Forbes List Adelson & Wynn Among Greatest Business Minds

Forbes List Adelson & Wynn Among Greatest Business Minds

Forbes celebrated its 100th anniversary on September 19 by releasing a special edition featuring the ‘World’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds’ and included insights, stories, tips and strategies that will be useful for the next 100 years.

There were a number of iconic names included amongst the top 100 business minds.

Some of them included President Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Paul McCartney and Mark Zuckerberg.

Also featured on the list were casino tycoons Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn. The 84 year old Adelson is the chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp – the biggest casino company in terms of revenue while 75 year old Steve Wynn is the chairman of Wynn Resorts – a company that has built iconic casino resorts in Las Vegas and Macau. Both these gaming tycoons also featured on the 2017 Forbes list of billionaires which was published earlier this year.

Las Vegas Sands Corp owns some of the most well known casinos in the world including the Palazzo Las Vegas, the Venetian Las Vegas, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Parisian Macau and Sands Macau. Some of the properties owned by Wynn Resorts include Wynn Las Vegas, Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Wynn Palace in Cotai and the newly opened Wynn National Harbor casino in Everett, Massachusetts

Adelson and Wynn shared insights into how they built their gaming empire and some of the strategies that they continue to use in day to day operations that has helped to establish their respective companies as the best in the business.

In a statement, Adelson said

When I was 16, I bought a bunch of vending machines. At the time, they were set up inside factories, which meant people only bought snacks during the 40-hour workweek. So I moved the machines into gas stations, where cab drivers were lining up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Money came rolling in.

Adelson said he took the same business model and implemented it when he built casinos in Las Vegas and it turned out to be hugely successful. Since China had over a billion people, he realized it would be great business sense to build something similar to the Las Vegas Strip and that’s what the Sands Corp ended up doing in Macau.

Wynn states that one of the reasons why his casino resorts have been successful is because they have continuously focused on building self-esteem amongst their employees and that has paid off in outstanding customer service.

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Genting Malaysia Revenue Forecasts Cut After Theme Park Delay

Genting Malaysia Revenue Forecasts Cut After Theme Park Delay

Analysts have slashed their revenue predictions for casino operator Genting Malaysia after it announced that there would be a delay in the opening of its much-anticipated theme park which is being developed at its flagship Resorts World Genting in Malaysia.

The 20th Century Fox World Malaysia, a Hollywood-themed amusement facility is now expected to open in the second half of 2018 instead of the second quarter as announced earlier. Brokerage firm Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd, said that the delay in opening of the theme park is likely to affect overall revenues and consequently slashed the revenue projection of the group for 2018 and 2019.

The analysts are however hopeful of strong topline growth on the back of the host of new amenities that have been opened as a part of a major upgradation project. The range of new facilities include a new mass gaming area, shopping and dining facilities as well as a high speed cable car system.

The Edge TV

In a statement Ng Chi Hoong analyst with Affin Hwang said

New facilities have the ability to drive higher visitation growth. This is well reflected post the opening of the Genting Premium Outlet in second quarter 2017, whereby visitation growth [that quarter] is up 8 percent year-on- year, relative to the 3 percent decline in first quarter 2017

Genting Premium Outlet is a shopping facility at Resorts World Genting featuring exclusive retail brands. Japanese brokerage Nomura has similarly stated that the new facilities were having an impact pointing out that revenue was up 7 percent on a quarter-on- quarter basis for the Malaysian unit.

Analysts with the firm have further predicted a revenue upswing, when a new VIP gaming area opens in September and a hotel with 500 rooms opens by the end of the year. However analysts have also raised concerns that the operating costs particularly utilities and payroll were harming profitability with the unit’s adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization] going down by 5 percent to around 30 percent.

Net profit for Genting Malaysia was down by almost 60 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017. The major makeover of facilities is being carried out under the RM10 billion Genting Integrated Tourism Plan (GITP) which seeks to overhaul and expand the casino’s facilities and amenities in a major way over a 10 year period. Genting Malaysia also operates Resorts World Bimini – Bahamas and Resorts World Casino New York City.

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Philippines to actually Initiate Privatization Of Pagcor Betting houses in 2018

Philippines to actually Initiate Privatization Of Pagcor Betting houses in 2018

Carlos G. Dominguez III, the Philippine Finance Secretary has indicated that the government is likely to begin the disposal of 17 casinos being currently operated by the country’s gaming regulator. The sale of these casinos is expected to commence during mid-2018.

