SiGMA Group has announced that, due to the COVID-19 global crisis, both the SiGMA Manila and AIBC Manila expos, planned for June 8-9 2020, will now be rescheduled to May 27-28, 2021.
In line with SiGMA Group’s commitment to facilitating new business opportunities for key players in the global iGaming and emerging tech sectors, and together with Clarion Gaming’s ICE Asia, SiGMA Manila will also carry out an online conference in 2020. ICE-SiGMA Asia DIGITAL will take place on June 8-10.
The three day conference will cater for both gaming and tech audiences, with free-of-charge content geared towards bringing the industry together in what has been a difficult time for businesses. Delegates who register for the online conference will also get a free standard ticket for Manila 2021.
Founder and CEO of SiGMA Group, Eman Pulis said, “In line with SiGMA Group’s commitment to facilitating new business opportunities for key players in the global iGaming and emerging tech sectors, the digital conference will embrace the difficulties we are facing at a time when working together has never been more important. COVID-19 has provided a unique opportunity to rethink how we live and work.”
The interactive experience will feature a series of panel discussions and keynotes from leading industry contributors, bringing top speakers together for discussions that will engage the community and shape the future as we adapt to a fast-changing global environment.
After careful consideration, and due to growing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19), SiGMA Group has decided to reschedule their flagship Asia events SiGMA Manila and AIBC Manila to May 27-28, 2021. The company said that while they remain committed to SiGMA Manila, the health and safety of their exhibitors, attendees, partners, and employees is of paramount importance, making this the only responsible course of action.
Clarion Gaming, Managing Director, Kate Chambers said, “My team and I continue to empathise with our Global Gaming community as well as industries and supply chains around the world that are being affected by COVID-19. We understand the deep impact the virus continues to have with our friends and colleagues across the Asia region and Globally, and our best wishes go out to them.
“These are unprecedented times, and we would like to keep our communication channels open and understand the challenges unfolding across the Asia Gaming community.”
Founder and CEO, Eman Pulis said, “The situation with COVID-19 is still unpredictable but one thing is certain – we remain fully committed to the Asia front with SiGMA Manila. I moved with my family from Europe to Asia last year to make this work and leave no stone unturned. There’s just so many events being pushed to the second half of 2020, that, in everyone’s best interest we feel pushing the show to May 2021 gives us enough time to regroup and launch with a dynamite inaugural show.”
Together with Clarion Gaming’s ICE Asia, the Manila super show was set to take place on June 8-9 this year. SiGMA Group said that rescheduling the 10,000 attendee event is the only responsible course of action which will enable the successful events company to provide the experience that their customers, partners, and employees expect and deserve in a safe environment.
Commenting on the situation, Yabo Serena, the Head of Marketing for Yabo Group said, “We love what SiGMA has been doing in Europe and Asia and look forward to the inaugural show next year in Manila.”
Given the extra eleven months to prepare, SiGMA has also decided to increase the amount of floor space available. “We believe the appetite for iGaming business in Asia will grow even stronger. In other words, expect an even bigger show in 2021, pandemic permitting!” continued Eman Pulis.
A company spokesperson added, “We would like to thank everyone for their continued support. We will be working with our suppliers and partners to finalise further details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks.”
PAGCOR Licensees Give PHP60-M for New VMMC Wing
The Veterans Memorial Medical Center will soon have more patient rooms with the start of construction for the Magiting Veterans Wing on Friday, September 22, through a Php60 million grant from two licensees of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
The Magiting Veterans Wing is a project initiated by the Philippine Military Academy Magiting Class of 1970 with funding support from Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc. (BCFI) and Newport World Resorts Foundation, Inc. (NWRFI), among others.
The two foundations, representing Solaire Resort and Newport World Resorts, respectively, each released Php30 million with PAGCOR’s approval.
The project will be carried out in two phases. The first will be sponsored by BCFI and covers civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, masonry works and roof deck waterproofing while the second phase will be funded by NWRFI and consists of works, fixtures and devices.
The Magiting Wing will have a total floor area of 1379.84 square meters and will house 12 new private rooms inclusive of four suites, a nurse station, lounge area, hallway, storage, access ramp and connecting bridge to the main hospital building.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said the agency approved the grant from the casino foundations because of the project’s noble objective.
