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POGOs Set to Resume Operations After Lockdown

Niji Narayan

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POGOs Set to Resume Operations After Lockdown
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Dominique Tutay, Undersecretary of the Philippines Labour department, has stated that the Philippines’ POGO industry is expected to resume its operations at the end of April when the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon is planned to be lifted.

The opening will come despite a number of controversies plaguing the POGO industry in the months leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“POGOs will continue as long they are allowed by law. We will just continue our initiative to regulate and ensure that these firms are compliant with labor and immigration laws as well as payment of taxes,” Dominique Tutay said.

Tutay said the department was currently investigating up to 2000 foreign nationals that were allegedly working in POGOs without the required foreign work visa.

Last month, the labour department also found 4000 foreign nationals in POGO firms that were using the same Tax Identification Numbers in their work visa. These concerns were set to be discussed and resolved in March, but the work halted due to the lockdown.

Asia

Sugal & Damani Joins UK National Lottery Race

Niji Narayan

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Sugal & Damani Joins UK National Lottery Race
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Indian lottery operator Sugal & Damani Group has entered the UK Gambling Commission’s competition to select an operator for the UK National Lottery.

Sugal & Damani had also participated in the 2007 tender process, where it was declared as a reserved bidder for running the UK lottery, which is the sixth-largest in the world by sales, and is currently operated by Camelot.

“As a leader in operating lotteries across India and other jurisdictions, Sugal & Damani has shown its deep interest to operate the UK National Lottery since 2007 when it participated and also got selected as a reserve bidder by qualifying all Required Standards like propriety, technology, player protection, channel management, financial capability, etc,” Kamlesh Vijay, Group CEO of Sugal & Damani, said.

“We are looking for a fair and open competition that UKGC has initiated, we are very much in the game, we are in the final stages of creating a strong consortium of credible partners, the details of which will be shared in due course,” Vijay continued.

“As far as the UK lottery market is concerned, it is a large one and highly reputed. There are a huge local following and brand reputation for the UK National lottery, but there are challenges in the market too because people are looking for new excitement and there is stiff competition from other gambling products. We believe that people have a soft corner due to the fact that lotteries contribute more towards well defined good causes, so that attitude is a big plus point. However, continued innovation is very much required in a responsible way to consolidate on this soft corner. Being an organization with deep-rooted innovation in every sphere of our activity we are happy to be in the competition,” Vijay concluded.

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Asia

Caesars and Mohegan Face Delays in Korean IR Projects

Niji Narayan

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Caesars and Mohegan Face Delays in Korean IR Projects
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Caesars Entertainment Corp and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment are facing significant delays in their Korean integrated resort projects due to the financing concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to South Korean news outlets, Caesars Korea – part of the expansive project called Midan City in Yeongjong Island – and Mohegan’s Inspire are having trouble securing the final capital needed to complete their projects.

The future of Caesars Korea has been in some doubt over the past year following the merger between Caesars Entertainment Corp and Eldorado Resorts, with Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg – now CEO of the merged Caesars entity – stating in June 2019 that the company’s international expansion opportunity would “have to be stupendous for us to be running in that direction.”

The company subsequently stated in August 2019 that it was capping the amount of additional cash it was willing to directly invest into Caesars Korea at US$60 million – having already contributed US$80 million to the US$700 million project – with the remainder to be provided by outside financing. However, the company has spoken little publicly about its Korea project since the US$17.3 billion merger with Eldorado was completed in June of this year.

Mohegan Gaming CEO Mario Kontomerkos stated as recently as July that his company’s Inspire Korea project remained on track for a 2022 launch, adding that Mohegan remained fully committed to its international expansion efforts.

“The pandemic has shown us that diversification into the international arena is important for our ability to stand for those generations, and so the project in South Korea, called Inspire, remains on track for launch in 2022,” he said.

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Asia

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi Says She Would Respect IR Referendum Results

Niji Narayan

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Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi Says She Would Respect IR Referendum Results
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Fumiko Hayashi, the mayor of Yokohama city, has committed to respect the results of a public referendum that will decide whether the city will compete to host an integrated resort.

The mayor said: “If the referendum as to IR takes place and the majority votes for opposition, I would act as in accordance with the results.”

Opponents campaigning against the IR plans collected voter signatures to trigger a referendum on the issue. A bill to permit the referendum will be submitted to the city’s council early next year.

On October 13, authorities in Yokohama announced a fresh request-for-concept (RFC) phase for its proposed IR bid to take revised proposals from potential private partners following the central government’s publication of its basic policy document on IR. This RFC will run until the end of November.

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