Thursday, November 15, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Macau policies for 2019 don’t address license renewals for six casinos

Six casinos are due to renew their licenses in Macau in 2020. However, there is still no policy in place to address the issue, and it doesn’t look like there will be one next year, either.

Macau policies for 2019 don't address license renewals for six casinosThe city’s chief executive, Fernando Chui Sai On, gave a speech yesterday, presenting the government’s policy for 2019. Absent the details was any discussion on the licensing process, other than to say that the government is still working on it.

Chui explained, “Taking into consideration that the existing gaming concession contracts expire in either 2020 or 2022, we will strengthen the studies on this matter, and garner the community’s opinion about this issue.”

In a subsequent press conference, the city leader was asked specifically about the renewal process for the casinos twice, but neglected to offer any substantial information. He only offered, “Before the licences expire by 2022, we will be launching the tender process. Regarding those licences that expire two years earlier [2020], we’re studying how to deal with it. There is still some time to go before 2020 and 2022. We will inform the public about this matter in an open and transparent manner.”

The last policy address was presented in November of last year. At the time, Chui said that the middle of this year would be the “appropriate time” to discuss the licensing process further. Perhaps he’s looking at a different calendar than the rest of us.

Two studies have been commissioned by Macau’s government to look into developing the city’s gaming market between 2020 and 2023, according to the Macau Economic Bureau. The results were expected during the third quarter of this year, but there has yet to be any information published on those studies.

Per existing legal policies, license won’t actually be renewed. Instead, a new public tender process would be opened. There has been a lot of discussion of authorizing a renewal in order to bring all casino concessions issued by authorities in line so they would expire at the same time.

While Chui didn’t discuss license renewals, he did address junkets. He said that the government would continue its promotion next year of allowing more non-gaming entities into the industry, adding that local authorities would be pushing casino operators to work more with small- and medium-sized companies for their products and services.

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Casino News Daily
Steffen Sontheimer Leads Six Contenders into partypoker CPP $250,000 Super High Roller Championships Finale

A year after becoming the inaugural Purple Jacket winner, Sontheimer is vying for the $250,000 Super High Roller Championships title

The partypoker Caribbean Poker Party $250,000 Super High Roller Championships is just a single day away from crowning a victor. After two days of action, the tournament first drew a field of 34 entries and then reduced that field to just the final six players.

The six final tablists are set to return at the Baha Mar host casino in Nassau, the Bahamas, at 1 pm local time to play down to a champion.

The Super High Roller event generated a prize pool of $7,517,500, but only the final four competitors will be treated to a share of the money. The minimum cash is worth $700,000, but everyone from the final pack of six is eyeing the first-place prize of $3,685,000 and all the accolades that accompany the winner of an event of this scale.

The final six will be lead by Germany’s Steffen Sontheimer. The player surged into the chip lead yesterday after winning a major pot against Nick Petrangelo. And while that confrontation helped Sontheimer into a whooping 11.035-million chip stack, Petrangelo will enter the final day of action with 1.1 million, good for just under 20 big blinds.

Aside from Petrangelo, Sontheimer will face four other tough opponents for the major title, with those four being David Peters (9.31 million), Sean Winter (6.465 million), Mikita Badziakouski (3.76 million), and Isaac Haxton (2.29 million).

Who Is Sontheimer?

The German player surged into poker prominence last fall when he claimed the Poker Masters title and the accompanying Purple Jacket in Aria Casino’s inaugural Poker Masters high roller series. The player was able to capture the above-mentioned title after he took down two tournaments on the series’ schedule.

Sontheimer first emerged victorious in the $50,000 buy-in Event #2 for $900,000 in prize money. He then outlasted the field of the $100,000 buy-in Event #5 for $1.512 million. He also cashed in the $50,000 buy-in Events #1 and #4 to add $204,000 and $117,000, respectively. He thus became the winningest Poker Masters player, which won him the title and the Purple Jacket.

While Sontheimer has not won any major tournaments in the year after his Poker Masters success, the player has still scored several three-figure cashes and has performed quite well on the live tournament circuit. Most recently, he finished 15th in the WSOP Europe €100,000 Super High Roller for a cash prize of €146,907.

The German poker pro currently has nearly $9 million in live tournament earnings. A victory in the $250,000 Super High Roller will secure the player with his largest career cash.

As mentioned earlier, six-handed action at Baha Mar casino is set to kick off at 1 pm local time. The finalists will play down to a winner, bursting the money bubble in the process.

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Casino News Daily
Steve Wynn Seeks to Stop Release of MassGaming’s Sexual Misconduct Report

The disgraced casino boss files second motion seeking to stop the release of privileged information related to sexual misconduct allegations against him

Steve Wynn filed on Tuesday a motion in a Nevada state court seeking to stop the release of an investigatory report by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission regarding the sexual misconduct allegations raised against the embattled casino boss, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tuesday’s motion sought a temporary order to prevent the publication of the probe’s findings and was filed just under a week after Mr. Wynn and his legal team filed a request for an injunction and damages. The businessman’s complaint from last week read that Wynn Resorts communicated privileged information to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission as the regulator was investigating the sexual misconduct allegations and was seeking to discover whether the Las Vegas casino company had been aware of those and how it had addressed the issue.

