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All India Gaming Federation announces India Gaming Conclave 2018

George Miller

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AIGF announces India Gaming Conclave 2018
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All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), a not-for-profit apex Industry body for the skill gaming Industry in India, yesterday announced the second edition of its annual IP event – ‘India Gaming Conclave’ on 29th May 2018. The event’s content has been compiled keeping in mind the needs of operators across online poker, fantasy and rummy businesses.

The key issues that will be discussed this year include advertising content regulation, de-constructing taxation in regulated markets, Investments in the skill gaming Industry and responsible gaming. The highlight of the event will be the introduction to the AIGF advisory panel & the launch of the AIGF skill games charters. The AIGF Advisory Panel is a high powered six-member committee made up of distinguished and notable experts from law & order, finance, data science, academia and psychiatry will oversee the implementation of the skill games charters and other responsible gaming initiatives.

These year’s Guest of Honor is Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan, Chairman Law Commission of India, he will be joined by other esteemed personalities from India nad abroad.

“We are delighted to felicitate our eminent advisory panel at the India Gaming Conclave 2018. It is satisfying to have succeeded in putting together good governance initiatives for our members through the self- regulation charters and third party audits that augurs extremely well for the growing skill gaming Industry in India”. – said Roland Landers, CEO AIGF.

“I am honoured to be a part of the India Gaming Conclave 2018. It is a great platform facilitating the exchange of ideas & expertise and we hope to share best of our practices with the Indian operators. I wish all the success to the AIGF, its members and partners”. – added Ms. Christina Thakor- Rankin, Principal Consultant, 1017 Gaming UK.

The recently published FICCI M&E Report 2018, compiled by EY, highlighted that the Indian Skill Gaming Industry had a robust growth of 25% in revenues in 2017 and that standardisation among operators by implementation of best practices will reduce the burden of inspection and reporting.

 

Source: Sportskeeda.com

 

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Scout Gaming signs deal with Indian Playsafe Games

George Miller

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Scout Gaming signs deal with Indian Playsafe Games
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Scout Gaming has entered into a licensing agreement that allows the brand Scoring 11, which will be run in the same company as Indibet.com, to access Scout Gaming’s full product range.

 

“This is the third customer agreement we sign where the counter-party is expected to have a significant presence in the Indian market that is growing strongly. Cricket is a huge sport locally and I’am excited about continuing to grow the liquidity network we have established. Further on this means larger prize pools and a more attractive product” comments Scout Gaming CEO, Andreas Ternström.

“We see how Fantasy Sports has a strong growth in the country. With players like Dream11 who are extremely popular at the forefront, we have explored the possibilities of expanding our value chain to operator business focusing exclusively on fantasy sports. After that scan of the market, Scout Gaming came across as the most competitive player, having established a global liquidity network with access to both popular local sports such as Cricket and Kabaddi, but also international leagues such as Premier League are something we believe will be winning in the long run”, comments Harshit Mehta, CEO of Indiabet.com.

Sports Gaming UK which owns Indiabet.com holds stake in Scoring 11 (Playsafe Games Pvt Ltd). IndiaBet is run by Harshit Mehta in India and he owns majority shares in Playsafe Games Pvt Ltd. Indiabet.com is originally an affiliate focusing on the Indian market. Scout Gaming‘s products are expected to be launched during the year. Scoring 11 is also expected to be part of Scout Gaming’s global liquidity network. Fantasy Sports is considered a skill game in India and is thus fully legal.

 

About Scout Gaming Group:
Scout Gaming Group is a licensed and regulated provider of B2B Daily Fantasy Sports and pool betting. The company offers a flexible and customizable network-based Fantasy Sports solution with support for most sports and leagues through an in-house StatCenter which also provides real-time information to players. Local sports can be provided on request. The Group has approximately 70 staff and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with development and operations in Bergen, Norway and Lviv, Ukraine. Sales, support and product management is handled from the office in Malta.

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Is it true that Indian government is planning to legalise online gambling?

Niji Ng

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Is it true that Indian government is planning to legalise online gambling?
Image Source: ipleaders.in
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Rumours are abuzz about Indian government’s plans to regulate online gambling in the country. Overall, gambling is prohibited in India, apart from a few jurisdictions. However, there have been recent staccato calls for legalisation of online gambling. In fact, there exists a few companies who make use of the grey area in the legality of online gambling in the country and offer their services in a surrogate manner.

The recent rumours find their origin in a 150-page long report addressed to the government from the Law Commission of India (LCI). In this report, the LCI recommends the legalisation of online gambling in a regulated manner because it observes that the government cannot practically prevent people from accessing online betting sites. The current law has no provision for this.

The LCI also points to the immense potential for tax revenue that the federal government could benefit from, should it choose to regulate online gambling. In recent statements, the Indian government have said that they are looking into the reports from the LCI with maximum interest.