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), the gaming regulator has a relatively large portfolio of nearly 50 gaming properties. Pagcor also operates its own casinos under the Casino Filipino brand which is spread across 13 locations in the country and also runs around 35 smaller satellite facilities.

The Philippine Department of Finance decided last year to privatize Pagcor owned casinos stating that the regulatory body should focus on its supervisory responsibilities. Private operators had also raised concerns of a potential conflict of interest arising from the dual role played by Pagcor.

The government has made the decision to sell all Pagcor owned casinos. Dominguez said that the process will take a considerable amount of time and stated that when it came down to the selling process, the properties that are fully owned by the regulator would be the first ones to go on the block.

In a statement, Dominguez said

Those casinos being operated directly by Pagcor should be privatised first. It’s not going to happen overnight and the deals are quite complex so we have to piece it out and see what is the best deal for the government

A detailed analysis will be carried out by the government and will include studying how much Pagcor casinos earn based on the total revenue that comes from winnings versus the revenues from licensing fees. Dominguez stated that the first focus will be on the valuation of the properties. He noted that the assessments would be done separately since each casino was different. He expects the process to conclude by the end of 2017.

Pagcor is one of the top earning state-owned companies. It recorded gross gaming revenues of $ 275 million in 2016, with nearly 50 percent of it being shared with the Treasury. However it is failing to keep up with the private casinos operating in the country. Latest results show that the three operational integrated casino resorts in Entertainment City – Solaire Resort and Casino, City of Dreams Manila and Okada Manila currently account for more than half of the entire casino revenue generated in the Philippines. A fourth casino coming up in the dedicated zone Westside City Resorts World is likely to open in 2021.

Dominguez pointed out that it is hard for the government to compete with large scale private casinos and said that Pagcor casinos could very well lose customers to private operators in the coming years. Thus the move to privatize Pagcor casinos is being done at the correct time.

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Sheldon Adelson Makes A Trip To Japan To Get Casino Update

Sheldon Adelson Makes A Trip To Japan To Get Casino Update

The chairman and founder of global casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) Sheldon Adelson made a short visit to Japan recently.

The 84 year old billionaire made visits to Tokyo and Osaka last week in order to get update on the current situation regarding Japan’s casino legalization process.

In a statement Ron Reese, senior vice president, public relations for Las Vegas Sand said,

Mr Adelson was in Japan (Tokyo and Osaka) to get an update on the situation there and offer LVS’s support in any fashion that might be helpful to the process overall, especially given his well-documented leadership in the MICE industry

MICE refers to meetings, incentives, conferences and events segment which is a key focus for the company in the markets of Macau and Singapore. Japan legalized gambling in December 2016 but a second legislation containing detailed regulations for the casino industry is still under development. The second bill named the IR Implementation Bill will include key regulatory provisions such as the locations, taxation rate and the number of casino licenses that will be issued in the first round.

Las Vegas Sands has been named as one of the top contenders for a license as per a Morningstar report, primarily due to its successful track record in developing and operating gaming properties worldwide. Another operator said to be preferred is MGM Resorts International.

The fact that Sheldon Adelson took the time to fly to Japan and meet with top executives shows just how much LVS wants to establish its presence in the Japanese market. The casino industry is expected to boost Japan’s economy and also give its tourism industry a boost.

According to details revealed so far, a bidding process will be held to determine who gets the casino licenses.

Global Market Advisors LLC stated in a report released earlier this year that a first round of request for proposals will be held for three integrated resorts followed by a second round featuring the shortlisted firms. Some media reports have however stated that only two urban and two regional licenses will be issued. Local governments are reportedly working with casino operators to develop proposals that will be submitted to the central government for the bidding process.

In terms of casino locations, analysts have speculated that Tokyo could be omitted due to lack of clear commitment from the local government, challenges in finding a site location and the coming 2020 Summer Olympics

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L.A Studio Owner Keen To Bring The Pan Am Experience To Vegas

L.A Studio Owner Keen To Bring The Pan Am Experience To Vegas

Pan Am ExperienceA Hollywood movie studio owner is looking to bring the recreated experience of travelling on a Pan Am double-decker 747 to the Las Vegas Strip.

