Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Melco Studio City stake reduced as additional US shares sold

Another 4,312,500 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs) of Studio City International Holdings Limited was sold during the company’s initial public offering (IPO) at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), making for a total of 33,062,500 ADSs issued.

Melco Studio City stake reduced as additional US shares soldParent company Melco International Development Limited said in a filing that Studio City’s underwriters for the offering had exercised their over-allotment option in full, purchasing at $12.50 per ADS, which are equivalent to four Studio City Class A ordinary shares. The ADSs were introduced to the public just last month.

Underwriters for the IPO were Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, Bank of Communications Co., Ltd. Macau Branch, and ICBC (Macau) Capital Limited. They exercised the over-allotment option on November 19, at the end of the 30 days in which they were allowed to exercise it.

With the purchase of the additional shares, proceeds of the IPO totaled $406.7 million, up from $359.4 million previously.

“As at the date of this announcement, after the Underwriters’ exercise of over-allotment option as above-mentioned, Melco Resorts’ interest in Studio City is approximately 54.1% and Melco Resorts remains as Studio City’s majority shareholder,” the statement read. Prior to the additional purchase, Melco Resorts’ stake in Studio City had decreased from 60% to 57.3%.

For the IPO, Melco Resorts’ MCE Cotai Investments Limited had agreed to purchase 15,330,000 ADSs, while its affiliates purchased 10,220,000 ADSs.

Studio City shares last traded for $16.33 a share.

Early this month, it was announced that 1.5% of the IPO’s proceeds were to be distributed to shareholders, about $5.4 million. This was before the dilution of shares, however, so does not include the later proceeds. Melco International Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho, as majority stakeholder, made $2.9 million from the payout.

For its third quarter, Melco Resorts reported net revenue of $1.22 billion, down 11% from the same period last year. Adjusted earnings fell 26% year on year to $295.4 million, while net income was $9.6 million, down 91.7% from the same period last year.

While VIP gambling turnover was up in the company’s Macau casinos, VIP win rate was lower. Mass market table drop and mass table win rate, meanwhile, went up during the period.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Casino News Daily
Nevada Judge Temporarily Blocks Release of MassGaming Probe into Steve Wynn Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Release of MassGaming’s probe into sexual misconduct allegations against casino mogul Steve Wynn temporarily blocked

A Clark County District Court Judge has temporarily blocked the release of a report by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission into sexual misconduct allegations leveled against former casino boss Steve Wynn, a court official said on Monday.

The Massachusetts gaming regulator opened a probe into Mr. Wynn and Wynn Resorts, the company he had found, shortly after the publication of a report by the Wall Street Journal back in January, detailing an alleged decades-long sexual misconduct pattern by the embattled businessman. The investigation aimed to discover whether Wynn Resorts had any knowledge of the allegations raised against its former boss, how it had responded to those allegations, and whether it was suitable to be the holder of one of the state’s commercial casino licenses.

Wynn Resorts is currently building the $2.4-billion Encore Boston Harbor integrated resort in the Greater Boston area. The hotel and casino complex is scheduled to be launched next summer, although the latest developments may delay its opening.

Mr. Wynn’s attorneys filed two motions in the Clark County District Court earlier this month, seeking to block the release of MassGaming’s report. The businessman’s legal team argued that Wynn Resorts had communicated privileged information about its former boss to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. According to the motion, the information provided included communication protected by “Mr. Wynn’s attorney-client privilege and/or the common interest agreements he entered with Wynn Resorts.”

Judge Wants to Hear Arguments about the Contents of MassGaming’s Report

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez informed attorneys yesterday that she wants to hear arguments about whether the report indeed contains privileged information. A date for a hearing is yet to be determined.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission planned to release the findings of its probe in December, but it seems that it will have to do that at a later date, or it might even not be allowed to do that, if Judge Gonzalez sides with Mr. Wynn.

According to Massachusetts and MassGaming attorneys, the Clark County Court Judge lacks jurisdiction to rule on whether the Massachusetts gaming regulator is exercising oversight in a proper manner. They also pointed out in a court filing from last Friday that the ongoing legal argument will “almost certainly” delay the opening of Encore Boston Harbor, which will in turn delay “4,500 full-time job opportunities” and would deprive Massachusetts of millions of dollars in monthly tax revenue.

Encore Boston Harbor will be the state’s second integrated resort with a full-blown casino. Under original plans, the property was called Wynn Boston Harbor, but Wynn Resorts decided to replace Wynn with Encore, another popular brand owned by the company, to distance itself from the sexual misconduct scandal. As mentioned earlier, the luxury complex, currently under construction along the Mystic River in Everett, was scheduled to swing its doors open in the summer of 2019.