Mr. Wynn’s complaint further said that the documents handed by Wynn Resorts to MassGaming reflected “communications protected by Mr. Wynn’s attorney-client privilege and/or the common interest agreements he entered with Wynn Resorts.”

The casino mogul’s legal team, including Donald Campbell, informed representatives of the Massachusetts gaming regulator that Mr. Campbell had worked privately with Mr. Wynn and had penned a joint-representation agreement with Wynn Resorts back when Mr. Wynn himself had been at its helm. Mr. Campbell filed their correspondence with MassGaming in Nevada court on Tuesday alongside last week’s complaint against the regulatory body and Wynn Resorts.

Representatives for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said that Mr. Campbell had not been able to provide enough evidence about the existence of the joint-defense agreement.

Report Expected to Be Released Next Month

MassGaming launched probe into Mr. Wynn and his company’s suitability to operate a casino resort in Massachusetts following the January publication of a Wall Street Journal report that detailed a decades-long pattern of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct by Mr. Wynn. The businessman has called all allegations leveled against him “preposterous.”

Wynn Resorts was selected as the preferred bidder for the construction of an integrated resort with a casino floor in the Greater Boston area. The $2.4-billion Encore Boston Harbor is currently under development in the city of Everett, near Boston, and is slated to open doors next summer.

As mentioned earlier, MassGaming wanted to discover whether Wynn Resorts was aware of the multiple alleged incidents of sexual misconduct involving Mr. Wynn forcing company employees to perform sex acts or subjecting them to unwanted sexual advances.

The commission is expected to release a full report with its findings during a hearing in December. However, Mr. Wynn legal action might delay the planned release of said report.

It can be said that while the casino boss’ move to block the publication of the report might seem unusual, it should be noted that in Nevada, where Wynn Resorts is headquartered and its flagship properties are located, gambling regulators do not release the findings of investigatory reports. The local regulator usually settles issues with casino companies by imposing fines, when these are needed, and without the matter going public.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

World Casino News
Okada Manila records laudable October earnings

Japanese pachinko, slot and arcade games manufacturer, Universal Entertainment Corporation, has reportedly announced that October saw its Okada Manila integrated casino resort amass earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $6.98 million. Record result: According to a report from GGRAsia citing a Tuesday filing (pdf) from the giant Tokyo-listed conglomerate, the monthly figure represented […]
World Casino News
Betway Limited awarded with ISO 27001 certification

Online casino and sportsbook operator, Betway Limited, has announced that it has been granted ISO 27001 certification by the United Kingdom’s eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) testing agency. Evidence of data security: The iGaming firm holds licenses from regulators in Malta, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom and used an […]
Casino News Daily
Tennessee Lawmaker Introduces Sports Betting Bill; State Elects Anti-Gambling Governor

Sports betting will be taxed at 10% on revenue, if House Bill 1 passes through the Tennessee Legislature

A Tennessee lawmaker has moved to propose the legalization of sports betting so that the state can take advantage of additional revenue and the growing interest in regulated wagering across the United States.

The Tennessee General Assembly adjourned just two weeks before the US Supreme Court’s mid-May ruling that struck down the long-standing federal ban on sports betting, and local lawmakers did not have the chance to take any actions regarding the legalization of the activity on the territory of the state.

However, it seems that the case will be different next year. News emerged earlier this week that Rep. Rick Staples has tabled a bill that proposes the legalization of sports betting in Tennessee. The bill contains provisions for the regulation and taxation of the local wagering market, if one is created.

Dubbed House Bill 1, the piece of legislation was introduced last week, a day after the November 6 midterm elections. Under its provisions, communities will be able to decide whether they want sports betting in their respective regions via local elections.

If legalized, sports betting services will be taxed at 10% on revenue. Tax money will be split between the Tennessee general fund, local governments as well as community colleges and colleges of applied technologies.

Governor-Elect Opposes Sports Betting

During his election campaign, Governor-elect Bill Lee made it clear that he was not a big fan of sports betting. During an October debate, Mr. Lee said that he would be working closely with the state’s General Assembly to make sure that lawmakers would not approve any legislation calling for the legalization of betting.

The soon-to-be Governor further pointed out that he believed “organized betting frequently develops into organized crime that [they] don’t need in [their] state.”

Despite Mr. Lee’s stance on sports gambling, it seems that it is here to stay with more and more states jumping into the mix. As many as five states currently offer legal sports betting and Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are expected to join in anytime now. Neighboring Mississippi was among the first states to legalize and launch sports betting following the SCOTUS ruling. And according to figures reported by the Mississippi Gaming Commission, the state collected $660,000 in sports betting taxes for the month of September.

Under Rep. Staples’ bill, a state gaming commission will be created to oversee the sports betting industry. Commission members will be appointed by the Governor, the House Speaker, and the Lieutenant Governor. The bill sets a $7,500 license fee for companies interested to operate legal sports betting in Tennessee.