Talaat Captan, chief executive officer of studio Air Hollywood stated that he is in discussion with casinos on the Strip to set up a reconstructed 100-seater Pan Am plane as a tourist attraction.

Captan and his partner Anthony Toth have created ‘The Pan Am Experience’ which aims to brings alive the experience of travelling on a Pan Am flight circa 1970s.

The use of authentically styled outfits, menu and magazines right down to colognes will provide visitors with a nostalgia-filled experience of travelling in the popular airline which closed in 1991.

Air Hollywood

The re-created plane now located in Las Vegas has so far served as a venue for 400 events such as corporate events and birthday celebrations. It hosts four to six events a month, with two of them being open to the public. Captan now hopes to bring the experience to Las Vegas visitors.

In a statement Captan said

Our client is mature, has been around the world and knows what Pan Am is. This experience is a luxury and is targeted toward people that stay at high-end hotels. People that have money want to do something different

The experience starts with visitors having cocktails at a re-created authentic Pan Am lounge. Passengers board onto a 100-seater Pan Amplane featuring pilots and stewardesses styled in 1970s uniforms. The customers are then served a multi-course meal, depending on the tickets, which could include items like shrimp, vodka, black caviar and chateaubriand. The stewardesses follow the airline’s original practices while serving meals including cutting the meat in the aisles.

Other activities include aviation-themed trivia games and a fashion show of the various Pan Am uniforms. The experience is for three hours and costs $ 300 per head for the five-course meal with lower-deck seats while the charge is $ 400 for the six-course meal that is served for the upper-deck seats.

Captan pointed out that the Pan Am Experience was like going back in time, adding that the studio had perfected the experience over the past years of operations and was now ready to provide the same experience on a daily basis. He said that the experience could be enhanced for Las Vegas audiences with use of LED projectors and introducing a sensation of light turbulence.

Captan said that Caesars Entertainment had offered to rent a 10,000 square space for the plane but he had declined as the offer was not attractive enough.

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Philippine Casino Industry Will Not Be Hurt By Cannibalization

Philippine Casino Industry Will Not Be Hurt By Cannibalization

Brokerage firm Morgan Stanley has forecasted an optimistic outlook for the Philippine casino market despite the development of additional convention venue space and gaming facilities in the country. There were concerns from some quarters that there were too many gaming facilities being approved in the country and it could result in losses due to cannibalization in the industry.

The most recent casino resort to be opened in the Philippines is Okada Manila. The brokerage firm reviewed the market and indicated in its report that the new casino resort would not hurt the industry nor should there be a concern of cannibalization as demand strips supply.

Morgan Stanley’s report noted that the Philippine market was currently the fastest growing market in Asia, with a likely compound annual growth rate of nearly 25 percent between 2017 and 2018 for overall casino gross gaming revenue.

Okada Manila

In a statement Morgan Stanley said

We are not concerned about cannibalization, which is not visible in the second quarter. Strong tourist arrivals and the NAIA Expressway have brought in more Chinese and Filipino mass customers from cities outside of Manila respectively.

The NAIA Expressway is a 7.7 kilometer road connecting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals with Skyway, Cavitex and Entertainment City which hosts the casinos. The expressway opened on June 3. The casino industry in the Philippines has been boosted by the new expressway as well as the recent growth in the economy.

Okada Manila had a soft launch in December 2016 but has only recently started offering VIP gaming as construction is still ongoing at the property. Morgan Stanley analysts said that the delay in launching VIP gaming and the disruption from the construction to the mass gambling operations will result in Okada Manila having full gaming operations only from the first quarter of 2018. Okada Manila began operations of its hotel in March with just 100 of 993 hotel rooms ready.

The brokerage firm noted that nearly 30 percent of the casino’s mass market tables were being affected by construction work. By the first quarter of 2018, it is expected that 500 rooms as well as around 20 restaurants will open.

According to analysts Alex Poon and Praveen Choudhary, Okada Manila is likely to add gaming revenue of $ 1.2 billion to the market by 2019, which will give the casino a 32 percent market share beating established rivals like Melco Resorts Philippines, Bloomberry and Resorts World Manila.

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AC Casino Revenue Falls, Online Gambling Revenue Grows In NJ

AC Casino Revenue Falls, Online Gambling Revenue Grows In NJ

The combined casino revenue in Atlantic City has shown a decline of 2.7 percent for July 2017 when compared to the same period last year.