Despite all this, the rumours are unlikely to be true in the immediate future. The current central government is nearing the end of its five-year term. The general elections will be held in May later this year. The government, which is facing a tough battle for a second term, may not risk doing anything unconventional or what can be dubbed as politically incorrect at this juncture.

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Melco Announces Record Adjusted Property EBITDA in the Fourth Quarter 2018

George Miller

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Melco Announces Record Adjusted Property EBITDA in the Fourth Quarter 2018
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Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited, a developer, owner and operator of casino gaming and entertainment casino resort facilities in Asia, reported its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2018.

Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$1,396.5 million, representing an increase of approximately 5% from US$1,332.6 million for the comparable period in 2017. The increase in net revenue was primarily attributable to higher group-wide rolling chip and mass market table games gross gaming revenues, partially offset by higher commissions reported as a reduction in revenue upon the Company’s adoption of a new revenue recognition standard issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “New Revenue Standard”). The Company adopted the New Revenue Standard on January 1, 2018 under the modified retrospective method. Results for the periods beginning on or after January 1, 2018 are presented under the New Revenue Standard, while prior year amounts are not adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with the previous basis. Under the previous basis, before the adoption of the New Revenue Standard, net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 would have been US$1,497.7 million, which would have represented an increase of approximately 12% from the US$1,332.6 million for the comparable period in 2017.

Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$204.0 million, compared with operating income of US$129.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing an increase of 58%.

Adjusted property EBITDA(1) was US$425.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, as compared to Adjusted property EBITDA of US$339.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing an increase of 25%. The increase in Adjusted property EBITDA was mainly attributable to better performance in the group-wide rolling chip and mass market table games segments.

Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited for the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$128.0 million, or US$0.27 per ADS, compared with US$81.2 million, or US$0.17 per ADS, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The net income attributable to noncontrolling interests during the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$2.2 million and the net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests during the fourth quarter of 2017 was US$9.8 million, both of which were related to Studio City and City of Dreams Manila.

Mr. Lawrence Ho, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Opening of the iconic, award-winning Morpheus, and the continued robust growth in Macau’s mass gaming market have allowed Melco to deliver record-level Property EBITDA despite the challenging macro environment.

“Melco’s dedication to excellence has been widely recognized, most recently by the Michelin Guide 2019 with the Company remaining as the leading integrated resort operator in the world with the most Michelin-starred restaurants. We are extremely proud to achieve a record-breaking milestone with six of Melco’s signature restaurants being awarded with a total of ten Michelin Stars. That includes Alain Ducasse at Morpheus, which was awarded with two Michelin Stars in less than six months after opening, and Jade Dragon in City of Dreams, which was awarded with three Michelin Stars.

“The opening of Morpheus only marks the beginning of the relaunch of City of Dreams. On top of that, we have recently unveiled the significantly upgraded VIP gaming spaces on the second floor of City of Dreams. Rolling refurbishment of Nüwa will also soon commence with the upgraded hotel rooms expected to come online over the next eighteen months.

“In January, the Macau government authorized Melco to operate 40 additional gaming tables at City of Dreams. We are sincerely thankful of the Macau government for its consideration and approval of our gaming table application.

“At Studio City, we continue to enhance the entertainment offerings with a series of property upgrades, which include the recent launch of the world’s most electrifying stunt show – Elekron. Earlier in January, we also opened the pop-up ‘Legend Heroes Park’, paving way for the opening of the permanent venue later in the year. Lastly, the ‘Flip Out’ Trampoline Park is expected to open in the first half of 2019.

“In the Philippines, City of Dreams Manila delivered another solid quarter underpinned by robust mass gaming revenue growth.

“The Board has, after evaluating the Company’s current liquidity position and future expected capital needs, decided to increase the quarterly cash dividend by 7% to US$0.0517 per ordinary share, which is equivalent to US$0.1551 per ADS, from the previous quarterly dividend of US$0.04835 per ordinary share. Since our third quarter results announcement, the Company has also repurchased approximately 10 million ADSs, worth approximately US$165 million, under the US$500 million share repurchase program the Company announced in November 2018.

“Lastly, Japan continues to be a core focus for us. We expect development of the next generation of integrated resorts to soon commence in this incredibly exciting, yet currently underpenetrated, tourism destination. With our focus on the Asian premium segment, high quality assets, dedication to world-class entertainment offerings, market-leading social safeguards and compliance culture, and our commitment to being an ideal partner to local governments and communities alike, we believe Melco is in a strong position to help Japan realize the vision for integrated resort development with a unique Japanese touch.”

City of Dreams Fourth Quarter Results

For the quarter ended December 31, 2018, net revenue at City of Dreams was US$724.5 million compared to US$612.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. City of Dreams generated Adjusted EBITDA of US$229.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with Adjusted EBITDA of US$169.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The year-on year increase in Adjusted EBITDA was primarily a result of better performances in the rolling chip and mass market table games segments.