Rep. Staples started working on his bill the moment he heard the sports betting ban was struck down, the lawmaker has himself told media outlets. He worked closely with the General Assembly’s legal advisors to craft the piece. House Bill 1 took around five months to be prepared and was finished on October 1.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Osaka wants IR operator to chip in for 2025 World Expo

The Osaka government hopes that an integrated resort (IR) operator could help with expenses for the 2025 World Expo, which the city is bidding to host and which is projected to cost over $1 billion.

Inside Asian Gaming said that the city was willing to shoulder a third of the amount, first reported by the Asahi Shimbun as totaling ¥124.7 billion ($1.1 billion). ¥54.7 billion ($480.1 million) of this would be for construction of facilities, while ¥29.3 billion ($257.2 million) would go to infrastructure improvements.

Osaka wants IR operator to chip in for 2025 World ExpoThe Osaka government said it was looking for a private entity to cover another third of the costs, and for the prospective IR operator to pay for the remaining third.

No licenses have actually been issued yet by the Japanese government. This is expected sometime in late 2019 at the earliest, in line with the IR Implementation Law passed last July. However, Osaka, along with Tokyo and Yokohama, are viewed as the most likely sites for construction of the casino resorts.

The casinos are expected to open around 2025, when the World Expo will be held. A host for this is expected to be announced this November 23, with Baku, Azerbaijan and Yekaterinburg, Russia also vying for the privilege.

Apart from paying a third of World Expo costs, the IR operator may also be asked by the city government to pay a portion of construction costs for a subway coming and going to Yumeshima Island, where the World Expo and IR would be located. Such an extension of the Osaka Metro railway is estimated to cost ¥73 billion ($640.1 million).

Meanwhile, Japanese brokerage Nomura has stated that an IR and World Expo in Osaka would have a “positive impact” on the city’s economy, according to GGRAsia.

In its report, Nomura said that holding the World Expo in Osaka “would be expected to help stimulate business activity in Japan after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

It also said that along with an IR in the city, the international trade event “would likely stimulate redevelopment around Yumeshima, and benefit companies with real estate in the area and Osaka-based construction companies,” adding that “drawing more foreign visitors to the area would increase the stability and growth prospects for the many hotels already being developed in the area.”

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World Casino News
Scout Gaming Group AB inks We Are Casino distribution deal

Swedish daily fantasy sports and pool betting technologies innovator, Scout Gaming Group AB, has announced the signing of an agreement that is to see its games offered to international iGaming operators via the progressive HTML5-oriented platform from developer, We Are Casino. A busy few months: The deal for the Stockholm-headquartered firm comes less than a week after […]
Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Gaming stocks are testing major support, what next?

After yesterday’s selloff in the S&P 500, there should be no further doubt that we are at the beginning stages of a bear market in equities. Yesterday was the third biggest one-day loss in the S&P since stocks topped on September 21st, the autumn equinox, AKA the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall, pun intended. (The equinox was technically September 23rd, but there was no trading as it was a Sunday.) The ominous sign yesterday was that the index fell back below its 200 day moving average, after attempting to regain it after last week’s really. The Nasdaq already fell through its 200DMA on Friday. The canary gaming sector fell through that level a long time ago on July 2nd, with a “death cross” on August 9th, when the 50DMA crosses below the 200DMA.

Another interesting technical sign that emphasizes the leading role of gaming equities: The 50 week moving average in the BJK gaming ETF began to fall almost exactly as the S&P 500 topped. We can be fairly confident that the fall is not over because BJK is now decisively below its 200 week moving average. After bouncing higher off its 200WMA on the week of October 15th, it broke up above it again the next week, making traders think that we were bottoming. But then it decisively broke back below the week of October 29th, and continued down the first week of November, finally closing decisively lower again this past week. You can see the war being waged between bulls and bears at the very end of this weekly chart, the 200WMA being the front lines.

The final line in the sand in gaming equities, particularly Macau stocks, is 2-year support at $33.80. This was the jump-off point for the final 50% push to May highs. Notice above (in this expertly annotated chart using state-of-the-art MS Paint technology), how at the beginning of 2017, gaming stocks coiled tightly for two months before jumping higher at the end of February last year. Break down through that coil and the next support is at about $30, about 13% lower from where we are now.

Gaming stocks are testing major support, what next?Gaming has led the S&P 500 and bottomed together with it since the financial crisis of 2008. We should not expect that to change this time around. Gaming began to seriously crash in January 2008, the broader market in September, but both bottomed together in March 2009, the upswing led by gaming. Both bottomed together in October 2011, same story. The only anomaly was the Macau collapse of 2014 which was not accompanied by a broader market decline because the Macau collapse was political in nature and not business-cycle related. Nevertheless both bottomed nearly together, about 3 weeks apart in early 2016. This is not just a coincidence. There are fundamental reasons for it. As central banks tighten credit after a prolonged liquidity punch-drunk boom, the first industries to feel the pinch are recreational, and the rot spreads from there.