This was despite the fact that the city’s seven operational casinos have recorded a marginal revenue increase according to the latest report released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Casinos have seen an increase of 3.9 percent in their gross gaming revenue which includes a jump of 18.5 percent in internet gambling.

Matthew Levinson, chairman of the Casino Control Commission said that the trend was clearly one of growth and that it would continue building in the coming months. He pointed out that there was one less weekend in July 2017 when compared to July 2016.

CBS Philly

The biggest gainer last month was Resorts Casino & Hotel which posted an increase of 14.4 percent to reach $ 20.4 million. Tropicana follows with a 13 percent revenue increase to hit $ 37.5 million. Three other casinos namely Caesars, Bally’s and Harrah’s have all registered modest increases. Casino revenue for Bally’s for July 2017 was $ 22.8 million, up by 5.3 percent over July 2016. Caesars was up 4.8 percent over last year to reach $ 32.7 million while Harrah’s was up 7 percent to reach $ 36.6 million.

In terms of gambling revenue, the Borgata retained the top spot with $ 76.3 million but registered a decline over of $ 80.3 million when compared to its July 2016 revenue. Golden Nugget also recorded a small drop of 2.6 percent in revenue, reaching $ 20.8 million.

Among the internet gaming-only operations, Caesars Interactive-NJ was down 5.4 percent to reach $ 3.2 million but Resorts Digital was up by a sharp 22.9 percent to hit $ 3.8 million. Resorts Digital is a partnership between PokerStars and the brick-and-mortar Resorts Casino & Hotel.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City was on top with $ 6.25 million in gross revenue and became the first internet gaming operator to cross $ 125 million in terms of lifetime revenue from just online casino games.

On the whole online gaming revenue for July 2017 was $ 20.6 million which helped the industry pass the important milestone of $ 600 million by way of lifetime earnings. July also became the fifth month for New Jersey’s online casinos recording monthly gross gaming revenue of over $ 20 million. Cumulatively, the sector has so far generated tax revenue of $ 108.1 million since 2013 when online gaming was legalized.

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Trump Company Could Be Entering Macau’s Casino Industry

Trump Company Could Be Entering Macau’s Casino Industry

A company belonging to The Trump Organization is said to have applied for four new trademarks in Macau according to a local news report.

The applications relating to the Trump brand were made by a Delaware-based company called DTTM Operations LLC and covered a wide range of activities including gambling and casino services, hotel services and real estate services.

The new applications are similar to those filed by the Trump company in 2006 which had been granted but lapsed earlier this year.

Although there are no Trump-branded operational businesses currently in Macau, the applications suggest the possibility of The Trump Organization wanting to start operations in the biggest gaming hub in the world.

This however highlights the ethical complications arising from the fact that Donald Trump is the President of the United States and his companies continue to operate under the Trump brand. This conflict of interest has posed serious concern to ethics lawyers and the opposition party.

The applications also are likely be a concern for Macau’s six gaming operators who are expected to renew their gaming licenses in 2020. There is no official indication that Trump wants to enter Macau’s casino industry but since one of the trademarks has to do with gaming in Macau, it has given rise to speculation.

Since Trump took over as the president, China has approved several Trump trademarks applications. There are lawsuits ongoing in the U.S. right now which allege that China’s approval for the trademarks can be considered gifts from a foreign government, which is a violation under the U.S. Constitution.

In their response Trump and his lawyers have said that the trademarks are crucial protection against squatters who might exploit his name. Chinese authorities have said that they have so far been fair and impartial in handling the trademark applications with respect to Trump’s and his daughter Ivanka Trump’s businesses.

There has been little information available on the approval process for the renewal of gaming licenses in Macau. Most industry analysts expect the current six operators to retain their licenses but there is speculation that an additional license may be issued as well.

Alex Bumazhny, a gambling analyst at Fitch Ratings said that it was a long shot for Trump’s organization to win a license. According to him recent comments by the city’s gaming regulators indicate that the fresh license would go to a non-U.S gaming company.

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South Korea’s Paradise City Casino Drawing Over 3k Visitors Daily

South Korea’s Paradise City Casino Drawing Over 3k Visitors Daily

South Korea’s newly opened Paradise City casino resort has announced that in its first 100 days’ of operation it has attracted a daily average of nearly 3,100 visitors.

