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Macau Orders Temporary Closure of its Casinos over Coronavirus Concerns

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Photo source: news.rthk.hk
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The government of Macau has ordered the temporary closure of all its casinos. The move is a response to the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Macau has reported 10 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The latest case involves a gaming industry employee.

The closure was announced by Ho Iat-seng, Macau’s chief executive, who only took office in December. He announced that casinos would be closed for an initial two weeks, but said that they may remain mothballed if the virus continues to spread.

“This is a difficult decision, but we have to do it, for the health of our Macau residents,” Ho said.

Many of the casinos are also vast hotel, entertainment and conference facilities, known as integrated resorts. Closing the hotels, as well as the gaming facilities, would be a massive upheaval.

In 2019, Macau welcomed 35 million visitors to its 41 casinos. While Macau has attempted to diversify away from gambling, notably through the establishment of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao, its casino gambling industry is vast.

Asia

NASR Esports takes Global Esports Tour 2021 Dubai title in undefeated run

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United Arab Emirates-based team NASR Esports lifted the Global Esports Tour 2021 Dubai title in style, winning the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament in an undefeated run on November 27.

The team beat Doomsday 2-0 in the semi-finals in a best-of-three tie, before whitewashing Triple 6 3-0 in the best-of-five grand final to win the US$8,000 pay cheque.

The runners-up took home US$4,000 while Doomsday and Level E-sports won US$1,500 for making it to the final four.

They came through a field of 30 teams that took part in the open qualifiers, all vying for a spot at next year’s Global Esports Tour Dubai.

NASR Esports’ victory will assure them a spot at the event in March, where they will compete against the world’s best professional CS:GO teams for a total prize pool of US$250,000.

The Dubai event wraps up the 2021 season of the Global Esports Tour, following successful stops in Los Angeles and Riyadh. Next up on the GEF calendar is the inaugural edition of its flagship event: the Global Esports Games held from December 17-19 in Singapore.

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Asia

Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital and RedBird Capital lead $840 Million investment in Dream Sports at $8 Billion valuation

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Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital and RedBird Capital lead $840 Million investment in Dream Sports at $8 Billion valuation
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Dream SportsIndia’s leading sports tech company with brands such as Dream CapitalFanCodeDream11DreamSetGoDream Game Studios, and DreamPay in its portfolio, announced the completion of an investment of $840 Million at an $8 Billion valuation, led by Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, RedBird Capital and Tiger Global. The round also saw participation from existing investors like TPG and Footpath Ventures, making it amongst the largest investments globally in the sports tech sector.

Dream Sports, with an existing user base of 140 million Indian sports fans, is on a mission to build one of the world’s largest sports ecosystems which includes Sports Content, Commerce, Experiences, Fan Engagement (including Sports Gaming and Esports), Web 3.0 solutions, Fantasy Sports and Fitness Tech. Earlier this year, Dream Sports further strengthened its commitment to this space by announcing a corpus of $250 Million through its CVC and M&A arm, Dream Capital. Dream Capital has built an initial portfolio of 10 companies, largely focusing on thematic early stage investments in India, including, Fittr, SoStronkKheloMore and Elevar. Dream Capital is now expanding its sports, fan engagement and fitness portfolio in India and globally.

Commenting on the investment, Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream Sports said, “Our vision and mission is to create an entrepreneur-led virtuous cycle of investment, innovation and wealth creation for all stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from fans to athletes, teams and leagues. Our investors have deep experience in developing sports ecosystems globally, and we are fortunate to have their guidance to ‘Make Sports Better’ for 1 Billion Indian sports fans.”

“We’re excited to partner with the Dream Sports family in their vision of building the leading end-to-end sports tech company in India,” said Rahul Mehta, Managing Partner at DST Global. “We’re very impressed with their customer centric approach, product strategy and ability to strengthen connections between fans and their favorite sports.”

A homegrown company founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream Sports is located in Mumbai and employs close to 1,000 ‘Sportans’.

Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Dream Sports on the transaction.

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Macao Detains Suncity Boss on China Gambling Charge

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Macao police on Saturday detained the head of Macao’s biggest casino junket organiser and others after Chinese authorities issued an arrest warrant for them over accusations that they ran an illegal cross-border gambling syndicate.

The arrests in the gambling enclave came after prosecutors in Wenzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, on Friday accused Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau and another person, Zhang Ningning, of leading cross-border gambling operations and setting up casinos across China.

Casinos and most forms of gambling are illegal in mainland China, and semi-autonomous Macao is the only Chinese city allowed to operate a casino. Mainland visitors are able to travel to Macao to gamble but are required to obtain a visa.

“Based on evidence obtained from previous criminal investigations, the (Macao) police brought the criminal suspect Chau and other persons involved back to the police station for investigation in accordance with the law this morning,” Macao’s government said in a statement on Saturday.

Authorities said they had been investigating the case since July last year. They said that the gambling syndicate has 199 shareholder representatives, over 12,000 agents that promoted its gambling operations and more than 80,000 gamblers in its network.

The syndicate also set up asset management firms to assist gamblers with cross-border fund transfers and to recover debts they owed, authorities said.

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