“PAGCOR recognizes the patriotism and sacrifice of Filipino veterans who dedicated their youth, vigor, strength and even lives for our country. By supporting this noble project, we show our gratitude to our modern-day heroes and their families,” he said.
Tengco said all integrated resort casino licensees in the country are required to put up a foundation to fund Corporate Social Responsibility programs on education infrastructure, health facilities, environmental preservation and cultural heritage restoration.
Two percent of the licensees’ gross gaming revenues from non-junket tables automatically go to such foundations.
Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro, who graced the ceremonial concrete pouring for the project, expressed gratitude to the project supporters.
“As donee, we will provide the necessary maintenance and other operating expenditures to see to it that your donations will not go to waste,” he said.
Teodoro said other plans to improve the welfare of Filipino veterans include decentralising the VMMC’s services and the upskilling of hospital personnel so that doctors and specialists can focus more on caring for patients.
“No soldier ever retires. They are always a part of the system. They provide guidance and support to our active personnel hence their job as a soldier is never done,” he said.
Aside from BCFI and NWRFI, other major sponsors of the Magiting Veterans Wing project are DMCI, San Miguel Corporation and some retired military personnel.
Melco Ready for 20% Investment Pledge Increase: CEO
The gaming operators and the Macau government share the same goals, despite delays in diversification plan discussions, the chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Lawrence Ho, indicated. The company is also ready to tackle a 20% investment pledge increase once GGR levels top $22.45 billion, says the executive.
Under their new 10-year concessions, which commenced on January 1, the gaming companies have already pledged to spend in aggregate MOP108.7 billion ($13.5 billion) on non-gaming and exploring overseas tourist markets. The figure comprises more than 91% of their total pledged investment under the 10-year licenses.
Macau’s Chief Executive revealed in April that the six gaming operators had submitted proposals for boosting the local economy in mid-March, and that the Government wanted to adjust its policy according to the gaming operators’ proposals, with lively negotiations ongoing between the government and the local government.
“We have a lot of dialogue with the government, with a lot of different agencies. I think everyone shares the same goal of diversifying the market and bringing more international visitors, and more demographics. We are supportive and will continue to talk to the government, to make sure we are on the same page,” Ho said.
As much as MOP11.8 billion ($1.5 billion) was pledged by Melco late last year for it to secure another 10-year concession term from 2023 to 2032. About MOP10 billion ($1.2 billion) of it, or around 85%, was to be allocated to non-gaming initiatives.
Ho also underlined that despite any disagreement there have been no talks to increase the pledged investment amount as of now.
Still, Ho was adamant that even if there is a need for a 20% increase in the investment pledge, Melco would be able to absorb that increase.
Kazakhstan President Directs Govt Agencies to Limit Gambling for Certain Individuals
Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on September 4 addressed the increasing issue of gambling in the country. As it has caused tragedy for some families, particularly young people at a higher risk, President Tokayev has instructed state authorities to establish restrictions on gambling for certain citizens.
He stressed the importance of educational and explanatory measures in the fight against fraud and drew attention to the rise in crime associated with gambling addiction. To ensure law and order, both preventive and other measures have been mandated by Tokayev.
The President emphasised the significance of the public, the clergy and the media in shaping attitudes that deter the growth of gambling addiction in the country. Additionally, the leader of the Republic of Kazakhstan highlighted the necessity of increasing efforts to prevent financial and other misconduct in the gambling industry.
“It’s crucial to monitor all financial transactions in this field,” he stated.
Kazakhstan permits gambling but with strict government regulation. Only a limited number of casinos and other gambling establishments are allowed to operate in designated zones, which the government closely monitors to ensure compliance with all regulations and prevent illegal activities. In recent years, the government has introduced stricter rules and penalties for violations, including establishing a new regulatory body – the Committee for Regulation and Control of Gambling and Lotteries. However, despite these efforts, there are concerns about the negative impact of gambling on society and the economy. Critics argue that it can lead to addiction, financial hardship for individuals and families, and contribute to organised crime and money laundering.
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