Rolling chip volume totaled US$11.4 billion for both quarters ended December 31, 2018 and 2017. The rolling chip win rate was 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The expected rolling chip win rate range is 2.7%-3.0%.

Mass market table games drop increased to US$1,308.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with US$1,226.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The mass market table games hold percentage was 33.0% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to 28.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Gaming machine handle for the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$1,051.8 million, compared with US$1,122.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The gaming machine win rate was 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus 4.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Total non-gaming revenue at City of Dreams in the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$99.4 million, compared with US$71.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Altira Macau Fourth Quarter Results

For the quarter ended December 31, 2018, net revenue at Altira Macau was US$137.6 million compared to US$140.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Altira Macau generated Adjusted EBITDA of US$20.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with Adjusted EBITDA of US$17.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Rolling chip volume totaled US$6.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus US$4.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The rolling chip win rate was 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The expected rolling chip win rate range is 2.7%-3.0%.

In the mass market table games segment, drop totaled US$127.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, representing an increase from US$125.2 million generated in the comparable period in 2017. The mass market table games hold percentage was 19.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with 18.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Gaming machine handle for the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$29.9 million, compared with US$20.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The gaming machine win rate was 4.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus 6.0% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Total non-gaming revenue at Altira Macau in the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$7.1 million, compared with US$7.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Mocha Clubs Fourth Quarter Results

Net revenue from Mocha Clubs totaled US$26.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 as compared to US$30.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Mocha Clubs generated US$4.7 million of Adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with US$7.4 million in the same period in 2017.

Gaming machine handle for the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$593.9 million, compared with US$622.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The gaming machine win rate was 4.5% in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus 4.8% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Studio City Fourth Quarter Results

For the quarter ended December 31, 2018, net revenue at Studio City was US$340.7 million compared to US$369.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Studio City generated Adjusted EBITDA of US$102.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with Adjusted EBITDA of US$91.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Rolling chip volume totaled US$3.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus US$5.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The rolling chip win rate was 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus 2.8% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The expected rolling chip win rate range is 2.7%-3.0%.

Mass market table games drop decreased to US$825.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with US$848.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The mass market table games hold percentage was 27.0% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to 26.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Gaming machine handle for the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$641.8 million, compared with US$539.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The gaming machine win rate was 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus 4.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Total non-gaming revenue at Studio City in the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$46.4 million, compared with US$52.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

City of Dreams Manila Fourth Quarter Results

For the quarter ended December 31, 2018, net revenue at City of Dreams Manila was US$155.2 million compared to US$167.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. City of Dreams Manila generated Adjusted EBITDA of US$67.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to US$53.8 million in the comparable period of 2017. The year-on year increase in Adjusted EBITDA was mainly attributable to better performance in all gaming segments.

Rolling chip volume totaled US$2.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus US$2.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The rolling chip win rate was 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The expected rolling chip win rate range is 2.7%-3.0%.

Mass market table games drop increased to US$197.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with US$189.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The mass market table games hold percentage was 31.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to 30.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Gaming machine handle for the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$933.6 million, compared with US$793.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The gaming machine win rate was 5.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus 5.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Total non-gaming revenue at City of Dreams Manila in the fourth quarter of 2018 was US$29.4 million, compared with US$31.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Other Factors Affecting Earnings

Total net non-operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2018 were US$80.0 million, which mainly included interest expenses of US$74.0 million.

Depreciation and amortization costs of US$149.7 million were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018 of which US$13.9 million was related to the amortization expense for our gaming subconcession and US$5.5 million was related to the amortization expense for the land use rights.

The Adjusted EBITDA for Studio City for the three months ended December 31, 2018 and year ended December 31, 2018 referred to in this report is US$17 million and US$61 million more, respectively, than the Adjusted EBITDA of Studio City contained in the earnings release for Studio City International Holdings Limited dated February 19, 2019 (the “Studio City earnings release”). The Adjusted EBITDA of Studio City contained in the Studio City earnings release includes certain intercompany charges that are not included in the Adjusted EBITDA for Studio City contained in this report. Such intercompany charges include, among other items, fees and shared service charges billed between Studio City International Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries and certain subsidiaries of Melco. Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA of Studio City included in this report does not reflect certain costs related to the VIP operations at Studio City Casino.

Financial Position and Capital Expenditures

Total cash and bank balances as of December 31, 2018 aggregated US$1.5 billion, including US$48.2 million of restricted cash, primarily related to Studio City. Total debt, net of unamortized deferred financing costs at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, was US$4.1 billion.

Capital expenditures for the fourth quarter of 2018 were US$99.5 million, which predominantly related to various projects at City of Dreams and Studio City.

