Asia round-up: A whole "Newport" World, Macau & another new exec at The Star

Resorts World Manila rebrands as Newport World Resorts 

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Resorts World Manila, the Philippines’ first integrated resort, will now be known as Newport World Resorts following an announcement made on 20 July 2022. 

A statement from the company read: Newport World Resorts is reinventing the brand to bring together its integrated resorts and the best of its community within the Newport City complex. 

“The name change reflects a shift in perspective for the brand to present itself as the most innovative, dynamic and comprehensive casino, hotel and entertainment complex. 

Newport World Resorts is managed by Travellers International Hotel Group, a business venture between Alliance Global Group and Genting Hong Kong. Resorts World is  or was – a casino title commonly used across Genting’s portfolio of resorts.  

Genting itself has recently been the subject of a takeover attempt by MGM Resorts International. The Vegas-based operating giant approached Genting’s major shareholders – the Lim family – to sound out an acquisition deal.  

However, Genting shot down the prospect of any takeover deal, claiming MGM Resorts’ approach to the Lim family was “unsolicited.” 

Newport World Resorts is set to undergo a major expansion this year, after Alliance Global Group announced plans to inject PHP4bn ($75m) to renovate the property.

Scott Wharton named CEO of The Star Sydney and Group Head of Transformation 

The Star Entertainment Group has appointed Scott Wharton as CEO of The Star Sydney and Group Head of Transformation, pending all necessary regulatory approvals. 

“Newport World Resorts is reinventing the brand to bring together its integrated resorts and the best of its community within the Newport City complex” Newport World Resorts, Company Statement

He joins the Australian operator from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), where most recently he served as a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team, as Group Executive of Program Delivery. 

There, Wharton was responsible for leading bank-wide transformation efforts, such as the design and implementation of the company’s response to the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority’s 2018 Prudential Inquiry Report into governance, culture and accountability. 

In his new role, he will report to The Star Entertainment Group’s incoming CEO and Managing Director Robbie Cooke. "Transformation" may be just what's needed at The Star.

Macau reportedly set for record low GGR

Macau's casino industry is expected to set a record low in monthly gross gaming revenue (GGR) for July, as the region is gripped by yet another Covid-19 outbreak. 

Casino guest numbers had already seen a drop before the closures, due in part to an increase in travel and border restrictions. The number of visitors to Macau stood at 600,748 in May, with this number dropping to 380,671 by June. 

Speaking to the Macau Daily Times, gaming industry expert Ben Lee predicated that July will see its worst monthly GGR to date, with figures directly attributable to the Covid-related closures. 

This will represent a stark contrast to GGR in July 2021, which stood at MOP$8.44bn (US$1.045bn), making it the second-best month of 2021 after May’s total of MOP$10.45bn. 

Lee, Managing Partner of IGamiX Management & Consulting, projected a July GGR of between MOP$200m to MOP$300m. If this prediction is accurate, it would represent a fall of 90% when compared to June 2022, despite that being the lowest monthly GGR of the year with a total of MOP$2.48bn. 

On 11 July, Macau authorities ordered the immediate closure of all non-essential business, including over 30 casinos, as the city recorded 1,526 Covid cases since June.  

But now, the head of the city’s Health Bureau, Alvis Lo lek Long, has confirmed that casinos can reopen from 23 July 2022 until July 29 at 50% capacity. 

This follows yesterday's news, when the Chief Executive of Macau’s Government confirmed plans for the region to enter into a “consolidation” phase and slowly move out of near-total lockdown. Here's hoping.

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