We are just at the beginning here. While gaming has already crashed through its 200WMA, the broader market is not even close. Broader indexes are working on the daily moving averages, only just now flirting with falling below the 50 weekly. The 50 weekly is only now starting to flatten for the first time in two and a half years, and the 200 is still a record distance above the 50 since the very beginning of this global bull market in March 2009. There is still plenty of room to fall.

But this is all just charting. Charting doesn’t prove much by itself. The proof of the pudding is in the supply of the world’s reserve currency, and boy is that in a sorry state. Check the very bottom right corner at the mini-table under table 2 at this link and you’ll see the annual M2 growth rate at only 3.9%. That is the lowest annual growth for this time of year the second week of November since 2010. Remember that in 2010 stocks were well below their highs. Now they’re not.

This time of year is seasonally the strongest for the dollar supply, and we are just not seeing that this year at all. By next summer during the seasonal dip we should be in a real serious liquidity crunch considering we’re going to be dipping down from these already anemic levels. Central banks should be forced to respond by the spring or summer of 2019 at the latest. Once that happens, it’ll be time to buy back in. It will result in a nominal burst higher in equities, but currency markets and bond markets will fall amid galloping inflation and debt crises.

The general strategy here for conservative traders should be to continue to scale out on up days. If you’ve been following this column and you’ve already finished doing that and you’re up for a little more risk, there are two general shorting strategies to consider without risking too much capital. First, you could reserve a little bit of money for medium-expiration put options on BJK or individual Macau stocks like LVS, Wynn, Melco, or MGM on strong up days. Emphasis on a little bit in case central banks surprise and act earlier than expected. Expirations should go out a few months for a decent buffer to account for the risk of strong bear market rallies. When you’re up, cover, wait for the next strong up day, rinse and repeat.

Second, you can play the long game with puts going out to 2020 and just keep them as a hedge throughout next year. Or you can do a combination of both.

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Monday, November 12, 2018

World Casino News
NHL and New Jersey Devils ink landmark deals with FanDuel

The latest deal between a gambling company and a sports league happened last week when daily fantasy sports provider FanDuel inked a multi-year partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and its New Jersey Devils franchise for fantasy sports play and sports betting. The landmark deal makes the DFS service an official sports betting partner of the professional hockey […]
Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Okada Manila VIP volume shrinks 30%

Universal Entertainment Corp, the Japan-based gaming conglomerate, is used to making its income off of pachinko games. However, it is also on a mission to expand into the casino market and Okada Manila VIP volume shrinks 30%already operates the Okada Manila in the Philippines. That casino first launched in December of 2016 and has added new installations in various stages since. In its latest financial filing, Universal indicates that the casino may not be living up to its expectations.

According to Universal, the operating loss of Okada rose in the third quarter by $1.09 million. It grew to $15.28 million, primarily driven by an increase in amortization and depreciation.

Okada Manila generated an adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization) of $9.488 million during the third quarter. This equates to an increase over the second quarter EBITDA – $2.36 million – of 302%. The adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter was $175,715.

VIP rolling chip volume during the latest quarter decreased 30% compared to the previous quarter. The chip volume was $1.89 billion, while the second-quarter figures reported a chip volume of $2.69 billion.

Gaming machine and mass table sales increased in the most recent quarter, thanks in part to “a number of new marketing initiatives. Some of these included “improvements in loyalty programmes and promotions” and can also be attributed to “better operation of tables and gaming machines of which we have installed the largest numbers in Philippines.”

Mass table drop, which is measured on 232 mass tables, was almost $83.22 million. This was up from the previous quarter, which saw $72.89 million. The gaming machine handle increased as well, climbing 9.5% to $598.55 million.

Universal also indicated that there should be more increases in the last quarter of the year. It explained, “In the fourth quarter, additional hotel rooms are expected to be open. This will help support continued growth in the casino business as well as better position the resort to host large group events and foreign tour groups.”

The company further expects good things from VIP casino revenues, stating that they would “continue growing driven by the addition of new junkets, and improved room supply and amenities attracting more demand from existing junkets.”

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Casino News Daily
DraftKings Debuts Physical Sportsbook at Mississippi’s Scarlet Pearl Casino

DraftKings opens its first physical betting facility at Mississippi’s Scarlet Pearl Casino

Daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings has further ventured into the growing US sports betting field through a recently penned agreement with Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville, Mississippi. Their partnership will see DraftKings launch its first physical sportsbook.

The DraftKings at Scarlet Pearl Sportsbook is set to debut on Friday, November 16. The facility will replace Scarlet Pearl’s existing PRL Bar.

Patrons will be able to place their bets on a number of different sports, including college and professional football. In a press release from earlier today, the DFS company also said that that its sportsbook will be offering live, in-game betting with three windows. The facility is anticipated to launch on-site kiosks and an on-premise mobile app pending regulatory approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

While the sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl Casino will be DraftKings’ first physical betting facility, it should be noted that the company is no stranger to sports betting. In industry first, it launched its debut mobile betting app in New Jersey on August 1 with its local partner, Resorts Casino Hotel.

