Asia weekly round-up: Macau GGR falls; The Star, Macau and Australasia

By Louis Thompsett

Macau reports 62% fall in gaming revenue for June 2022

Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has published its monthly figures on gaming revenue, reporting a 62% fall compared to the previous year.

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) for June 2021 stood at MOP$6.53bn (US$800.6m); this has fallen to MOP$2.47bn for June 2022.

The fall comes as part of a larger trend in loss of gaming revenue for the region, with 68% GGR losses for both April and May 2022. This has been attributed partly to a decrease in cross-border and cross-provincial travel from mainland China.

Universal Entertainment merger date pushed back 

Universal Entertainment Group, which controlled Okada Manila until a forceful takeover by a group led by Kazuo Okada, plans to merge with 26 Capital, a special acquisition vehicle.  

The merger will help Universal gain a stock exchange listing on the Nasdaq and will also see Universal converge with its Philippines arm, Tiger Resorts Asia – which directly operated Okada Manila preceding Kazuo Okada’s takeover.

Read more here... 

Star Entertainment names Robert Cooke new MD & CEO  

The Star Entertainment Group has announced the appointment of Robert Cooke as its new Managing Director and CEO.  

Cooke will take over from Acting CEO Geoff Hogg; he will be the company’s fourth executive leader since Matt Bekier’s resignation in March 2022.  

Bekier resigned amid an investigation into alleged illegal activity at the company’s Star Sydney casino. 

Read more here... 

New self-exclusion register to launch in Australia  

A new self-exclusion register is coming to Australia, the country’s telecoms watchdog has announced.  

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has unveiled its plans for 2022/23, in which it called online gambling a “compliance priority."  

Its main activity regarding gambling will be to establish a new national self-exclusion register. This will cover licensed online gambling and telephone betting services.  

Australians will be able to exclude themselves from these activities for anywhere between three months and permanently.  

Read more here... 

New Zealand Government invests heavily to minimise gambling harm  

The New Zealand Labour Government has announced a NZ$76m (US$47.9m) investment to prevent and minimise gambling harm, as reported by Scoop.  

The investment will include training pathways to enable a more skilled and diverse workforce, including more peer and cultural workers, as well as new and expanded digital services and support.  

Also included are education initiatives aimed to reduce harm in young people, a de-stigmatisation initiative to help change the conversation around gambling harm, and better support for vulnerable communities. 

Read more here... 

Only two satellite casinos close upon gaming contract extension 

As Macau moves into its six-month extension period following the initial expiration of concession licences on 26 June 2022, just two of its 18 satellite casinos, Rio Casino and President Casino, have closed. 

Well-documented reforms to Macau’s gaming laws would see operational changes imposed on satellites. Most notably, shared gaming revenue between a satellite and its casino partner will be prohibited.   

Therefore, despite a backtrack by Macau’s Government to ban satellites operating outside the property of a concessionaire, most satellites are expected to lose significant amounts of revenue without the support of a “big-six” operator.

Read more here... 

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