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Events


IAGA SUMMIT Macau 2018


Alidad Tash, SVP Gaming & Strategy, 2NT8 Limited


Alidad Tash has been in the gaming industry since 2000, starting on the Las Vegas strip at the Venetian, and continuing on to Macao twelve years ago. He was on the opening team at Venetian Macao, the first Cotai property, leading the analytics department. While there, he popularized the now-ubiquitous No Commission Baccarat. Alidad moved on to City of Dreams in 2010, later opening Studio City, while overseeing 5,000+ employees as the SVP of Gaming Operations & Strategy. During his six-years there, City of Dreams became the ultimate premium mass destination in Macao, featuring the highest hold percentage, and win per unit in mass table games.


Alidad is currently SVP, Gaming & Strategy at 2nt8 Limited, a consultancy specializing in Asian gaming. Alidad has obtained two master’s degrees, in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara, and Statistics from USC. Prior to joining the casino industry, he worked in the medical statistics and credit card industry.


Despite multiple political setbacks, Shinzo Abe and LDP managed to pass the Integrated Resorts Promotion bill in late 2016, and are likely a year away from passing the subsequent IR Implementation bill. When Japan finally does open its doors to casinos, it should instantly become the third largest gaming market in the world.


P58 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE /MARKET DATA


Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: What’s Happening in Asia?


Japan is inching closer to Integrated Resorts, Macau is about to start its gaming license renewal process and the Philippines market is continuing to evolve. But that’s not all. Cambodia and Vietnam are offering new gaming opportunities, Myanmar is considering whether to allow casinos and Nepal’s first legal casino has recently opened. Te IAGA panel will explore the current state of affairs while evaluating what the market has learned from its past and what it is doing to shape its future. Here are some of the topics panelists will cover...


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN JAPAN?


International and domestic companies are lining up, and promising to spend “whatever it takes” to build world-class integrated resorts in Japan. But without existing casinos to measure against, will the demand be high enough to justify the up to US$10bn investment? ... Te answer is a resounding yes, with three of the reasons outlined below:


First and foremost, while casinos are outlawed in Japan, other forms of gambling – like lottery, horse racing – are not. Te most important, and uniquely Japanese game among them is pachinko, which is available in 10,000+ parlours throughout Japan. Housing three million machines, these parlours attract 10 million players annually. Te game itself can best be described as the combination of old- school pinball machines, cutting-edge technology, and sensory overload. Imagine a large hall claustrophobically lined with rows upon rows of extremely loud pinball machines with colour-shifting flashing lights on and around each screen, with blaring fast-paced background music added on.


Collecting one’s winnings is a hassle: the machines dispense tokens which have to be exchanged for small prizes (lighters, dolls, …), which can only be exchanged for cash at another location outside the parlour. Te entire experience is as far away from a lavish world-class casino as possible. Yet despite all its inconveniences, pachinko generated US$30bn in revenues last year, compared to the US$33bn in casino winnings in Macao, and four times what was won on the Las Vegas Strip. One can only imagine what the casino revenues would be once ultra-


luxurious, state-of-the-art, multi-billion dollar casinos are introduced to Japan.


Te second reason is the size of Japan’s economy, ranked third in the world, which features a high number of high-net-worth individuals, defined as those with investable assets exceeding US$1 million, excluding primary residence and consumables. Despite having less than one-tenth of China’s population (127 million versus 1.4 billion), Japan has 2.9 million high-net-worth individuals, compared to China’s 1.1 million, and is second only to the US.


Te third reason is the explosive growth in international visitation, perhaps their most impressive achievement of prime minister Shinzo Abe and LDP, his pro-business, pro-casino political party. Prior to their rise to power in 2013, the highest number of annual visitors to Japan was nine million, but under LDP, it more than tripled to 29 million in 2017. Tere are more ambitious targets up ahead: 40 million visitors by 2020, and 60 million by 2030. Te number of Chinese plus Hong Kong travelers increased even more dramatically: from two million before, to 10 million a year ago. As proven in Singapore which went from 10 million visitors before to 17 million after casinos, integrated resorts go a long way towards attracting foreigners.


Despite multiple political setbacks, Shinzo Abe and LDP managed to pass the Integrated Resorts Promotion bill in late 2016, and are likely a year away from passing the subsequent IR Implementation bill. When Japan finally does open its doors to casinos, it should instantly become the third largest gaming market in the world.


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