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MGM China Reports 2020 First Quarter Financial Data

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MGM China Holdings Limited  announced the selected unaudited financial data of the Company and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) for the three months ended March 31, 2020.

  • In the first quarter, MGM China recorded total revenue of HK$2.1 billion. The Group saw an adjusted negative EBITDA of HK$0.1 billion. Overall occupancy rate was 36%.
  • The first-quarter results were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we continue to be impacted today. China has implemented temporary suspension of tour groups and Individual Visit Scheme in late January, followed by a 15-day shutdown of all casinos (February 5 -19) by the Macau Government.
  • The Macau market continues to experience low visitation levels primarily driven by various travel restrictions and quarantine measures in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) in first quarter declined by 60% year-on-year, that February GGR was down by 88% year-on-year and March down by 80% year-on-year.
  • For the Period, MGM MACAU recorded revenue of HK$1.1 billion and EBITDA of HK$34.1 million. MGM COTAI recorded revenue of HK$1.0 billion and negative EBITDA of HK$156.8 million.
  • MGM MACAU and MGM COTAI were reopened on February 20 with social distancing and other safety protocols in place.

Grant Bowie, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MGM China said: “The decisive actions and leadership of the Macau Government has contained the COVID-19 & shielded Macau from the worst effects. We at MGM China have been working with the Government as we focus on the health and safety of our team members, guests and all Macau citizens.

“While we focus to contain our costs, we are building scenario and maintaining relationship with our customers. We are preparing for recovery and extremely positive about the prospects of Macau gaming and hospitality market in a longer term.”

About MGM China Holdings Limited

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MGM China Holdings Limited (HKEx: 2282) is a leading developer, owner and operator of gaming and lodging resorts in the Greater China region. We are the holding company of MGM Grand Paradise, SA which holds one of the six gaming concessions/sub-concessions to run casino games in Macau. MGM Grand Paradise, SA owns and operates MGM MACAU, the award-winning premium integrated resort located on the Macau Peninsula and MGM COTAI, a contemporary luxury integrated resort in Cotai, which opened in early 2018 and more than doubles our presence in Macau.

MGM China is majority owned by MGM Resorts International one of the world’s leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company’s website at www.mgmresorts.com.

SOURCE MGM China

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INTEGRATED RESORTS FUEL ECONOMY, LOCAL TOURISM – PAGCOR

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The country’s integrated resorts and casinos remain as one of the main growth drivers of local tourism, in the process creating a multiplier effect across various industries, according to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

This was emphasized by Ma. Vina Claudette Oca, PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Gaming Licensing and Development Department, during a panel discussion at the 1st Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit held over the weekend.

Oca, one of the panelists on the topic, “Navigating Challenges and Opportunities for Casino Hotels in the Philippines”, said casinos are just a small component of the many attractions offered by integrated resorts in the country.

She said that this is because PAGCOR mandates all integrated resorts to offer more non-gaming attractions and resort facilities, including dining and shopping destinations.

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“In fact, they are only allowed to allocate 7.5% of their facility’s total floor area to gaming,” she said. “The rest of the floor area is allocated for non-gaming facilities such as hotel rooms, retail areas, dining and other attractions.”

Ms. Oca added that currently, integrated casinos employ over 20,000 Filipinos, helping provide livelihood opportunities to locals.

Meanwhile, close to 80% of PAGCOR’s revenues from regulated gaming are remitted to the government to fund significant socio-civic projects, she said.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco also graced the 1st Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit as keynote speaker. The event was held at the New World Makati Hotel last June 21.

The event was co-presented by the Department of Tourism’s attached agency, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority along with PAGCOR and the Tourism Promotions Board as government agency sponsors.

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The post INTEGRATED RESORTS FUEL ECONOMY, LOCAL TOURISM – PAGCOR appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Fintechs in Kazakhstan Raises Concerns Over Proposed Gambling Regulation

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Fintech companies in Kazakhstan are urging greater scrutiny of a proposed law intended to regulate betting transactions in the country.

