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Osaka Removes IR Opening Date from Official Documents

Niji Narayan

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Osaka Removes IR Opening Date from Official Documents
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Osaka has removed the opening date for Osaka IR on Yumeshima Island from its official documents. The scheduled date was pushed back several times already, and the Osaka government decided not to specify the time of full-scale opening in consideration of business partners that were impacted by the Covid-19.

Previously, the prefecture was hoping for a full opening before the 2025 World Expo, but due to the ongoing pandemic, it was pushed back. A renewed timeline sees a partial opening in the latter half of the 2020s. But the current schedule left it blank.

MGM Resorts, one of the potential partners for Osaka IR, said the prefecture’s RFP process is still unclear, especially with the delays to the national government’s IR timeline.

MGM’s President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle remains cautious about pursuing a Japan IR license, especially with the losses caused by the global pandemic. He expects to submit an RFP with ORIX, the company’s partner in the IR process, sometime this summer, and while official requirements have not been provided yet, he says the company is ready.

Although MGM Resorts hasn’t been in Japan’s marketplace for a while, they’re still “a believer in Japan,” said Hornbuckle in a recent 4Q 2020 earnings call. “We haven’t had our people on the ground there for a better part of nine months, so it’s going to take time to rebound. But we have the intent and I believe the government still has the same intent to move forward.”

Asia

PhilWeb Reduces Net Loss to $1.2M

Niji Narayan

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PhilWeb Reduces Net Loss to $1.2M
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PhilWeb Corporation has reported a 30% decrease in its net loss to Php60 million (US$1.2 million) in 2020, despite suffering a 51% decline in revenue due to COVID-19 closures.

The company’s sites were all closed on 15 March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philippines before gradually re-opening at reduced capacity from June, resulting in reduced revenues of Php105 million (US$2.2 million) and EBITDA of Php30 million (US$618,000).

However, PhilWeb President Brian Ng said that positive EBITDA has been printed since October and net income since November, with venues operating at around 60% capacity.

“Our fourth quarter 2020 results came before PhilWeb’s acquisition of 16 eBingo venues and 2 accredited eBingo machine providers, as well as the revenue contribution of additional eGames sites incrementally converting back to our Electronic Gaming System at the start of 2021,” Brian Ng said.

“The Company is on stable ground and well positioned as we anticipate the return to economic activity in the second half of the year.”

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Asia

Mobile esports tournament, Jamir All Star to take place this weekend

George Miller

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Mobile esports tournament, Jamir All Star to take place this weekend
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GTarcade, the publisher of popular mobile RPG game Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac, are announcing the return of their 2-day invitational online mobile esports event, the Jamir All Star, that will take place between April 10th and 11th in partnership with Huawei.

In this highly competitive tournament, eight of the world’s best Saint Seiya Awakening PvP players from Europe and Americas will go head to head for a prize of $10,000. The turn-based game that takes inspiration from the popular manga series Saint Seiya has proved extremely popular since its release in 2019 with over 30 million downloads worldwide. Last year’s first Jamir Championship Final livestream saw 350,000 viewers across all streaming platforms.

In Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac, players can relive the epic saga of the manga series and play as their favourite characters called Saints. Every character from the series brings unique skills to the table and a player’s strategy is extremely important when deciding the outcome of a battle against another player. The game has found great popularity in Europe and Latin America and there is a strong PvP community of Saint Seiya Awakening players that hone their strategic skills to compete in top tournaments.

The Jamir All Star, themed Road to Master, will bring together the strongest PvP players for a chance to earn the title of the world’s best Saint Seiya Awakening: KotZ player. Seven matches will be livestreamed in 4 languages, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, across Facebook, YouTube and Nimo TV. The lineup also features some unseen encounters between highly popular players from Server E (Europe) and Server A (Americas).

The Jamir All Star will also kick off a larger Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac 2021 esports program. To support existing champions as well as up and coming players, official training camps for esports commentators and players will be available later this year, with more details to be disclosed in fall 2021.

Event schedule:

  • Server E Time (GMT+1): Starts at 18:00 on April 10th & 11th
  • Server A Time (GMT-5): Starts at 12:00 on April 10th & 11th

Supporting this event will be Huawei, who will be sponsoring giveaways during the streaming. Electronic products including smart phones, smart watches and earbuds totaling $20,000 will be given away when the number of concurrent viewers reaches certain milestones. There will also be a number of exciting reveals and announcements for other GTarcade games arriving in 2021.

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Asia

Japan’s Draft Casino Regulations List Nine Games to be Permitted

Niji Narayan

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Japan’s Draft Casino Regulations List Nine Games to be Permitted
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Japan’s Casino Regulatory Commission has listed nine casino games that will be permitted to operate inside the nation’s casinos, with traditional Japanese games such as pachinko, pachislot and mahjong all notable exclusions.

The nine games, contained within the Casino Regulatory Commission’s draft regulations, include 21 variants of games currently banned in Japan but set to be legalised as part of the government’s IR development plans.

The nine games are listed as baccarat (2 types), blackjack (4 types), poker (8 types), Sic Bo, craps, Casino War, money wheel and pai gow, plus electronic games.

Public feedback on the draft regulations will be accepted until May 9. After that, final casino regulations will be decided.

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