Asia weekly round-up: Carruthers wears Crown; Wynn, Okada & Suncity recovery?

Crown Resorts appoints Ciarán Carruthers as new CEO 

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Crown Resorts has a new CEO in the form of Ciarán Carruthers after Steve McCann stepped down earlier this week. 

Carruthers’ appointment is subject to probity approval and will commence in September 2022 following a transitionary handover period with McCann. 

Carruthers has over 30 years of experience in the gaming industry, most recently holding the role of COO at Wynn Macau, a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts. 

Crown’s new CEO also has experience as Senior Vice President, and Director of the Venetian and Plaza Operations, for Sands China.  

Carruthers has held a string of other positions at casinos across Southeast Asia, the Philippines and US Pacific Islands. 

On the flip side, McCann leaves after holding the role of CEO at Crown since June 2021, a time in which the company has been flooded with allegations of fraud and illicit money-laundering activity.  

Crown, though, has more recently been acquired by Blackstone in a $6.2bn deal. The change of leadership perhaps represents the attempts of Crown’s new owner to build a better reputation for the Australian operator. 

Alongside the appointment of Carruthers, Crown has stated its intention to fill the position of CEO at both Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth.

Suncity stock swells as Andrew Lo appointed majority shareholder 

Suncity’s stock has risen 137% after Andrew Lo was named Suncity’s majority shareholder.  

The now-notorious junket operator, which was formerly owned and managed by convicted criminal Alvin Chau has been suspended from trading since 13 May 2022. 

Although a 137% rise seems substantial, Suncity is still trading at record lows, following the conviction of Chau and other insecurities surrounding the commercial viability of junkets post-2022, born from an upcoming change to Macau’s gaming laws. 

Suncity’s stock had fallen to a lower value because of confusion surrounding its ownership status, something now cleared up with the company confirming Lo owns 75% of its stock.  

Despite questions about the future of Suncity’s business viability, the junket is in the process of developing a resort in Manila, while owning a stake in Vietnamese IR Hoiana Resort. 

Kazuo Okada disputes business disruption claims at Okada Manila  

The group representing Kazuo Okada, which retook the Okada Manila in highly controversial circumstances, has claimed activity at the casino has seen “business as usual” since the takeover.  

The group states no disruption of business operations will occur, with Okada himself noting all financial obligations are being met and all transactions are “on track.”  

It was recently reported that Okada Manila had its bank accounts frozen, following an ongoing battle for control over the casino.  

Attorney at Davina Law, Estrella Elamparo, who represents Tiger Resorts Asia (TRAL) and its owner Universal Entertainment Group, said on Sunday that BDO Unibank had required both the Okada and TRAL parties to sign an agreement, to disburse the salaries of the casino's employees.  

Elamparo claimed the Kazuo Okada Group refused to sign an agreement containing the signature of TRAL director Hajime Tokuda.   

Read more here... 

Wynn Resorts lays out plans for $2bn UAE resort project  

Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings has detailed plans to open a $2bn integrated resort in the UAE, as it seeks to develop and expand the brand worldwide.  
As the UAE is a limited supply market, Wynn will hold the only gaming licence in the region, therefore giving the operator exclusive access to a high volume of tourists within the region.  

Built on the man-made Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, the resort is currently scheduled to open in 2026, with Wynn aware of “opportunities to develop beyond that.”

Billings, previously Wynn Interactive CEO, was announced as Wynn Resorts CEO in November 2021, assuming his role on 1 February 2022 after the departure of Matt Maddox.

Read more here... 

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