So far it has recorded a total of nearly 310,000 visitors.

The foreigner-only casino located in Incheon opened on April 20, 2017. The port city of Incheon is a major regional destination for tourists and the casino is situated near the main international airport which services the capital city of Seoul.

The $ 1.1 billion property spread over the 330,000-square- metre (3.58 million-sq- foot) site has been developed by South Korean gaming operator Paradise Co Ltd along with Japanese pachinko operator Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. Paradise City is the first Las Vegas-style integrated resort in the region.

Paradise City

The operator had claimed at the time of its opening that it will attract nearly 1.5 million people in 2017. A spokesperson with the operator told a local newspaper that the occupancy at the property’s hotel was 90 percent since its opening.

The first phase of Paradise City developed with an investment of KRW1.3 trillion ($ 1.16 billion) offers 281 slot machines, 154 table games plus four electronic games installations. The first phase also has a 711-room hotel, several restaurants and bars, entertainment venues and health facilities. In the subsequent phases, new entertainment offerings and a boutique hotel are planned. The spokesperson stated that the development of the second phase was currently at 55 percent.

Incheon is also seeing the development of two more major gaming projects. The construction of a $ 1.6 billion casino resort by U.S. tribal casino operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment along with its partners local partners chemicals giant KCC Corp and the Incheon International Airport Corp. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

The other major project is the casino resort being developed by U.S. casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp in partnership with mainland China real estate developer Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd. Construction. The project is expected to be completed before the end of September 2017.

In addition to its casino in Incheon, Paradise Co. operates three other foreigner-only casinos-Jeju Grand on Jeju Island, Walkerhill in Seoul and Busan Casino in the port city of Busan. According to filings made by the company earlier this month, revenue for the company dropped 20.7 percent in the first half of the year due to a poor performance of the gaming sector, possibly due to the ban by China on travel to South Korea.

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Most significant Victory Creates Wilton Rancheria’s Metropolitan Gambling Undertaking Forward

Most significant Victory Creates Wilton Rancheria’s Metropolitan Gambling Undertaking Forward

California-based Native America tribe Wilton Rancheria scored a major victory after a federal agency dismissed an appeal lodged by opponents questioning the approval given to the tribe to construct a gaming facility in Elk Grove.

According to a news report, Michael Black, Acting Director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, dismissed an appeal made by an anti-casino group called ‘Stand Up For California!’ that asked for a reversal of a January 19 decision that agreed to place 36 acres of land area in federal trust enabling the tribe to construct a casino there.

The Wilton Rancheria had purchased the land via its gaming partner Boyd Gaming Corporation from The Howard Hughes Corporation for $ 36 million in Feb 2015.

CBS Sacramento

In a statement Raymond Hitchcock, Chairman for the Wilton Rancheria, said

This was just another small hurdle on our path towards self-sufficiency. This decision solidly confirms that the placing of the land into federal trust was valid and that we have every right to continue forward with our economic development plans. This was another attempt to cloud our land-into-trust process by Stand Up For California! and card rooms. So, I’m ecstatic.

The tribe is looking to construct a large hotel along with a casino having 2,000 slots and 84 gaming tables. Some of the other planned amenities include a spa, a fitness center as well as a 30,000 sq ft of space for events. Since the land in question is not on tribal territory it needs to be placed into federal trust for the project to progress.

In its appeal, ‘Stand Up For California!‘ had argued that Lawrence Roberts, the former Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs had given approval to Wilton Rancheria’s application to convert land into federal trust on the last day of Barack Obama’s presidency term, which was above his authority.

Cheryl Schmit from ‘Stand Up For California!‘ has vowed to carry on the fight. Schmit told a local newspaper that the arguments made against the project would be moved to a federal court. She said that the Bureau of Indian Affairs had no right to approve a land request for building a casino within a residential locality.

The anti-casino group also wants the city to hold a referendum before giving the go-ahead to start construction. Robert Magnuson, a spokesperson for the Wilton Rancheria alleged that Schmit was representing other gaming interests. In addition to this victory, a recent announcement by Gov. Jerry Brown has confirmed that a gambling compact has been negotiated with Wilton Rancheria, which was also a positive sign for the tribe.

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