The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Bill (GRA Bill) and the Gambling Control Bill (GC Bill) have been introduced for first reading in the Singapore Parliament.
The GRA Bill will expand the mandate of the Casino Regulatory Authority and the GC Bill will update gambling laws, as well as regulatory approaches that attempt to keep pace with the gambling industry.
A statement issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs read: “To stay ahead of technological and global trends, respond more adequately to emerging gambling products and take a more holistic and coherent approach to the gambling policies and issues, we should rationalise and consolidate.
"The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Singapore Bill will establish the GRA as the single regulator for all forms of gambling. We aim to establish the GRA in mid-2022.”
SkyCity reports H122 results
SkyCity Entertainment Group has reported its H122 results, which show a 35% revenue decrease, along with an 84% fall in reported EBITDA year-on-year.
The statement included a business-by-business revenue report that showed a 49% revenue decrease for the Auckland property, 34% drop for Hamilton and 16% fall for Queenstown; while Adelaide saw a 4% revenue rise.
To stay ahead of technological and global trends, respond more adequately to emerging gambling products and take a more holistic and coherent approach to the gambling policies and issues, we should rationalise and consolidateSingapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs
However, revenue from the group’s online gaming segment showed a 16% increase.
CEO Michael Ahearne commented: “Covid has continued to extensively impact the business and operations at each of SkyCity’s properties in the first half of the financial year.
“What we have observed is that our New Zealand domestic gaming business demonstrates resilience and is quick to rebound when operating without restrictions."
He explained that government-mandated lockdowns had resulted in the closure of SkyCity Auckland for 107 days, SkyCity Hamilton for 65 days, SkyCity Queenstown for 22 days and SkyCity Adelaide for 8 days. When allowed to reopen, the properties operated under significant constraints due to restrictions on mass gatherings and physical distancing requirements.
Ahearne continued: “SkyCity Adelaide operated with significant capacity limits, CBD disruptions and workforce disruptions due to Covid. Performance is expected to improve as restrictions are relaxed, interstate borders progressively open and international tourists are welcomed back to Australia. Turning to the outlook for FY22, we will continue to focus on navigating through the ongoing uncertainty and near-term challenges presented by Covid while ensuring financial resilience through ongoing cost and capital control and effective cash management.”
Crown accepts Blackstone takeover
Crown Resorts has accepted Blackstone Group’s AU$8.9bn (US$6.3bn) takeover offer for the Australian casino operator.
“The board has fully considered the Blackstone transaction and unanimously recommends the proposal, subject to customary conditions such as an independent expert concluding the transaction is in the best interests of Crown shareholders and there being no superior proposal,” said Crown Resorts Chairman Ziggy Switkowski.
The Crown board and management have made good progress in addressing a number of significant challenges and issues emerging from the Covid pandemic and various regulatory processes Ziggy Switkowski, Crown Resorts Chairman
Despite regulatory issues, Crown had received several competing offers. Australian casino operator Star Entertainment proposed a merger deal in July and Oaktree Capital had also pitched a funding buyout offer; but both were declined, along with several previous offers from Blackstone.
However, just weekends after Australian regulators had placed Crown under government-supervised reforms, Blackstone revived its takeover bid for Crown with an initial offer of A$12.50 a share, before raising the offer by 5% last month.
Switkowski added: “The Crown board and management have made good progress in addressing a number of significant challenges and issues emerging from the Covid pandemic and various regulatory processes.
"Nevertheless, uncertainty remains and having regard to those circumstances and the underlying value of Crown, we believe the Blackstone transaction represents an attractive outcome for shareholders. The all-cash offer provides shareholders with certainty of value.”
Genting Hong Kong’s Crystal Cruises closing US offices
In other news, Genting Hong Kong-owned Crystal Cruises is said to be closing its US offices after having let all of its employees go.
The closure happens right after two of its ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, were seized by authorities in the Bahamas, due to unpaid fuel bills.
One of the captains allegedly said: "Unfortunately, this is the end of Crystal Cruises. We don't know what's going to happen in the future.”
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