DraftKings has helped its Resorts become the leader in the provision of sports betting services in New Jersey’s nascent betting market. The Atlantic City casino property reported overall sports betting revenue, including digital and revenue generated from its physical sportsbook, of more than $8.8 million in September. October figures are yet to be released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Commenting on newly announced partnership with Scarlet Pearl Casino, DraftKings Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer, said that they are “excited to bring and offer an innovative sports betting experience to sports fans in one of the largest and most competitive gaming markets in the US.”

Sports Betting to Become DraftKings’ Primary Product

As mentioned above, DraftKings has originally commenced operations as a daily fantasy sports operator. However, the company intends to extend its sports betting footprint further as the US market is expanding rapidly, following the mid-May decision of the US Supreme Court to strike down the long-standing federal ban on wagering on professional and collegiate sporting events.

In a recent interview for Yahoo Finance, DraftKings’ CEO, Jason Robins, said that his company was gearing up for a time when sports betting would become its main source of revenue. Currently, DFS contests are DraftKings’ main product.

Mr. Robins added that while waiting for sports wagering to take over as their main operation, they recorded an increase interest in their fantasy product as people have been responding to the overall excitement created by the latest betting developments in the country. Moreover, residents of states where betting was yet to be legalized were trying out DraftKings’ DFS offering while awaiting the arrival of legal sports betting, Mr. Robins added during his recent interview.

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Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Solaire land purchase leads to drop in Bloomberry profits

Philippine-listed Bloomberry Resorts Corporation reported a profit of PHP1.1 billion ($21.3 million) for the third quarter, 39% lower than that posted during the same period last year.

Solaire land purchase leads to drop in Bloomberry profitsIn a press release accompanying its latest financial report, the operator of the Solaire Resort & Casino in the Philippines and the Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino in South Korea explained the lower result as “due to lower EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] and a 159% increase in interest expense relating to the new Syndicated Loan,” the proceeds of which “were used to retire previous debt facilities and finance the acquisition of land from PAGCOR [Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation] where Solaire and its expansion area is located in Entertainment City.”

Mass table drop, the amount of money changed for chips at the table, was a record for a quarter, with Solaire generating PHP12.3 billion ($23 million), 27% higher year on year. The resort’s electronic gaming machine coin-in amounted to P54.3 billion ($1 billion), 9% higher year on year and also a record high.

VIP volume made for PHP592.8 billion ($11.1 billion), while VIP gross gaming revenue fell 6% to P15.8. “The lower VIP GGR caused Bloomberry’s promotional allowances and contra accounts to contract by 2% year-on-year to PHP2.9 billion ($53.6 million),” the statement read.

Bloomberry Chairman and CEO Enrique Razon said that the company’s performance “goes to show that we continuously try to outdo ourselves in our quest to make Solaire the country’s trendsetter for integrated resorts. I am confident of ending the year with similar stellar results.”

Revenue for the quarter was PHP9.8 billion ($184.2 million), 2.3% higher than the third quarter of 2017. The company explained the increase as “a result of the robust performance of its mass gaming segments in Solaire and lower promo allowances and contra accounts.” Gaming revenue constituted most of this, at PHP9 billion ($169.8 million), 3.8% higher than the same period last year.

EBITDA for the first nine months was PHP3.2 billion ($59.7 million), 8% lower year on year, “impacted by the low VIP hold rate of 1.91% for the quarter,” according to the company.

From January to September, Bloomberry’s net income was PHP6.4 billion ($120.9 million), 7.9% higher year on year. Revenue for the nine months was PHP31.9 billion ($59.9 million), 13.9% higher than the corresponding period the year before. EBITDA grew 12% to PHP11.5 billion ($215.2 million).

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Wynn Resorts, and Macau in general, down as China’s economy slides

The economy in China is slowing down substantially due, in part, to the ongoing trade war between the country and the U.S. While analysts have previously stated that the trade war wouldn’t impact Macau’s casinos, it now appears that those forecasts may have been incorrect. Macau is seeing a drastic decrease in activity because of the trade war.

Wynn Resorts, and Macau in general, down as China's economy slidesWynn Resorts is one of the companies taking a hit in Macau. It saw an impressive third quarter – with $200 million more in revenue over the same period last year – but the fourth quarter isn’t looking so bright. Wynn announced last week that its fourth-quarter projections would be 20% lower than what analysts had previously anticipated.

This gloomy forecast doesn’t bode well for the entire Macau gambling scene. According to Business Insider, Credit Suisse analyst Cameron McKnight expects the last two months of the year to be especially hard for the gambling capital. He said, “Wynn noted that Golden Week was very strong in October, but business dropped sharply after that and has remained volatile since then. Further, the company noted that it does not believe it is losing share – this means their guidance is either extremely conservative or the market has turned negative in November and December.”

McKnight further points out that gaming revenue, in general, lags credit cycles on the Chinese mainland by about 15 months. Around a year ago, the country’s government began to curb the flow of credit passing through the Chinese economy.

Another indication of a pulling back of the economy in Macau can be seen through the Chinese housing market. McKnight indicates that the gambling revenue in Macau lags housing prices on the mainland by around eight months. Last week Standard & Poor’s stated that the Chinese housing market is in poor shape, with the weaker developers in danger of defaulting on their projects. In September, housing sales fell 3.6% and research shows that approximately 22% of all the available homes in China now sent empty.