Full Year Results

For the year ended December 31, 2018, Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited reported net revenue of US$5.2 billion versus US$5.3 billion in the prior year. The decrease in net revenue was primarily attributable to higher commissions reported as a reduction in revenue upon the Company’s adoption of the New Revenue Standard, partially offset by higher gross gaming revenues in all gaming segments. The Company adopted the New Revenue Standard on January 1, 2018 under the modified retrospective method. Results for the periods beginning on or after January 1, 2018 are presented under the New Revenue Standard, while prior year amounts are not adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with the previous basis. Under the previous basis, before the adoption of the New Revenue Standard, net revenue for 2018 would have been US$5.6 billion, which would have represented an increase of approximately 5% from the US$5.3 billion for 2017.

Operating income for 2018 was US$626.8 million, compared with operating income of US$607.6 million for 2017, representing an increase of 3%.

Adjusted property EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2018 was US$1,477.9 million, as compared to Adjusted property EBITDA of US$1,422.8 million in 2017. The year-on-year improvement in Adjusted property EBITDA was mainly attributable to better group-wide performance in all gaming segments.

Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited for 2018 was US$351.5 million, or US$0.73 per ADS, compared with US$347.0 million, or US$0.71 per ADS, for 2017. The net income attributable to noncontrolling interests for 2018 was US$2.3 million and the net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests for 2017 was US$31.7 million, both of which were related to Studio City and City of Dreams Manila.

Amendment of Dividend Policy

To reaffirm Melco’s commitment to returning surplus capital to shareholders, our Board, after evaluating Melco’s current liquidity position and future expected capital needs, has amended its quarterly dividend policy from one targeting a quarterly cash dividend payment of US$0.04835 per ordinary share (equivalent to US$0.14505 per ADS, each representing three ordinary shares) of the Company to one targeting a quarterly cash dividend payment of US$0.0517 per ordinary share (equivalent to US$0.1551 per ADS) of the Company.

The new dividend policy will take effect beginning with any dividends declared by our Board for the fourth quarter of 2018 and continue until amended or otherwise determined by our Board. Distribution of dividends under this new dividend policy is subject to the Company’s accumulated and future earnings, cash availability and future commitments.

Our Board will continue to review our dividend policy from time to time as part of our commitment to maximizing shareholder value, taking into consideration our financial performance and market conditions.

Dividend Declaration

On February 19, 2019, our Board considered and approved the declaration and payment of a quarterly dividend of US$0.0517 per ordinary share (equivalent to US$0.1551 per ADS) for the fourth quarter of 2018 (the “Quarterly Dividend”). The Quarterly Dividend will be paid on or about March 14, 2019 to our shareholders whose names appear on the register of members of the Company at the close of business on March 4, 2019, being the record date for determination of entitlements to the Quarterly Dividend.

Conference Call Information

Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited will hold a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (9:30 p.m. Hong Kong Time). To join the conference call, please use the dial-in details below:

US Toll Free 1 866 519 4004
US Toll / International 1 845 675 0437
HK Toll 852 3018 6771
HK Toll Free 800 906 601
Japan Toll 81 3 4503 6012
Japan Toll Free 012 092 5376
UK Toll Free 080 8234 6646
Australia Toll 61 290 833 212
Australia Toll Free 1 800 411 623
Philippines Toll Free 1 800 1612 0306
Passcode MLCO

An audio webcast will also be available at http://www.melco-resorts.com.

To access the replay, please use the dial-in details below:

US Toll Free 1 855 452 5696
US Toll / International 1 646 254 3697
HK Toll Free 800 963 117
Japan Toll 81 3 4580 6717
Japan Toll Free 012 095 9034
Philippines Toll Free 1 800 1612 0166
Conference ID 3567003

About Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited:

The Company, with its American depositary shares listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (NASDAQ: MLCO), is a developer, owner and operator of casino gaming and entertainment casino resort facilities in Asia. The Company currently operates Altira Macau (www.altiramacau.com), a casino hotel located at Taipa, Macau and City of Dreams (www.cityofdreamsmacau.com), an integrated urban casino resort located in Cotai, Macau. Its business also includes the Mocha Clubs (www.mochaclubs.com), which comprise the largest non-casino based operations of electronic gaming machines in Macau. The Company also majority owns and operates Studio City (www.studiocity-macau.com), a cinematically-themed integrated entertainment, retail and gaming resort in Cotai, Macau. In the Philippines, a Philippine subsidiary of the Company currently operates and manages City of Dreams Manila (www.cityofdreams.com.ph), a casino, hotel, retail and entertainment integrated resort in the Entertainment City complex in Manila.

The Company is strongly supported by its single largest shareholder, Melco International Development Limited, a company listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and is substantially owned and led by Mr. Lawrence Ho, who is the Chairman, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

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