The submitted legislation, currently in its final reading, would form a monopoly entity, the Unified Accounting System (UAS), the firms said in a joint press release. The UAS would be used to determine market participants, process payments, maintain a single “electronic wallet” and make settlements with clients. A critical concern is that it could charge up to 1.5% in commissions on all market transactions, within a market where regulated transactions exceed KZT1.2tn ($2.6bn) annually.

Irina Davidenko, a spokesperson for Kazakhstan’s payments industry, commented: “The proposed legislation would be a step backwards for Kazakhstan, harming competition in the country’s vital payments sector and signaling to the outside world that necessary business reform is being driven by shadowy interests, rather than what’s right for industries and consumers.”

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The proposal, partly billed as a public health move against problem gambling, resembles a previous initiative, the Betting Accounting Centre (BAC). It was shelved in 2021 after a scandal involving a deputy minister who was dismissed for accepting bribes from BAC lobbyists, according to the press release.

The lack of transparency on the UAS structure and ownership as outlined in the legislation is another aspect of the change that is seen by critics as troubling.

The reintroduction of a UAS model occurred as late as the second reading of the legislation. If passed by parliament, it will become law without the comprehensive impact analysis and scrutiny typical for such significant regulatory change.

Observers argue the new regulation duplicates existing regulatory functions already managed by Kazakh state bodies and was proposed without the cooperation of the National Bank of Kazakhstan. The central bank has previously developed its own reform proposal that avoids introducing a monopolistic entity.

Opponents further contend that the regulation could cause “significant economic damage”. National Bank of Kazakhstan representatives and the payments industry have sounded alarm bells, but the issues have not been adequately addressed, the press release added.

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The concerned fintech and payment companies want the legislation to be reconsidered. They are advocating for it to be sent back to the lower house of the legislature for a full regulatory impact analysis and thorough examination to ensure that it does not adversely affect industry or the economy.

Ilya Efimenko, commercial director of the payment organisation PayDala, said: “I appeal to the Senators, who need to know the true purpose of why the UAS has made a comeback in the bill.

“This is a re-emergence of the ‘Betting Accounting Center’ (BAC), a strikingly similar entity that was withdrawn before, and behind which, as the deputy from the Amanat party Elnur Beisenbayev said, are the powerful forces of ‘Old Kazakhstan.’

“Before our eyes, a monopolist, a private operator, is being created. The emergence of monopolies such as the UAS threatens the principles of a Fair Kazakhstan. Now everything is being done to break the financial system of Kazakhstan, recognized by experts as one of the best in Central Asia.”

The post Fintechs in Kazakhstan Raises Concerns Over Proposed Gambling Regulation appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Chinese Embassy Urges Philippines to Ban POGOs

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The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines has urged the Philippine government to ban its offshore gaming industry, claiming that the “vast majority” of Chinese citizens involved in their operations are victims.

In an official statement attributed to a spokesperson, the embassy also denied any involvement in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry after uniforms of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force were discovered during a raid on a POGO compound in Pampanga earlier this month.

“We appeal to the Philippines to ban POGO at an early date so as to root out this social ill. And we firmly oppose any baseless accusation and smearing against China in connection with POGO,” the statement said.

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The statement went on to say, “Chinese law prohibits all forms of gambling. The Chinese government strictly cracks down on Chinese citizens engaging in gambling business abroad including POGO. Ample evidence shows that POGO breeds serious crimes such as kidnapping for ransom, human trafficking and murder. POGO is detrimental to both Philippine and Chinese interests and images as well as China-Philippines relations.

“In recent years, the Chinese and Philippine law enforcement agencies have maintained close communication and cooperation and conducted multiple joint operations to bring down cross-border gambling and telecom fraud. Since 2018, nearly 3000 Chinese citizens implicated in the cases have been repatriated with joint efforts of both sides. In the past year alone, China has assisted the Philippines in shutting down five POGO hubs and repatriated nearly 1000 Chinese citizens.

“The vast majority of the Chinese citizens involved in these cases are victims of the Philippine offshore gambling industry. The Chinese government is committed to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”

The post Chinese Embassy Urges Philippines to Ban POGOs appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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