Wei Yao, an economist with Societe Generale, says that the real estate investment market – while currently stable – won’t be able to keep its pace. She said, “”Real estate investment and construction growth remained surprisingly resilient in light of further weakening in housing sales. Investment growth strengthened from 13.8% in 2Q to 14.5% in 3Q, despite the slight moderation to 8.9% in September from 9.3% in August…In contrast, housing sales contracted by 3.6% in September, bringing down the quarterly growth rate to 2% from 3.1%. We still believe that demand determines supply, not the other way around, and that, as a result, the strong trend in housing supply is unsustainable.”

If a downward trend is beginning to be seen in the Macau gambling industry, it is possible that casinos are going to have to prepare to weather some bad times. All indications are that dark skies are approaching, but no one knows for how long they’ll last.

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World Casino News
FunFair Technologies announces new Wheel of Fun game

Combining several popular gaming elements, FunFair Technologies is ready to provide players with an exciting new online gambling game. Titled Wheel of Fun, the new game combines a wheel of fortune concept with the simple moves of Hi/Lo, an instant win game twist and the security of blockchain, for an overall quality experience. Take on […]
Casino News Daily
Peter Jaksland Leads 19 Survivors into Final Day of WPTDeepStacks Brussels Main Event

Denmark’s Peter Jaksland eyes first WPTDeepStacks Main Event title, leads 19 contenders into the final day of action in Brussels

Day 2 of the WPTDeepStacks Brussels Main Event is now in the books and what a day it was. Over its course, the field of the tournament was further reduced until there were just 19 players left when organizers called it a wrap last night at the host venue, Grand Viage Casino.

The day kicked off with 187 contenders who had advanced from the event’s three starting flights. Albano Llani was the player to lead the pack of survivors with a stack of 226,000. However, despite his initial advantage, he was eliminated in 59th place later in the day.

Denmark’s Peter Jaksland was the player to bag the largest stack at the end of Day 2. The player put 1.565 million into his bag to secure himself with a somewhat comfortable start of the tournament’s final day of action. Jaksland has nearly $332,000 in life tournament earnings recorded under his name and he amassed around a third of that amount in Vegas earlier this year, when he scooped a $98,340 in prize money. He topped a €1,500 tournament in Dublin for another five-figure payout shortly after to further boost his bankroll.

Now, the Danish player is seeking to win his third five-figure cash of the year. He can actually win his first six-figure payout if he goes all the way and wins the Main Event at Brussels for €110,000.

19 left. Day 3. Proud chipleader among great poker players for day 3. Follow Sunday at 1pm. Lets finish this one. #onetime #wpt #WPTDSBrussels

— Peter Jaksland (@PeterJaksland) November 11, 2018

Other Contenders

But while Jaksland is in a great starting position to take an aim at the title and the lion’s share of the prize pool, it should be noted that he has quite some competition, including a former WPT champion. Guillaume Darcourt, a WPT Bucharest champ with live tournament earnings of more than $315,000, is among the players still in contention for the WPTDeepStacks Brussels title.

Darcourt had an action-packed Day 2 of the tournament. At one point, the player was down to just 12 big blinds. Then a string of successful hands helped him build a solid tack of over 800,000 within a single level of play. He finally lost two all-in confrontations to eventually reduce his stack to just 27 big blinds. However, the road to victory is not always an easy one and Darcourt still has the chance to add another WPT-branded title to his collection.

Day 3 of the tournament kicks off at 1 pm local time with 60-minute levels and blinds standing at 10,000/20,000/20,000. The remaining 19 survivors will play down to a champion, who will collect €110,000 in prize money as well as a €2,000 package into the season-ending WPT European Championships DeepStacks event.

All 19 hopefuls are guaranteed a minimum cash of €4,900. And those who make it to the final table will cash out no less than €13,550 from the Main Event.

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The post Peter Jaksland Leads 19 Survivors into Final Day of WPTDeepStacks Brussels Main Event appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

World Casino News
Malta iGaming Awards returning to this month’s SiGMA

This year’s SiGMA exhibition is due to return to the island nation of Malta later this month with the extravaganza revealing that it is once again set to recognize some of the online gambling industry’s best and brightest via the third annual staging of the Malta iGaming Awards. iGaming spectacular: The 2018 edition of SiGMA […]
Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Melco Resorts & Entertainment profit plunges as VIPs get lucky

melco-resorts-macau-casino-lucky-gamblersCasino operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment (MRE) reported steep drops in revenue, earnings and profit as Macau’s VIP gamblers went on an extended winning streak.

Figures released Thursday show MRE’s overall net revenue hitting $1.22b in the three months ending September 30, an 11% fall from the same period last year. The company claimed that the decline would have been only 5% were it not for a new revenue recognition standard adopted on January 1.

