Before a crowd of fellow team members, nine finalists tried to prove and perfect their baccarat, blackjack and roulette abilities, while competing to win the first ever property-wide Dealer Skills Championship, hosted yesterday by Sands China Ltd. at the Venetian Macau. Lei Chi Man, Mak Wai Hang and Ng Chi Kin were crowned winners in the baccarat, blackjack and roulette categories respectively, each winning a grand prize trophy and a trip for two to Singapore, with a four-night stay at the Marina Bay Sands and SGD1,000 in cash.
Monthly Archives: April 2014
Investors are downgrading their estimates for casino revenue growth for April as gamblers are playing and spending less in anticipation of Golden Week. In addition, the VIP market slowdown only serves to consolidate expectations of a mere 5 percent jump, down from the previously anticipated 10 percent increase… The declining revenues are no surprise to Sterne Agee given the upcoming 3-day Golden Week holiday beginning May 1, wrote the brokerage yesterday.
Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and license fees rose to $258 million in the first quarter of this year, 32 percent more than a year earlier.
The Macau leg of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour takes place at PokerStars Live Macau in the City of Dreams from May 14 to 25. The HK$25,000 (US$3,225) buy-in APPT Macau Main Event begins on May 21… In last year’s APPT Macau Main Event, Alexandre Chieng overcame a field of 388 players to claim the HK$2,165,000 top prize.
Gaming equipment supplier Paradise Entertainment Ltd says subsidiary LT (Macau) Ltd has won a service contract with the Macau Jockey Club casino… The contract entitles LT Macau to 55 percent of the net win from the jockey club casino’s live multi-game machines and chipless e-baccarat tables, and to 40 percent of the net win from the casino’s slot machines.
Two recent incidents involving junket operators could affect the already decelerating revenues of the VIP market in Macau in the near term, Credit Suisse warned. The disappearance of a small junket in Hong Kong with at least HK$8 million to HK$10 million on April 19 and the detention of the wife of a Neptune shareholder, one of the three biggest junket operators in Macau, on suspicion of money laundering nine days later has fuelled growing concern about the impact of these events on the VIP market. “In our view, the incidents are likely to adversely affect the high roller business”, says Credit Suisse. Three reasons are identified: loss of funds from the capital pool, tightening control in lending money by junkets, and the latter maintaining a lower profile while investigations are underway. “The more active and extensive investigation into junkets are likely to prompt the junkets to remain low key in the near term and adopt a more careful background check in dealing with new clients. This is likely to slow their activity in the high roller business”, wrote the Swiss bank.
Income tax sleuths on Tuesday raided four offshore casino vessels and one onshore casino in Panaji, on a tip-off that they were indulging in illegal cash transactions. A team of officers from Bangalore raided the offices and vessels of Deltin Royale and Deltin Jaqk, Casino Pride 1 and Pride 2, as well as Hotel Neo Majestic in Porvorim that lodges Casino Paradise… The casinos were shut down for the day, and customers present, when the I-T officials arrived, were asked to leave. “But, we have not sealed any of the casinos yet,” an I-T detective clarified.
Eduardo Passalacqua, a 63-year-old retired salesman, says Chile’s smoking ban in casinos has proven such a buzzkill that he’s not gambling as much as he used to. “When a machine is on a roll, it’s nice to light up a cigarette and follow through,” he said in an interview at Enjoy SA (ENJOY)’s Rinconada Casino, 64 kilometers (40 miles) north of Santiago. “It loses its charm if you have to leave.” Passalacqua isn’t alone. In a country where more than 40 percent of adults smoke, the highest rate in the Americas, the ban put in place in March 2013 has throttled attendance at the nation’s casinos, sparking a 31 percent plunge in pretax income in the past year. Enjoy, Chile’s biggest casino operator by revenue, saw visits plunge 24 percent in February from the previous year, deepening a record selloff in the company’s bonds that has left investors with losses.
Online gambling software stars Playtech are the latest to beat a retreat from the Belgian market. Notices went out this week to affiliates of UK bookies William Hill and Gala Coral to the effect that neither company would be taking wagers from any customers from Belgium, new or old, effective Tuesday. The decision made for “regulatory reasons beyond our control” appears to have been forced by an edict from the companies’ mutual software supplier Playtech. Players have been told to submit payout requests so that the companies can wash the lingering aroma of Belgian players from their databases.
Online gambling operator Unibet posted “all-time high” revenue and profit figures in Q1… Revenue over the first three months of 2014 rose 14% to £67.6m… earnings rose 24.5% to £21.3m while operating profit increased by one-third to £16.6m. Unibet’s sports betting turnover rose 4.5% year-on-year but revenue grew 25% to £31.7m as margins hit 8%. All but £3.5m of the sports revenue came from Unibet’s key markets in Western Europe and the Nordic countries. In-play betting accounted for 45% of all sports wagers while mobile devices generated 1% of Unibet’s overall revenue. Casino revenue rose 8% to £30.6m, while poker fell 44% to just under £2m… The number of active customers at the end of Q1 was up 12.5% to 552k.