Gaming and EiG, Barcelona. With such an extensive, worldwide distribution coupled with award winning production and content it’s no surprise that International Casino Review is the preferred media partner for so many leading industry associations, b2b events and commercial organisations throughout the world.

On average, each print copy of International Casino Review is read by





10,072 59.8%


1,769 10.5% ASIA PACIFIC








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& Services



Coren-Mitchell makes poker history Victory in Italy has seen British female poker player Victoria Coren-Mitchell become first to capture two prestigious EPT main event titles.



ritish journalist and broadcaster Victoria Coren-Mitchell made poker history last month after becoming the first person to win two main events on the prestigious European Poker Tour (EPT). London-born Coren-Mitchell beat 556 competitors and fought back from as low as eighth spot in the E4,900 buyin no-limit hold‘em main event at the Casino Sanremo on April 20 to bag E476,100 in cash along with a luxury watch from Swiss firm Slyde worth more than E5,000. Coren-Mitchell presents BBC Four’s quiz show Only Connect and previously

VIDEO LOTTERY TERMINALS Inspired enjoys success in Colombia


nspired Gaming Group - via its local partners PMV and Algazara showcased its latest products for the Colombian market at the recent Fadja show, including the new hit VLT slot game, Diamond Goddess. Diamond Goddess is a premium Freespins+ slot game with enlarged bonus symbols, clear symbol hierarchy and intuitive interface design. Other premium Inspired games like Jungle Bingo and Blackjack will be launching soon in Colombia on Inspired’s VLT Machete cabinet, which is manufactured in Colombia by PMV and distributed by Algazara. Gerhard Burda, acting chief product officer at Inspired, commented: “Inspired is making significant progress in Colombia thanks to a fantastic local manufacturer PMV and distributor Algazara. We’re pleased with the performance of our latest game, Diamond Goddess, and look forward to launching our leading virtual sports in Colombia in the future.”

APPOINTMENTS McGill appointed as GameAccount director


ameAccount Network, a leading developer and supplier of enterpriselevel B2B gaming software and online gaming content, has appointed Seamus McGill

52 | casinoreview May 2014

took the main event crown at the EPT’s London stop in September of 2006 for a pay-day of over E607,000. The victory in Italy over local Giacomo Fundaro means that the 41-yearold wife of British comedian David Mitchell has now earned E2.9m from the live table, which has presented her with an interesting quandary. “I’ve long since lost the sense of what my day job is,” said CorenMitchell. “Am I a professional writer who players poker as a hobby or a professional poker player who writes as a hobby?”

A sponsored member of Team PokerStars Pro, Coren-Mitchell overcame some experienced male campaigners such as France’s Emmanuel Pariset, Italian Bruno Stefanelli and Jordan Westmorland from Australia to claim her second EPT main event although she was not expecting to win. “People in poker know it’s about showing a profit,” said Coren-Mitchell. “The minute I won E8,000 it was a good trip. But tens of thousands of people on Twitter got behind me. I thought I’d be happy with sixth but also thought they’d be disappointed.”

as an independent, non-executive director. McGill has 18 years’ experience in the gaming and technology industries and is currently president of Joingo, a mobile software company in San Jose, California, with overall responsibility for company growth and financial performance. Dermot Smurfit, CEO of GameAccount Network commented: “Seamus’ extensive experience and unique knowledge of the gaming industry, particularly in the US, will be extremely beneficial as we continue to expand our business in the US market.”


New CFO for Scientific Games



Apex Gaming opens new R&D office

cientific Games Corporation has appointed Scott Schweinfurth as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He replaces Jeffrey Lipkin. Scientific Games completed its $1.5bn (E1.1bn) acquisition of WMS Gaming in October 2013. Schweinfurth served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of WMS for 13 years. “As we move forward in implementing our integration plans, we are firmly committed to continue to achieve organisation efficiencies and cost reductions, and to improve our performance and cash flow,” said David Kennedy, president and chief executive officer of Scientific Games.

POKER WPT relocates Championship event to New Jersey

he World Poker Tour (WPT) has held its $15,400 (E11,147) buy-in 2014 Championship event in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for the first time in order to highlight the eastern state’s recent legalisation of online poker. The international Texas hold’em poker series previously held its marquee event at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada, but moved the prestigious tournament to the Borgata Hotel Casino And Spa with all of the action due to be screened on Fox Sports Net later this month. Photo Ref: CR139 Borgata-HotelCasino-and-Spa.jpg


PEX Gaming has opened a new research and development office in Graz, Austria, tasked with the further development of its Multi Magic platform, which includes the Multi Magic Classic, Hot Magic Fruits XXL and Multi Magic 6 games series. The facility will also endeavour to additionally expand Apex’ catalogue of fruit and entertainment games while assisting its other offices with compliance and quality issues. “We are investing strongly in our research and development teams,” said Max Pessnegger, CTO for APEX Gaming and head of the new Graz office.

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& Diary



Following the great success of the inaugural Macao Gaming Show last year, Jay Chun, chairman of the Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturers Association, talks to James Walker about what to expect at the 2014 event, which takes place on November 18-20 at the Venetian Macao.