Regardless, Q3’s adjusted earnings were down 26% to $295.4m, operating income was down 57% to $83.6m and net income plunged 91.7% to just $9.6m. It’s possible that part of this plunge came from a “one-time special gift” of an extra month’s salary to non-management employees that MRE originally mentioned in August.

During the analyst call, CEO Lawrence Ho said the payment was related to MRE’s “pension plan” but declined to confirm whether this disbursement would become an annual event. As proof that misery (at least, for management) loves company, Ho said he would discuss the issue with other Macau casino operators, which would likely cause those operators’ staff to clamor for similar windfalls.

At any rate, MRE’s overall casino revenue was down one-fifth to $1.03b, even as casino expenses fell 16%. Room revenue and food & beverage revenue both posted double-digit increases, while ‘entertainment, retail & other’ was down double-digits.

VIP gambling turnover was up at all of MRE’s Macau properties but VIP win rate was down across the board, with some properties down more than a full point year-on-year, pushing win rate below the statistical average of 2.7-3.0%.

On the flip side, mass market table drop was up across the board and, with the exception of City Of Dreams, mass table win rate was also on the rise. Gaming machine handle was also up across the board, although win rate varied.

In the Philippines, City of Dreams Manila reported revenue falling 4.4% to $141.7m, while earnings dipped 3.6% to $57.3m. VIP turnover was flat but win rate inched up 0.2 points. Both mass market table drop and gaming machine spending was up, while win rate for both categories suffered declines.

Ho told analysts that VIP spending “has fallen faster than we had expected,” in part due to eroding Chinese customer confidence, to which Ho feels the ongoing US-China trade war is contributing. The non-junket premium mass segment is also trending downward, with customer spending “not what it was.”

The post Melco Resorts & Entertainment profit plunges as VIPs get lucky appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Casino News Daily
WPTDeepStacks Brussels Main Event Day 2 Kicks Off with 187 Hopefuls

WPTDeepStacks Brussels draws a massive 530-person field, 187 advance into Day 2

Registration for the WPTDeepStacks Brussels Main Event closed last night when the final two of three starting flights were wrapped. All in all, the latest edition of the tournament drew 530 entrants. However, only 187 of them made it through their respective starting flights and will return to the host casino – Grand Casino Brussels Viage – to continue their fight for the title and the first-place prize.

Action on Friday kicked off with Day 1B of the €1,200 buy-in Main Event. And it was a pretty busy day as the second starting flight saw 297 entries register for a chance at becoming WPTDeepStacks’ brand new Main Event champion.

Once all 12 levels scheduled for the day were complete, it was Albania’s Llani Albano who held the largest stack. The player put 226,000 into his bag last night to secure a comfortable entry into Day 2. Albano is among the top stacks on the overall chip counts chart with only three players, all of whom registered in the event on Day 1A, standing above him in the temporary ranking. It will be Mehdi Merai, Day 1A’s chip leader, who will be leading the remaining survivors into Day 2 of the Main Event. Merai scooped 276,500 at the end of his respective flight.

Fresh Off WPTDeepStacks Triumph

It should be noted that Albano is no stranger to WPT success. He has previously taken down a WPT National event namely in Brussels. And just a few days ago, the player captured the title in the WPTDeepStacks Brussels opening event. That should be giving him quite some confidence as the player is heading into Day 2 of the Main Event.

As mentioned earlier, there were two starting flights to be played on Friday at the host casino. Day 1C of the tournament featured a turbo format and kicked off at 10 pm, giving interested players one final chance to enter the Main Event.

Day 1C drew 89 contestants, but only 39 of them made it through the very end to add up to the mix of survivors. Guillaume Darcourt finished the day as the chip leader with 165,000.

All the remaining hopefuls are set to return to the host venue today at 2 pm local time to play Day 2 of the tournament. The field of players will be reduced even further on the second day of poker action. The final day will be played tomorrow when a winner will be crowned and awarded the lion’s share of the prize pool. Information about the final prize pool and the places paid is yet to be released by organizers.

Greek poker pro Ioannis Angelou-Konstas is the defending WPTDeepStacks Brussels champ. The player outlasted a field of 315 entries this past spring to claim the Main Event title and €75,000 in prize money.

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The post WPTDeepStacks Brussels Main Event Day 2 Kicks Off with 187 Hopefuls appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Friday, November 9, 2018

World Casino News
NetEnt AB agrees William Hill live casino games partnership

Two weeks after inking a content supply deal with American casino operator Penn National Gaming Incorporated and NetEnt AB has now announced the signing of a similar agreement with British bookmaking giant William Hill. Deal includes blackjack and roulette: The Swedish innovator used an official Thursday press release to detail that this latest partnership has […]
Casino News Daily
Philippines’ President Needs No Executive Order to Ban Casinos on Boracay, Justice Secretary Admits

The Philippines’ Justice Secretary said today that President Duterte does not need an executive order, but one is highly recommended as the fastest way to a lasting casino ban

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte can prevent casino operations from being conducted on the Boracay Island even without an Executive Order (EO), Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told local news outlet ABS-CBN News earlier today.

