Asia round-up: Wynn’s new COO, fake cricket league busted, Canberra casino sold & more

Frederic Luvisutto appointed Wynn Macau and Wynn Resorts COO 

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Wynn Macau has appointed current Wynn Palace Chief Operating Officer Frederic Jean-Luc Luvisutto as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company and Wynn Resorts. 

The appointment took effect on 7 July 2022, with Linda Chen ceasing to be the COO of the company and Wynn Resorts on the same date. She will continue to serve as the Vice-Chairman and as an Executive Director of the company and will become President with effect from 1 March 2023. 

Luvisutto had held the role of Wynn Palace COO since January 2014 and was responsible for overseeing all operations at the company, including gaming. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing operations at Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace. 

Luvisutto previously served as Managing Director of the Star Resort and Casino in Sydney, as well as Managing Director of Jupiters Resort and Casino on the Gold Coast.  

Fake cricket league busted in India 

Indian police have shut down a fake cricket league that had garnered interest from Russian gamblers. 

The scheme, which began a few weeks after the latest season of the hugely popular Indian Premier League, took place in a rural part of the western Indian state of Gujarat. 

The matches were streamed on YouTube, but the narrow camera angle did not show the wider backdrop, while digital crowd noise was piped into the footage, along with running commentary. 

Police say the organisers of the fake tournament accepted bets through the social media app Telegram, from punters from three cities in Russia. They bet on results that were fixed, with players - who were largely unemployed, youths, and farmers - following instructions from umpires who were under the control of bookies. 

Sam Arnaout outbids Gravanis brothers for Canberra casino 

Sam Arnaout has outbid veteran hoteliers, the Gravanis brothers, in an attempt to acquire Casino Canberra from Aquis Entertainment.  

Police say the organisers of the fake tournament accepted bets through the social media app Telegram, from punters from three cities in Russia. They bet on results that were fixed, following instructions from umpires who were under the control of bookies

Arnaout has an estimated AU$5bn (US$3.3bn) hospitality empire and has now added Aquis’ asset to his portfolio of casinos. Arnaout has other hotel and casino locations in Sydney, Newcastle and the Gold Coast.   

Majority-owned by Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung, Acquis accepted a revised offer of AU$63m from Arnaout’s capital investment fund, Iris Capital.  

Per the deal, Arnaout will acquire all shares in the Aquis subsidiary that operates the Canberra casino.  

Arnaout’s ownership of the casino location did not come easy but was subject to a bidding war with hotel moguls Bill and Mario Gravanis.   

The brothers, who own Oscars Hotels, had upped their offer from AU$52m to AU$58.2m in an attempt to outmuscle Arnaout.   

Iris Capital subsequently raised its offer to AU$60m and AU$63m to secure the casino property and operating business.   

The Star names Michael Issenberg as non-executive director 

The Star Entertainment Group has appointed Michael Issenberg as a new independent non-executive director. 

The company proposed the appointment in February 2022, with Issenberg assuming his role as of today (12 July 2022) after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals. 

Issenberg has over 25 years of industry experience, currently serving as COO and Chairman of Accor’s Asia Pacific arm, where he oversees the company’s development and management activities. He previously served as Managing Director of Accor Asia Pacific, where he worked to establish and develop the points-based timeshare business, Accor Vacation Club. 

Speaking in February, former Executive Chairman of The Star, John O’Neill, said: “Michael has impeccable credentials and extensive experience across the hotel industry." 

Two additional Cotai resorts available as quarantine hotels 

Two more Cotai casino resorts have been made available to house people required to enter quarantine throughout Macau’s current Covid-19 outbreak. 

Cotai will make its 680-room Studio City and 235-room Broadway Macau locations available to Covid patients from 13 July 2022. 

The total number of Cotai casinos being used for quarantining is now six, with Studio City and Broadway Macau joining Grand Lisboa Palace, City of Dreams, Sheraton Grand Macau and Londoner Macau as designated quarantine locations.

Missed a big gambling industry story in Asia? Don't worry, Gambling Insider has you covered with our Asia round-up.  


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