‘An exhibition is nothing without exhibitors’

asino Review: The 2013 show was widely reported as being a great debut success - what do you have in store for visitors coming to Macau in November? Jay Chun: Last year was a great success, and all of the post exhibition research we undertook suggests that the large numbers who came to the first edition of Macao Gaming Show (MGS) were not disappointed by what they found there. The overwhelming majority - some 99 per cent - said their experience was good and that they would return in 2014. Our job is to now build on that success and to continue that level of goodwill. We will achieve this in a number of ways. Firstly, we will ensure that the visitor experience is a positive one and that everyone who attends MGS is treated professionally and with courtesy. The second area is in the content that visitors will have access to. An exhibition is nothing without exhibitors and we will have the very best exponents in their fields. We will also have events and features including the Slot Experience Centre as well as the Macao Gaming Summit both of which provide powerful additional reasons to attend. CR: ‘By Asia, For the World’ is your marketing slogan for 2014. What is the thinking behind this? JC: It is very important for us to identify and to promote the reasons why we believe that visitors should come to MGS. Fundamentally, MGS is the only show that is truly representative of the Asian gaming industry. You just have to look at our panel of event organisers and co-organisers which include organisations such as Macau Gaming

Equipment Manufacturers Association, General Association of Administrators and Promoters for Macau Gaming Industry, Associação de Mediadores de Jogos e Entretenimento de Macau, Macau Jockey Club,, China-Macao Resources and Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Company to see how authentic our credentials are. With respect to other organisations, the MGS organisers are part of the fabric of Macau and not from the US. Those behind MGS are considered ‘insiders’ of the Asian gaming industry and will be heavily supported by the regional players. Simply: MGS is by Asia and it is designed to appeal to the world. CR: MGS organiser, the Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturers Association, was established in June 2012 - what was the rationale behind the launch of the association and what are your future plans? JC: Our association works across a number of areas and represents companies which are involved in the development of and manufacturing of gaming equipment in Macau. We think it is very important to raise the international reputation of Macau gaming equipment manufacturers, and in the process to help them improve their share of the market. The overriding objective is to help members with the development of their businesses, which includes the protection of their rights. MGS is a shop window for members and for the Macau economy. CR: Who should attend MGS? What can

they expect to see? Is the focus Asia or just Macau? JC: For the reasons already outlined, MGS is very much a business event held in the world capital of gaming and at the most important time of the year. We set out to provide the most comprehensive collection of exhibitors, and I think that has been achieved. Whilst slots are important, MGS is not just about that component and it’s not just about gaming equipment. MGS is the only gaming show where you can expect to find Asia’s leading junkets and VIP clubs. The array of exhibitors at MGS includes various promotional services and memorabilia, while food and beverage providers from all over Asia will be demonstrating their unique product ranges. MGS is about Asia. The people and organisations responsible for MGS have a unique understanding of the gaming market in Asia, which means that the range of products and services available will reflect what is the world’s most valuable gaming market. CR: The 2014 conference theme is ‘Growing Asian Gaming Opportunities’ with a specific focus on iGaming. Which specific nations will come under discussion? JC: Our Macao Gaming Summit is a threeday conference looking at a range of gaming topics relevant to the Asian region. We will have a strong international make-up of experts and speakers who will be looking at a number of established and emerging nations, including Japan, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, South Korea, Sri Lanka as well as Macau. May 2014 casinoreview

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& Diary




Japan Gaming Congress offering first-mover advantage

Gaming Expo Belgrade cancelled

The inaugural Japan Gaming Congress will feature 14 conference sessions covering a wide range of topics for anyone considering a move into the imminent Japanese land-based casino industry. he inaugural Japan Gaming Congress will take place from May 14-16 in Tokyo, offering attendees the chance hear from leading government and industry figures as well as distinguished local and international market representatives about a market that could well soon be worth up to $10bn (E7.2bn) a year. Set to take place in the Conrad Tokyo hotel on the upper floors of the Shiodome Building, the three-day Japan Gaming Congress is to open with a keynote address chaired by Fred Gushin, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, outlining Japan’s current framework for regulating land-based gaming. This session will also include a discussion of key areas the government is likely to consider during the upcoming legislative and regulatory process featuring Takeshi Iwaya and Koichi Hagiuda, members of the House of Representatives from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), alongside counterpart Sakihito Ozawa from the minority Japan Restoration Party. “To have one politician is a success but to secure three is a major coup and a fantastic endorsement of May’s event,” said Rory Credland, senior producer for the Japan Gaming Congress. “There is undoubtedly momentum in Japan and the Japan Gaming Congress is ideally positioned to provide delegates with both insight to the process and access to the decision makers.” Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, operator of the Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila is serving as the event’s lead sponsor while JCM Global and Aruze Gaming are also showing their support alongside


