Macau’s second quarter numbers don’t paint a pretty picture for the world’s largest casino gambling destination. Investor sentiment that June’s year-on-year gaming revenue decline signaled the bottom may prove premature. First, the good news: year on year gaming revenue, $11.4 billion, was up 5.5% for the second quarter. For the first half, revenue rose 13%, heady for anywhere but Macau. Now the dark side: second quarter casino revenue fell by 11% from the first quarter. The last sequential quarterly revenue drop came in second quarter of 2012. The decline had been telegraphed by the June revenue decrease of 3.7%, the first monthly contraction since June 2009.
Monthly Archives: July 2014
Casino employees in Macau “have been subject to different degrees of exploitation,” said on Thursday a leading Hong Kong academic, adding that the psychological pressure on these employees should not be underestimated. Professor Sonny Lo Shiu Hing, from the Hong Kong Institute of Education, said casino floor workers are becoming more vocal and active in protecting their rights, including lobbying operators for more benefits. He said the pay and promotion policies of the industry should be more transparent. Mr Lo was speaking at the International Conference on Gaming, Leisure and Entertainment 2014 held at Macao Polytechnic Institute.
Commenting on the recent workers’ rallies against two casinos, Larry So, a political commentator said that now is “the best time” for protestors to organize social campaigns during the summer months, especially when it is close to the CE election. In the past seven days, two rallies were attended by hundreds of casinos workers, firstly at the Venetian Macao and then at Galaxy Entertainment Group, two local gaming operators. Both of the protests demanded higher benefits for casino workers, particularly for dealers (a position that can only be filled by residents).
Macau gambling kingpin Paul Phua Wei Seng who was arrested earlier this month in Las Vegas for illegal betting has had his diplomatic status issued by San Marino revoked. Nevertheless, the 50-year old Malaysian businessman has used this status to apply for bail in Las Vegas. Mr. Phua, whom the American FBI believe is a ‘high ranking’ member of the 14K triad gang in Hong Kong, was accused of running an illegal betting operation at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. In addition, he was also an ambassador to Montenegro for more than three years before the revocation… the SCMP quoted foreign ministries from both Montenegro and San Marino as saying that Phua was never formally recognized as the Republic’s envoy as he had never submitted his credentials to the Montenegrin authorities to formalize his ambassadorship. Mr. Phua’s lawyer, on the other hand, stated that Mr. Phua held a diplomatic passport during his bail application in Las Vegas. The diplomatic passport was issued to Mr. Phua after acquiring the nomination to be the European microstate’s ambassador in 2011.
Chimelong Park is right next door. And it could eventually channel millions of visitors to Macau. A report suggests the theme park could be a ‘valuable’ aid in diversifying Macau’s tourism offering beyond gaming. Chimelong Park could be a new source for visitors to Macau and a valuable source for diversifying tourism and the type of tourists here beyond gaming, a Union Gaming study reveals. Despite the minimal impact this year, the brokerage firm believes the theme park in Hengquin is set to be a ‘material driver of visitation’ here. More marketing campaigns, new Macau-Chimelong joint package offers together with the next wave of casino resorts in Cotai are likely to be an irresistible lure for tourists. Mainlanders not only love to gamble. They are also drawn like a magnet to any kind of entertainment, namely theme parks, claims the brokerage. If mainlanders made Macau the world’s biggest gaming centre, they can do it again and Macau could become a global tourist destination, as Steve Wynn, Wynn Resorts CEO, repeatedly says.
The value of trade between the mainland and Macao fell to US$1.66 billion (MOP13.25 billion) in the first half of this year, 7.2 percent less than a year earlier. The official news agency quotes the Ministry of Commerce as saying the mainland’s exports to Macau fell by 1 percent to US$1.55 billion and Macau’s exports to the mainland fell by 50.6 percent to US$110 million.
Over 5.3 million people stayed in Macau hotels in the first half of this year, 1 percent more than a year earlier, official figures show.
All eyes are on Wynn Palace. Steve Wynn says the casino hotel will open on schedule, in Cotai, in 2016. The US$4 billion project is to have a ‘very positive expectation,’ according to Wynn executives. Wynn Resorts Ltd is focusing almost all of its attention on Wynn Palace, the resort that is going to open in Cotai in 2016. The new Macau project of the American company was one of the main topics during the presentation of the results of the second quarter of the year and so far everything is going according to plan. With regard to the most important thing in this company, the progress of our construction and our US$4 billion Wynn Palace Hotel in Cotai, I am happy to say we are on budget, we are proceeding on schedule. We are about 18 months out, and still feeling we will make Chinese New Year of 2016,” Steve Wynn, chairman of the board and CEO of Wynn Resorts, said. he US$4 billion investment in new resort and casino is creating great expectations for the company. Wynn Palace will permit the group to double its tables in Macau and increase its number of rooms by 170 percent.
Representatives from Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd have met with authorities from Osaka, in Japan, to discuss building a casino resort in the city. Japanese authorities are currently considering legalizing casino gambling in the country. The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Thursday that company director Todd Nisbet recently met with Osaka governor Ichiro Matsui to discuss the matter. The report did not clearly state when the meeting took place. Mr. Nisbet told the newspaper in emailed correspondence that some of the topics discussed included the competitive vantages of Osaka to host a casino resort, including the nearby 24-hour international airport and cheaper land costs compared with other Japanese cities. According to media reports, there are at least six prefectural authorities vying to host casino complexes: Osaka, Tokyo, Hokkaido, Nagasaki, Miyazaki and Okinawa.
A draft law to legalize casinos will be submitted to the Bermuda Parliament before the end of the year, almost three years after the idea was originally proposed. Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell described the bill as “the most important component to ensure we have the best regime and administrative structure to effectively oversee domestic casinos.” He noted that the decision to disregard a previous referendum was “difficult,” but the latest polls show that 76 per cent of residents support casinos. “I am encouraged by this result, which is similar to a survey the government carried out in 2013, which showed that 74 per cent of residents support casino resorts,” Crockwell said.”The government has also been very clear that local residents will be admitted at any casino, provided they comply with the criteria established by regulation.”