Asia round-up: The Star revenue down, New Zealand's gambling problems? Cambodia & more

Global Gaming Awards Asia 2022: Winners revealed

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The winners of the inaugural Global Gaming Awards Asia were revealed at a virtual event earlier today.

Read here to find out the results...

The Star Entertainment Group FY2022 revenue down 2%

The Star Entertainment Group has reported revenue of AU$1.53bn (US$1.05bn) for the 12 months ended 30 June 2022, a 2% decline from the prior-year period.

The operator reported EBITDA of AU$237m, down 45% year-on-year, and a net loss of AU$32m.

Of the operator's casinos, the Star Sydney represented AU$781m of total revenue, down 6% from the prior-year period, with earnings significantly impacted by the closure of the property for 102 days amid the Covid-19 pandemic. EBITDA at the venue declined by 60% to AU$82m.

The Star Gold Coast revenue was up 11% year-on-year to AU$424m, with the property closed for 11 days. EBITDA was down 20% to AU$90m.

AUT study finds one in every 400 problem gamblers seeks help

Just one in every 400 adults seeks help for gambling problems, according to a new global study from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

Co-authored by AUT’s Associate Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience, Dr. Simone Rodda, the study is the first to estimate how common it is for problem gamblers to seek help.

The study found that 5.8% of the world’s adult population was estimated to have a gambling problem, but that only 0.2% had sought help. Those with severe gambling problems meanwhile were more likely to seek help at one in five, compared to one in 25 people with moderate risk gambling.

Rodda noted that there is more to be done to help solve the issue in Aotearoa – the Maori-language name for New Zealand.

“Our study shows that most people with gambling problems will not ever access treatment services. The rates of help-seeking in Aotearoa are similar to global estimates, which means we can do much more to ensure that gamblers have help when they need it” Dr. Simone Rodda, AUT’s Associate Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience

Chinese casino manager arrested for forced labour practices in Cambodia

The Chinese manager of a casino in Cambodia has been arrested and charged with forced labour practices.

It had earlier been reported that 42 Vietnamese nations fled the casino after being subjected to treatment befitting modern slavery.

General Keo Vannthan, the spokesperson of Cambodia’s Immigration Department, told local media that a team had been sent to the Golden Phoenix Entertainment Casino in the Kandal Province’s Koh Thom District, where it detained the manager for questioning. The manager’s identity has yet to be revealed.

Kazuo to stay in Okada Manila, for now

Kazuo Okada is now set to stay in the Okada Manila resort after the Philippines Supreme Court declined to overturn the status quo order ante (SQOA) issued to Okada several months ago.

The SQOA stated that the makeup of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) the operator of the casino  must return to its previous state before Okada's ousting from the Board in 2017.

Okada was accused of fraudulent activity and embezzlement, leading to his removal from the TRLEI Board. However, this spring, Okada stormed the casino taking it back by force after TRLEI-owned Tiger Resorts Asia (TRAL) refused to reinstate Okada. 

Okada has remained in control of the casino since, with TRAL and its parent Universal Entertainment Corp attempting to wrestle back control from the Japanese billionaire.

Analyst predicts slow recovery until 2023 for Macau gaming sector

The Macau gaming industry may not see stable financial results until 2023, according to an analyst from investment banking company Jeffries Group.

The sector has suffered heavy losses amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, which have resulted in the Government implementing strict travel constraints and ordering businesses to close.

The impacts have been wide-ranging, with unemployment at a level not seen since 2009.

Pansy Ho to serve as MD of MGM China subsidiary

MGM China Holdings has revealed plans to invest MOP$4.8bn (US$594m) into a subsidiary, enabling the unit to qualify for a new Macau casino licence.

The move will work to ensure that the subsidiary, MGM Grand Paradise, meets the condition that licence-holding companies must have capital of at least MOP$5bn.

If the tender is successful, Pansy Ho will serve as MGM Grand Paradise for at least another 10 years, where she will be paid $8m a year and receive 730,000 Class B shares.

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