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DATELINE ASIAmay2010

ENCORE AGAIN

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he latest iteration of Steve Wynn’s vision was on display in Macau last month when Encore

Macau opened on time and on budget. Highlighted by a spectacular Grucci fireworks

show, the sister property of Wynn Macau steps up the gaming experience enjoyed by Wynn guests in Macau. With 414 suites and villas, Encore Macau adds two restaurants, three retail offerings and the “Spa at Encore,” a top-of-the-line experience with private therapy suites. The $605 million Encore gives Wynn more

Entry Fees, Taxes

Entry fees cut as the confusion in the Indian gaming market continues

based casino operators has been answered with an almost symbolic counter-measure by the munici- pal corporation of the city of Panaji. Kamat, who is also minister of finance for the

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state, recently lowered the entrance fee to casinos from INR2,000—about $45—to INR500, reports news agency IANS. Several months ago the entrance fee was raised from INR200 over alleged concerns about young people gambling. Soon after the announced reduction, the

Panaji city leaders revealed their new budget, which includes an increase in the annual trade tax for Goa’s casino ships, from the current INR7,150 to INR50,000. “They should be able to pay up at least so

much,” said Panaji Mayor Carolina Po, referring to the additional $960 casino ships will owe the city each year. “They are parked off Panaji and their offices are located on the banks of the city.” There are over a dozen electronic, land-based

casinos operating in five-star hotels in the state of Goa and six licensed casino ships, with table games as well as slots, based in Panaji and operat- ing on the Mandovi River. There has been a strong push against gambling from the opposi- tion political party since before state elections a year ago. Kamat has said that his government is work-

ing on creating a process that will result in an official casino gaming act and regulations.

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Goa Adjusts Casino

he effort by Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to provide financial relief for land-

room to host the VIPs and “premium mass market” that is the company’s target market. Wynn also took time in Macau to criticize the

policies of the Obama administration to explain why he’s focusing on the Macau market and not U.S. gaming venues. “The governmental policies in the United States

of America are a damper, a wet blanket,” Wynn said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “They retard investment, they retard job formation, they retard the creation of a better life for the citizens in spite of the rhetoric of the president.” Wynn even threatened to move his corporate

offices from Las Vegas to Macau, but most experts thought that an idle threat used to skewer U.S. policy. Wynn has also backed away from other U.S.

investments, withdrawing from the bidding for the gaming operation at Aqueduct racetrack in New

Wynn opens newest Macau casino, talks about the next

York City and recently canceling a project that was envisioned in Philadelphia. He also visited Atlantic City before declaring himself uninterested in the opportunities there. His opinion of China is very different, however. “I’m thrilled and I love it here,” Wynn said at

the Encore opening. “I feel a very steady, stable, consistent direction.” Plans for the next Wynn Resorts Macau devel-

opment are already under way, he said. It will include around 2,000 rooms, 400 tables, restau- rants, shopping and gardens—and will contrast with the edifices of neighbors the Venetian, City of Dreams and Galaxy Macau. “What makes people happy, and what don’t

they get in China? What you don’t get in China is space, and the heart of a resort is space—gardens, places to gambol, not gamble,” Wynn said in an AP interview in Macau. “I know what I want to do on the 51 acres, not

build four hotels or six hotels or any of that foolish- ness,” he said. “I am going to build one hotel of modest size with gardens and extended space wher- ever you are.” Wynn believes his Cotai casino would expand

the appeal of Macau. “You create a product that didn’t exist before

and all of a sudden it broadens the appeal of the city—that makes people who aren’t necessarily bac- carat players decide to come here,” he said.

MGM’S PANSY PROBLEM

Three states are reviewing their approval of the MGM-Pansy Ho partnership

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he impact of New Jersey’s rejection of the partnership between MGM Mirage and Pansy

Ho for gaming operations in Macau is growing. Three states are reviewing their approval of the deal and Nevada is looking into overall gaming operations in Macau as a result of the New Jersey decision and other recent reports of organized crime activity in the VIP sector in the Chinese Special Administrative Region. Regulators in Illinois, Mississippi and Michigan,

where MGM Mirage operates casinos, say they are looking again at their investigation of the Hos in connection to the MGM deal. Michael Fries, the general counsel of the Illinois Gaming Board, and Allen Godfrey of the Mississippi Gaming Commission both confirmed that their organiza- tions are reopening their probe, and Michigan also

Global Gaming Business • May 2010

confirmed that they want more information. Alan Feldman, MGM Mirage senior vice

president of public affairs, says the company is cooperating. “We’re ready to provide whatever additional

information they may request,” he said. Nevada, however, is standing by its approval

of the partnership. For MGM, the Pansy Ho situation may have

some legal repercussions as well. Last month, a law firm announced it is filing a suit over the alleged criminal associations of Pansy Ho. The New York- based firm Wolf Haldenstein says it has opened an investigation of whether the company has violated its fiduciary responsibility by associating with Ho; that would cause it to lose the ability to do busi- ness in certain areas of the United States. Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56
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