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World Casino News
Zeal Network SE launches campaign to acquire rival Lotto24 AG

British lottery betting brokerage firm, Zeal Network SE, has announced the launch of a voluntary all-share takeover plan that would see it acquire compatriot Lotto24 AG along with the German operator’s myLotto24 and Tipp24 subsidiaries. Behemoth in the making: The London-headquartered firm used an official Monday press release to declare that the proposed deal would see […]
Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Galaxy narrowing down options for planned Japan IR

Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment Group is considering where to best put up an integrated resort (IR) in Japan, if it is fortunate enough to obtain a license when this is made available in the next couple of years or so.

Galaxy narrowing down options for planned Japan IRGalaxy Deputy Chairman Francis Lui revealed to Inside Asian Gaming that the Group has filed requests for information with seven different locations in Japan. Among these are five cities: Nagasaki, Osaka, Tomakomai in Hokkaido, Wakayama, and Yokohama. The other two locations are the prefectures Aichi and Hokkaido.

During a media roundtable held in Tokyo, Lui said, “At the moment, we are continuing to study all the cities that are interested to have an IR in Japan… Different cities have different needs or different requirements and preferences. Bigger cities like Osaka and smaller cities like Wakayama–each of them have their own uniqueness and own preferences which is why we need to understand more before we make a decision.”

He said that the construction of specific nongaming facilities would have to complement the particular location chosen. “[I]n a city like Osaka, we would not be building a theme park such as a Universal Studios, and we won’t be building a baseball park in Osaka either because we don’t want to build facilities that would be competing with existing facilities,” he said, adding, “[W]e need to learn what we can do for each city—that’s our approach.”

Lui also said that the company was undecided on local partners to work with. “We are always looking for good, reliable Japanese partners to be helping the consortium… But on a shareholder level it is something we can’t answer at the moment because like in any international practice we have to decide which partner will do what,” he said.

According to the new IR law passed last July, the Japanese government will be awarding no more than three licenses to operators for the construction of large-scale casino resorts. No sites have been chosen yet, with public consultations still ongoing.

Notably absent among Galaxy’s choices is Tokyo, viewed as a possible candidate for an IR. Besides Tokyo, Japanese brokerage Nomura has pointed to Yokohama and Osaka as ideal spots for constructing IRs, due to the large local population, high inflow of tourists, and adequate infrastructure. Residents of Yokohama have already expressed negative sentiment to having an IR in their city.

Galaxy reported a net revenue of $3.56 billion for the first half of the year, 25% higher year on year. Adjusted EBITDA, meanwhile, was $1.09 billion, up 34% from the same period last year.

Net profit attributable to shareholders increased 56% year on year, to $917.2 million.

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
British Columbia makes another attempt at money-laundering crackdown

Casinos in Canada, in particular in British Columbia, have been reeling from the fallout of a money-laundering scandal that has now spanned more than three years – and counting. The scandal has left both casino operators and regulators red-faced and, seemingly at every turn, a new development surfaces that expands the embarrassment. Regulators have already attempted to introduce British Columbia makes another attempt at money-laundering crackdownnew policies to try and curb money laundering while, at the same time, some casino employees were found to still be trying to shred records in an effort to hide money trails. Now, regulators have come up with a new scheme that they hope will clean up the province’s image.

The province wants its citizens to report any questionable activity. It has created a web page where people can leave tips on a variety of subjects that can then be investigated by regulators. While it sounds like a good plan, it undoubtedly won’t go far enough – the web page will only be active for two months.

Many have already argued that attempts at thwarting money-laundering activity have been nothing more than superficial in an effort to appease the public, and this latest endeavor seems to follow suit. If regulators were seriously interested in cleaning up the province’s gambling image, it wouldn’t feel the need to pull the web page after only two short months. It would allow it to gain traction and make a real difference.

The provincial government has already announced plans to bring in a third-party auditor to provide monitoring of at least three casinos. That move came after the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) conducted its own investigation into the casinos’ compliance and discovered that additional oversight was needed. If the BCLC determined through its investigation that the venues were still not cooperating – despite having a year to get things under control – then perhaps the venues should have been shut down, at least temporarily until a more permanent solution could be found.

The BCLC introduced new rules in January of this year that would require gamblers to complete a source-of-funds document for any exchanges above $8,000 in a 24-hour period. This response on the part of casinos has been lukewarm, at best, and the BCLC seems to be apathetic to strictly enforcing the rules.

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