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MGM targets Osaka for its Japanese IR initiation

Niji Narayan

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MGM targets Osaka for its Japanese IR initiation
Photo Source: chinadailyhk.com
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MGM Resorts International is focusing on Osaka prefecture of opening a casino in Japan. The Japanese government, which is finalizing the details for the implementation of the landmark Integrated Resort (IR) bill, has not disclosed the location chosen for the IR facilities. Earlier, the government had made it clear that there would be three locations in the country.

Osaka is one of the top candidates to be selected. That’s perhaps why MGM Resorts International has decided to set potential development in the city as a key target for their business.

During the full-year earnings call last week, company Chairman and Chief Executive James Murren highlighted the importance of the Japanese market.

“We just recently opened up an office in Osaka. We’ve committed now to the mayor and to the governor of Osaka,” he told financial analysts and added: “MGM has adopted an Osaka-first strategy. We are focusing our considerable resources on Osaka.”

According to Mr. Murren, the company expects an operator to be picked by Osaka in 2020, just before going to the central government.

“We think Osaka will be one of the three concessions that will likely be granted, but we know the central government has to select Osaka and its operator. That probably happens maybe 12, 18 months after Osaka itself picks its operator,” Murren stated. “Osaka’s goal is to have an IR opened by 2025. That’s when the World Expo is in Osaka.”

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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Mohegan Opens Office in Tomakomai, Japan

Niji Narayan

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Mohegan Opens Office in Tomakomai, Japan
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Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has opened an office in Tomakomai, Japan. Mohegan plans to use the office both as a home base for its Japanese team and a showroom for Hokkaido residents to learn about IRs.

“At the Tomakomai Office, we plan to install not only the Mohegan company profile but also a book that summarizes Mohegan’s corporate philosophy and CSR and an IR vision book,” Mohegan said.

Mohegan recently revealed the first details of its Hokkaido IR concept, to be named INSPIRE Entertainment Resort Hokkaido and cost between US$3.5 billion and US$4.5 billion to build.

The INSPIRE name follows the theme adopted on Mohegan’s other international developments: INSPIRE Korea, set to be built in Incheon and INSPIRE Athens, a proposed IR concept in Greece.

The Hokkaido IR would include a unique museum celebrating the cultures of both the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut and the indigenous Ainu people of Japan. To be located in a forested area of Tomakomai, it would also offer various outdoor activities for guests such as horse riding and cross-country skiing.

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Malaysian Budget Increases Gambling Penalties

Niji Narayan

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Malaysian Budget Increases Gambling Penalties
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Malaysia’s Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has announced that the punishments for both gamblers and gambling operators will be increased as part of the country’s 2020 budget. The budget has also set out that the number of four-digit lottery draws per year run by the Number Forecast Operators (NFO) will be reduced from 11 to 8.

It has been found that the maximum penalty for those who gamble illegally will be increased 20-fold from RM5000 to RM100,000. In addition to this, where previously there was no minimum sentence for gambling under the Common Gaming Houses Act of 1953, it will be now carrying out a jail term of no less than six months.

The minimum penalty of RM1m replaces the former minimum penalty of RM5000 for illegal gambling operators. Operating illegal gambling previously carried a maximum penalty of RM50,000, however, no maximum penalty is mentioned in the new budget.

The budget did not detail any changes to the upper limit on prison sentences for online gamblers, however, which is also set at six months for players, or for illegal operators, for whom the maximum sentence is three years.

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Analysts Predict Decline in Macau’s Casino Revenue for Q4 2019

Niji Narayan

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Analysts Predict Decline in Macau’s Casino Revenue for Q4 2019
Photo Source: scroll.in
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Analysts have predicted a decline in Macau’s casino revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019. Financial giant Morgan Stanley said that casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) is likely to be down every month of Q4 in Macau.

Analysts Praven Choudhary, Thomas Allen and Gareth Leung said that October GGR would be 6% down year-on-year. November and December would both register a 9% decline year-on-year, ending Q4 on a bad note.

“We expect Q4 revenue growth for both mass and VIP to decelerate compared to the first nine months in Macau. Driven by high [2018] base, lower [tally of] overnight visitors and general economic slowdown,” the analysts said.

The Morgan Stanley analysts also said that they expect third-quarter property EBITDA to be down 1%. “Also weaker than seasonality of an 8% increase quarter-on-quarter,” they said.

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