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ASIA & OCEANIA


Resorts World Sentosa in the Doldrums


No quick fix in sight as Resorts World Sentosa's future 'remains cloudy' as the Singapore venue’s gaming revenue falls by 99 per cent


Union Gaming Security has said that Genting Singapore, operator of Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa, is ‘still several quarters away’ from recovery after the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.


Te group suffered a net loss of $163.3m (US$119.1m) for the second quarter of 2020, the worst quarter since the opening of our Singapore Integrated Resorts, as a result of the ‘devastating effect of the Covid-19 global pandemic’ for this reporting period.


Te 99 per cent decline in gaming revenue at Resorts World Sentosa saw GGR fall to just S$6.5m (US$4.7m). Tis was the ‘worst quarterly performance since the opening’ of the Resorts World Sentosa casino in January 2010.


Japan


Pixel Companyz confirms partnership with Groupe Partouche for Japanese IR casino


Te Japan integrated resort (IR) consortium led by PIXEL COMPANYZ has confirmed that Groupe Partouche SA, the French casino operator with over 40 gaming properties, has entered into a formal agreement to participate in the consortium.


Pixel Companyz and Groupe Partouche will work together with their consortium partners to plan, develop and operate a premier integrated resort in Japan. Te consortium aims to develop an IR unique to Japan that will highlight the tourism assets, food culture, brands and the hospitable culture that the country has to offer. In May, Partouche pulled out of a similar deal with Oshidori citing 'differences in vision and strategies' in a bid for an IR in Nagasaki.


As a result of this agreement, Pixel Companyz, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, becomes only the second Japanese IR consortium leader to have partnered with a proven


international gaming operator.


Te inclusion of Groupe Partouche contributes another aspect to Pixel’s Japan IR consortium, which aims to incorporate aspects of Japanese, Asian and European culture into a unique and symbolic IR facility.


Groupe Partouche brings nearly 50 years of extensive casino business experience in the competitive European gaming market and is also known to progressively introduce new technology and data analysis methods to their operations.


Te announcement also follows the notice of a capital and business alliance agreement between Pixel Companyz and TTL Resorts. TTL has wide-ranging experience in data analysis and investment aspects of the gaming industry. Pixel Companyz CEO Hiroaki Yoshida puts emphasis on the importance of a Japanese entity being actively involved in a Japan IR consortium.


Analyst John DeCree said: “While some gaming markets in Asia like Macau and Cambodia are gearing up for a recovery, the near-term outlook for Singapore, and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) specifically, remains cloudy. Currently, Resorts World Sentosa is operating at 50 per cent capacity due to social distancing procedures. Further, the casino operators are only allowed to welcome existing loyalty club members with restrictions on issuing new memberships, which is limiting local visitation and one of the reasons we are cautious on any near-term recovery right now."


He added: “We are not expecting any meaningful recovery until international travel across Asia begins to resume more freely, which is still likely several quarters away.”


Vietnam


Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance is pushing for new laws aiming to help existing casinos and future investors following the downturn in business following the coronavirus pandemic. It is looking to remove the stipulation that casinos must pay half of a project’s total investment before its licence is granted, but the minimum investment of US$2bn will remain in place. Te Ministry now says this isn’t economically feasible especially in areas where investment is needed to develop infrastructure. In terms of advertising, casinos are only currently permitted to promote their operation at entry points. Tis will now be changed to allow advertising anywhere within the area where the casino is located. Te report also highlighted that the country’s first casino to take part in a pilot programme to allow locals to gamble, the Corona Resort & Casino generated a loss of US$108.8m in 2019. Having opened in January 2019, it attracted 105,000 visitors with local players amounting to 47,400 or 45 per cent of this total.


AUSTRALIA – International Game Technology’s IGT ADVANTAGE casino management system has been selected to enhance the player experience at Crown Sydney Hotel Resort in New South Wales, Australia, which is scheduled to open in early 2021. The system will connect live and electronic table games (ETGs) at the tables-only VIP casino in the Barangaroo precinct on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour. As part of the installation, IGT will also deploy its M5 Service Window technology on the property’s ETGs.


“Crown selected the IGT ADVANTAGE casino management system and solutions for Crown Sydney because of their inherent flexibility and proven efficiency, which will place our operation at the cutting edge of gaming technology,” said Sean Knights, Executive General Manager – Gaming, Crown Sydney. “Crown Resorts is internationally renowned for delivering a premium guest experience, and the IGT ADVANTAGE solution provides a suite of tools to assist Crown Sydney in ensuring the provision of an unparalleled gaming experience for our premium customers.”


“The IGT ADVANTAGE solution will offer Crown Sydney a compelling market position with advanced features that deliver greater player convenience, strengthen player loyalty, and generate deep business insights,” said Dallas Orchard, IGT Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific. “Our systems solutions will significantly benefit Crown Sydney guests and employees by providing unique capabilities that enhance gaming experiences and player safety.”


SOUTH KOREA – South Korea’s locals casino, Kangwon Land, has been forced to close again following national health guidelines on social distancing after a spike in coronavirus cases. The caisno planned to remain closed until August 29, marking the second closure this year between February 23 and May 8. It had been allowed to increase its daily attendance from 750 people to 1,800 by mid- August, allowing it to operate at about a quarter of its capacity.


AUTRALIA – The New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has fined Star Entertainment AU$90,000 for three breaches of underage gambling at its Star Casino in Sydney. During a four-month period to July 2019, there were 32 instances of minors gaining access to restricted areas at the Star.


The worst saw a 12-year-old brought in by her parents to play the pokies, with the girl’s mother evading security by holding open an exit door as customers exited the venue. The girl was able to place 21 bets on several poker machines.


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P29


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