Mr. Guevarra’s comments emerged a day after President Duterte himself pointed out that he did not need an EO to implement a no-casino policy on Boracay. The Philippines’ top official went on to say that it was the people of Boracay who did not want gambling venues in the popular tourism draw and that it was his duty to listen to what his people wanted and make sure there would be no casinos there.

In today’s comments, Mr. Guevarra noted that President Duterte has the power and tools to ban casinos from operating on the island, which was recently reopened after a six-month environmental cleanup. However, the Justice Secretary added that an EO is still a measure he highly recommends as it “sets a long-term policy and provides a formal framework for all government actions pertaining to the subject matter.”

With his latest comments, Mr. Guevarra reiterated his opinion on the issue. Last month, the official penned a letter to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat sayind that the Department of Tourism should urge President Duterte to issue an EO as it was “the most expedient and effective” means to stop gambling operations on the island.

Boracay has long been one of the most popular tourism destinations in the Philippines. According to official statistics, the island has annually welcomed more than 2 million tourists over the past several years.

The island was shuttered in late April for a six-month environmental cleanup, following the publication of an environmental review of the island back in February. The review found that many Boracay businesses had for years discharged untreated waste water directly into the sea and that a number of developments had been undertaken without the necessary construction permits being obtained.

Enraged by those findings, President Duterte called the island a cesspool and ordered its closure for a period of six months, during which an environmental cleanup would be carried out.

President Duterte’s War on Casinos

News emerged shortly before Boracay’s closure that Macau hotel and casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Corp. and its local partner, Leisure and Resorts World Corporation, had secured a provisional license from PAGCOR, the country’s gambling regulator, for the construction of a $500-million resort on the island.

The announcement of Galaxy’s project enraged President Duterte, who has never been a big fan of gambling and has made that quite clear, even more. What followed was a new wave of his continued crackdown on everything gambling. The top official vowed to prevent the materialization of Galaxy’s casino scheme and to purge Boracay from all existing gambling operations. The island casino ban extended to the rest of the country as the President has repeatedly pointed out that there will be no new casinos anywhere in the Philippines.

He reiterated his intentions to prevent any proposed expansion of the nation’s casino industry yesterday, saying that the proliferation of gambling spurs growth in crime rates, including crimes related to drug dealing and kidnappings as well as financial crimes.

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The post Philippines’ President Needs No Executive Order to Ban Casinos on Boracay, Justice Secretary Admits appeared first on Casino News Daily.

World Casino News
Endorphina announces release of Lucky Streak slot game

After teasing players with the upcoming Lucky Streak game back in October, Endorphina has finally released the new title for gameplay. The newest online slot game of the developer is the first installment in a planned sequel that is set to include three fruit games. Each of the titles will share the same core name […]

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Goa casino operator buys Illinois riverboat as ‘substitute’ vessel

goa-casino-pride-illinois-riverboatA casino operator in the Indian state of Goa has bought an Illinois riverboat casino to serve as a temporary platform while its other floating casinos are being repaired.

On Thursday, the Times of India reported that the Casino Pride Group had welcomed the arrival of the Argosy IV riverboat casino, which was put up for sale by its owner for $8.5m earlier this year.

Before dropping anchor in Illinois, the three-deck Argosy IV (pictured) plied its gaming trade on waterways in Kansas City, Missouri and Sioux City, Iowa. In September, the boat was towed to New Orleans, where it was loaded onto a semi-submersible boat before making the trip to India.

Pride Group already operates two floating casinos in Goa, Casino Pride I and Casino Pride II, as well as the Casino Paradise in the Neo Majestic hotel in the state’s legislative capital Porvorim. The Argosy IV’s arrival in Goa’s Mandovi river sparked concern in some quarters that the state government had issued an additional floating casino license.

Pride Group director Shrinivas Nayak rejected these rumors, saying the company had bought Argosy IV as a “substitute” gaming platform for when the company’s original ships are sent to dry dock for maintenance and repairs next year. Since this work will be lengthy, the company felt it wise to have some way of keeping their floating casino business going.

For years now, Goa’s government has been struggling to find a more permanent home for its six floating casinos. The current plan is to transfer all floating casino operations to a designated land-based gaming zone, which was originally supposed to happen by 2020, although the government recently said this shift might not happen until 2022.

Delta Corp, which operates three casinos in the state, recently challenged the government to let the company build a major integrated resort in Goa rather than simply shift its shipboard operations to a local gaming hall.

The government reportedly plans to introduce legislation in the winter session outlining the specifics of the planned casino zone near the in-development Mopa International Airport. Members of the opposition Congress party have suggested the government should auction off the right to operate in this zone rather than simply allow current casino licensees to transfer their operations.

The post Goa casino operator buys Illinois riverboat as ‘substitute’ vessel appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

World Casino News
Asia Gaming Summit Taiwan 2018

Two-day conference program adds Asia eSports Forum The second annual Asia Gaming Summit Taiwan kicked off Tuesday with a chance for attendees to acquire deeper knowledge of the booming Asian gaming business. Land-based gambling, online casinos, sports betting, eSports, and Asian lotteries are covered in-depth with the conference wrapping up with poolside drinks. The closing […]