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MGTO Director Says Operators Should Prepare for a Quiet Summer Holiday

Niji Narayan

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MGTO Director Says Operators Should Prepare for a Quiet Summer Holiday
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Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO), has said that the gaming and integrated resort (IR) operators in Macau should prepare for the borders to remain closed during this year’s summer holiday period.

While the MGTO is working with the hospitality industry to offer more promotions for local residents in August, Senna Fernandes said the border restrictions will not be easily loosened during the summer and that visitors would, therefore, be unable to enter freely.

“It is expected that border controls would remain limited in the short term. Chinese or foreign visitors are unlikely to enter Macau, visitation will be limited to certain groups of visitors,” she said.

Senna Fernandes also revealed the MGTO had recently initiated plans to arrange tours between Macau and Hengqin but was forced to suspend those plans due to current border controls.

While the occupancy rate of five-star hotels has shown some very slight improvement recently, albeit only up from 6% to 10%, the MGTO has been in discussions with hotel operators to offer more discounts and promotions for local residents.

“Residents aren’t able to travel anywhere under this pandemic either. Schools will end their academic year in late July, so we encourage operators to provide more discounts to locals in August to drive expenditure on hospitality, dining and shopping in IRs,” Senna Fernandes said.

Asia

Wynn Resorts Ltd Closes its Yokohama Office

Niji Narayan

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Wynn Resorts Ltd Closes its Yokohama Office
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Wynn Resorts Ltd has closed its Yokohama office after Japan’s plans to award casino licenses were delayed, but remains interested in the project.

“The pandemic is having an unprecedented negative impact on integrated resort development, and resort companies such as Wynn are considering how we evolve our operations to align with a post-pandemic market. Long term, we remain interested in the Japan integrated resort market and will monitor the situation closely,” the company said in a statement.

Wynn has been pursuing a casino in Japan for years. The country had been considered one of the biggest prizes in the industry, given Japan’s population and wealth. Japanese legislators approved the country’s first Vegas-style casino developments, known as integrated resorts, but none have yet been built.

A decision to focus on the U.S. market prompted Caesars Entertainment Corp. to end its pursuit of a Japanese casino last year. Las Vegas Sands Corp. said in May that it was also pulling out of the race, citing high tax rates, unfavourable terms and the cost of building there, which many have put at $10 billion.

MGM Resorts International, the lone remaining bidder for a casino in Osaka, said last week that it will continue to pursue the project despite delays in the process that could last until next year.

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Asia

Yokohama Mayor: Local IR Plans Must Wait on Central Government Policy

Niji Narayan

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Yokohama Mayor: Local IR Plans Must Wait on Central Government Policy
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Fumiko Hayashi, the Mayor of Yokohama, has acknowledged that her city’s implementation policies, originally scheduled for publication in June, must wait until after the central government finally issues its long-overdue IR Basic Plan.

She added that any prospect that her city could publish its implementation policies by the end of August had now dried up.

“We are closely watching the situation,” she added.

Doubts are growing that the national government will stick to the current timeline of accepting IR licensing applications from the local governments between January and July of next year, though the Abe administration has yet to give a clear indication of its intentions.

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Asia

PAGCOR Reports US$48 Million Loss in Q2 2020

Niji Narayan

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PAGCOR Reports US$48 Million Loss in Q2 2020
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Philippine gaming regulator PAGCOR has reported a loss of US$32.5 million in the six months to 30 June 2020.

While PAGCOR did not break down its 1H20 financials by quarter, it had previously reported a net income of US$15.8 million for the first three months of 2020, suggesting a loss of US$48.4 million during Q2.

PAGCOR reported income from gaming operations of Php18.44 billion in the first six months of this year, down 49.6% fromUS$714.5 million in the same period in 2019. US$350.4 million of that income was generated in Q1 2020, meaning income from gaming operations totaled just US$24.8 million in Q2 2020.

The regulator said its income from licensed casinos totaled US$138.4 million – none of which was generated in the second quarter, while income from POGO operations was US$59.4 million of which US$22.6 million was second-quarter income.

Gaming operations across the Philippines were shut down on March 15 after President Rodrigo Duterte implemented community quarantine across the main island of Luzon. While some areas have since been allowed to reopen, the national capital region comprising metro Manila remains under strict general community quarantine with casinos and other gaming venues having now been closed for more than four months.

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