International Game Technology (IGT), Bally Technologies, Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), Spectrum Gaming Group, Konami, BetConstruct and law firm Greenberg Traurig. “We are thrilled to be serving as lead sponsor of the inaugural Japan Gaming Conference, which is poised to become one of the most important events of its kind in the coming years,” said Thomas Arasi, COO and president for Bloomberry Resorts. “During this year’s event, we are excited to have this opportunity to showcase Solaire and our distinct approach to the development of world-class integrated resort experiences as well as to engage with key local and international influencers who are helping to shape Japan’s integrated resort framework.” The Japan Gaming Congress will also offer 14 conference sessions covering everything from the potential of the Japanese land-based casino market and the nation’s particular political and legislative process to ‘Abenomics’ and the role of integrated resorts on regional development. “The Japan Gaming Congress is the first opportunity for gaming professionals to engage with a cross section of opinion formers who will be active in helping to shape the gaming landscape and implementing the integrated resort model in Japan,” said Credland.


iting “technical problems”, the organiser of the upcoming Gaming Expo Belgrade 2014 has cancelled the event - one of the largest of its kind for manufacturers and operators in south east Europe. The eighth annual edition of the Serbian show was due to take place from May 27-29 at the Belgrade Fairgrounds. The event sees gaming manufacturers from around the world exhibit their latest multiplayer machines and equipment alongside related gaming software and surveillance equipment. “Unfortunately, I have to inform you after a long consideration of the situation [and] due to technical problems in the organisation of Gaming Expo Belgrade 2014, we have to cancel the event,” read a statement from trade fair organiser CongrExpo Limited. “Please cancel all activities you have taken in this respect [and] remove them from your schedules.”

Japan Gaming Congress 14-16 May Conrad Tokyo, Japan


Gaming Executive Summit heads to Barcelona nline and land-based gaming operators from all over the world will be in Barcelona, Spain, in July to hear the latest strategies and see the most up-to-date innovations as part of the World Gaming Executive Summit (GES) 2014. Scheduled to take place at the W Hotel from July 8-10 and expected to attract some 280 participants, the latest edition of GES will see industry leaders share ideas and debate policies in an open forum. GES 2014 will feature over 13 hours dedicated to networking while speakers includ-


54 | casinoreview May 2014

ing Richard Glynn, CEO of Ladbrokes, Tim McNally, chairman at NagaCorp, and Mor Weiser, CEO for Playtech, will explore new and emerging markets. Land-based and lottery innovations and partnerships will be discussed by a panel comprising Mike Leven, president and COO of Las Vegas Sands, David Baazov, president and CEO for Amaya, and Peter Hoetzinger, co-CEO and president at Century Casinos, while attendees can learn how to expand their online horizons from Johan Styren, CEO for LeoVegas, Sean Ryan, Facebook’s

global games partnerships director, and Mitch Garber, CEO for Caesars Interactive. In addition, the world’s varying regulations will be investigated by a panel consisting of Jan Jones Blackhurst, Caesars Entertainment’s communications and government relations executive vice-president, Annette Kok, president for Euromat, and Erik Voorhees, founder of SatoshiDice. World Gaming Executive Summit 2014 8-10 July W Hotel, Barcelona

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Canadian Gaming Summit moves west

MAY 2014

fter visiting Montreal for two days in June of last year, the Canadian Gaming Summit will move west for its 18th annual edition and take in the innovative Vancouver Convention Centre. Due to run from June 23-25 in the British Columbia metropolis, the Canadian Gaming Summit will see exhibitors from across the globe presenting their wares while an expansive educational programme and social calendar is set to provide attendees with face-to-face interaction with professionals from every gaming sector. Exhibitors already confirmed include Ainsworth Game Technology, FutureLogic, IGT, Cummins-Allison, Aruze Gaming America, Novomatic Americas, WMS Gaming, Gaming Laboratories International, Gtech Canada, NRT Technology, Cashtech Currency Products, Aristocrat Technologies, JCM Global, Konami Gaming, Houle Electric and Bally Technologies, while eight


educational seminars are to concentrate of subjects as diverse as social and mobile gambling to security risks and auditing. For those more socially minded attendees, the Canadian Gaming Summit Golf Classic at the Furry Creek Golf and Country Club will take up most of the opening day while the exhibition will end with the Canadian Gaming Summit Awards Reception and Charity Gala incorporating the fifth annual First Nation Canadian Gaming Awards. “The Canadian Gaming Summit delivers face-to-face interaction with senior-level decision-makers from across Canada and beyond who purchase gaming-related products and services,” said theorganisers. “Attending delegates represent all gaming sectors and disciplines including provincial lottery and gaming corporations, casinos and racetracks, charitable gaming and bingo, First Nations, elected officials, gaming regulatory agencies and more.”

20-22 G2E Asia The Venetian Macau Macau

JUNE 2014 4-5 Russian Gaming Week Sokolniki Exhibition & Convention Centre Moscow – Russia 11-12 Peru Gaming Show Jockey Exposition Centre Lima Peru 20-23 Wild Coast Winter Games Wild Coast Sun Resort Port Edward South Africa 23-25 Canadian Gaming Summit Vancouver Convention Centre Vancouver Canada

JULY 2014 Canadian Gaming Summit June 23-25 Vancouver Convention Centre

8-10 World Gaming Executive Summit W Hotel Barcelona Spain

Other members of the casino competence team:

May 2014 casinoreview

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