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Neighbours lining up to be the next Macau PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 June 2008

by Nigel Huxtable

Encouraged by the rapid gaming growth in Macau, neighbouring countries are lining up to try and cash in on the Asian appetite for wagering while experts predict casinos already operating in the region are likely to be hit by the new developments.
Yesterday at the G2E Asia gaming conference presentations were given on no less than seven countries that were either considering legalising casino gaming or offering more licenses and today will see five more discussed.
However with the majority of Asian countries still outlawing casino gambling, it could be a case of over-excited developers with high hopes, said one gaming executive.
With two casino resorts already under construction in Singapore, the country is set to be the next new gaming jurisdiction in the region by the end of next year.
Completed legislation in to allow the granting of gaming licenses positions the Philippines as likely to be next in line.
Recently it announced four projects that are under consideration for a development in Manila Bay.
The Japanese government is considering a law that will allow the registration of casinos, however the community is still against the development, said Mihara Toru, director of the Japan's Institute of Amusement Industry Studies.
“I think the people don't understand what a casino is,” he said. Mr Toru advocates a model similar to the Singapore resorts that would drive tourism.
Taiwan, South Korea, Guam and India were also discussed at the gaming conference yesterday.
Casinos operating in Australia are likely to be adversely affected by the continued growth in Macau and new jurisdictions, said Joseph Pisano executive director of Elixir Gaming Technologies, Inc.
Australian casinos rely on VIPs from Asia who may be lured by casinos closer to home, he said.
The Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth for example caters to high-rollers from Singapore and Indonesia.
“With Singapore opening [casinos], some of those players may not travel,” said Mr Pisano.
The growth is also likely to put a strain on the resources in Australia with much of the talent in the region expected to come from the country.
“In the past few years [there has been] huge growth in Australian management here in Macau,” he said.
“A lot of these resources will [continue] to be brought into Asia.”

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