Asia round-up: “New era” for Macau; The Star, Crown & Belle

The Macau gaming industry is set to enter a “new era,” according to the President of the new Commission for Gaming Licenses Tender, André Cheong. 

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Speaking at a press conference, Cheong outlined the Commission’s goal of expanding the Macau gambling sector into foreign markets, a move intended to provide a boost for the industry. 

The new committee was set up in July 2022 to evaluate and examine new bidders for casino licences. Committee members include Cheong, who is also Secretary for Administration and Justice, Finance and Economy Chief Li Wai Nong, Head of Tourism Board Marina Helena de Senna Fernandes and Head of the Gambling Regulator Adriano Ho. 

Cheong went on to discuss the previous 2001 Commission, highlighting how different objectives account for the need for different panel members. 

He said: “At that time, what was on the line was gaming liberalisation and the focus was on boosting Macau’s economic development from the gaming sector, so that this was reflected in the composition of the members of the Commission.”

Macau’s “consolidation” phase of lockdown extended 

Staying in Macau, government officials had another update: extending the “consolidation” phase of its most recent lockdown by three days. 

At the current stage, Macau’s casinos can only operate at 50% capacity. This stage was due to come to an end from midnight on Saturday 30 July, but has now been extended until the start of Tuesday 2 August. 

“We already have a certain scale and so the government does not want and will not reinforce the infrastructure of the casinos... We will pay more attention to the non-gaming elements as well as support for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the expansion into foreign markets.” André Cheong, President of Macau’s Commission for Gaming Licenses Tender

Despite the delay, Macau has seen no new red zones announced, a positive sign that community transmission is not rising once again. 

The Star anticipates AU$1.53bn in revenue for FY22 

The Star Entertainment Group has published a trading update for the fiscal year 2022, anticipating AU$1.53bn (US$1.07bn) in normalised revenue. 

Citing a healthy performance for the June quarter, which has continued into July, the Australian operator’s recovery from Covid-19 seems to be picking up some steam. However, The Star said its full-year results will be impacted by a net loss for the first half. 

For the final three months of FY22, The Star’s domestic revenue exceeded pre-Covid levels by 11%, climbing to AU$512m. 

Broken down, slots revenue experienced a 28% rise while non-gaming revenue was up by 26%. However, The Star said table revenue “had not fully recovered,” but was within 5% of pre-pandemic levels. 

The Star Gold Coast, meanwhile, performed well during the June quarter, reporting a 48% revenue rise over pre-Covid levels. 

This benefitted from a recovery in domestic tourism and the opening of The Dorsett Gold Coast Hotel and The Star Residences. 

Nevertheless, The Star’s expected AU$1.53bn for FY22 as a whole is still far lower than the AU$2.5bn in normalised gross revenue it recorded for FY19. 

Ian Silk named new Chairman of Crown Melbourne 

Blackstone has announced Ian Silk as the new Chairman of Crown Melbourne. Silk will also join the Board of Blackstone as a Non-Executive Director.  

Silk is the former boss of Australian Super, the country's largest superannuation and pension fund, and the move is seen as an attempt to win back confidence from government officials in Crown Resorts. 

Other recent hires at Crown Melbourne include Ciaran Carruthers as its new CEO, replacing Steve McCann.

Belle reports Q2 growth

Belle Corporation has published its Q2 2022 financial results, reporting an increase in revenue from its City of Dreams Manila integrated resort.

Gross revenue stood at PHP1.51bn ($27.3m), a rise from the Q2 2021 total of PHP848.8m. Gross revenue for the first six months of 2022 stood at PHP2.82bn, an increase from the total in the same period in 2021 of PHP1.75bn.

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