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Galaxy first-half profit surges on new resort, Yogonet

Galaxy first-half profit surges on new resort, Yogonet | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Galaxy Entertainment Group’s first-half profit climbed nine fold after the Macau casino operator drew more Chinese visitors to a gambling resort it set up last year. Net income for the six months ended June rose to us$ 445 million from us$ 48.7 million a year earlier. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, surged to us$ 605.8 million from us$ 232 million for the six months.

 

The company opened the Galaxy Macau resort on the city’s Cotai strip in May last year. It plans to invest us$ 2 billion to almost double the size of that gambling center in the Chinese city to compete with rivals including Sands China, Wynn Macau and Melco Crown Entertainment First-half revenue doubled to us$ 3.64 billion.

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Macau Won't Return to Gangster's Paradise, Gambling911

Macau Won't Return to Gangster's Paradise, Gambling911 | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Three murders, hammer-wielding heavies, and a high-profile police swoop have raised concerns that Macau, the world's casino capital, may be backsliding to the bad old days of the late-1990s.

 

Much has changed in the past 15 years in Macau, a special administrative region on China's southern coast. Then, the seedy gambling enclave was plagued by open gang warfare. Bombs went off in the streets and shoot-outs broke out in broad daylight.

 

In 1999, Macau seceded from Portugal to China and, now, Las Vegas tycoons including Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn have helped transform the territory into a multi-billion dollar goldmine, a magnet for high-rollers and global investors.

 

The murder and mayhem in the late-1990s was sparked by the triads' aggressive manoeuvring to capture more of the lucrative VIP gambling market, which accounts for over 70 percent of total revenues.

 

Gaming revenue last year was $33.5 billion, more than five times that of Las Vegas.

 

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Investigation of leading Republican casino money man, Las Vegas Sun

Investigation of leading Republican casino money man, Las Vegas Sun | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Some of the methods Adelson used in Macau to save his company and help build a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion have come under expanding scrutiny by federal and Nevada investigators, according to people familiar with both inquiries.

 

The company's general counsel and an outside law firm warned that the arrangement could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is unknown whether Adelson was aware of these warnings. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bars American companies from paying foreign officials to "affect or influence any act or decision" for business gain.

 

The internal Las Vegas Sands documents were obtained by reporters working for the University of California's Investigative Reporting Program as part of an ongoing collaboration with ProPublica and PBS Frontline. The documents shed new light on an issue separate from Alves' work: the company's difficulties in avoiding contact with Chinese organized crime figures as it built its casino business in Macau.

 

Gambling is illegal in mainland China, as is the transfer of large sums of money to Macau. The junkets solve those problems, providing billions of dollars in credit to gamblers. When necessary, they collect gambling debts, a critical function since China's courts are not permitted to force losers to pay up. Weidner said junkets are a natural result of China's controls on the movement of money out of the country, channeling as much as $3 billion a month from the mainland to Macau. "To Westerners, the junkets mean money laundering equated with organized crime or drugs," he said. "In China where money is controlled, it's part of doing business."

 

Allegations about the company's dealings with Alves as well as its purported ties to organized crime are prominently mentioned in a 2010 lawsuit filed by Steven Jacobs, former CEO of Sands China.

 

"Maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American political campaign," said McCain, an Arizona Republican.

 

Other sources:

http://www.gambling911.com/gambling-news/rachel-maddow-sheldon-adelson-justice-department-would-make-%E2%80%98macau%E2%80%99-probe-go-away-vide

 

From MSNBC.com:

Discussion about Adelson's motivation for backing the Republican Party usually rotates around two things: his support for Israel's government and his opposition to labor unions. But a new investigation finds that there may be a third motivation: saving himself from a Department of Justice investigation.

 

http://www.yogonet.com/english/2012/07/19/adelson-fires-back-at-china-prostitution-claim

 

Prostitution is legal in Macau. But in the email, Jacobs told top Las Vegas Sands executive Michael Leven that before beginning a planned crackdown on soliciting for sex on the casino floor at Sands Macau properties, he wanted to make sure Adelson agreed. Jacobs said in the email that another executive told him Adelson personally approved allowing prostitution "as it would help our overall gaming revenue."

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Top Macau casino tycoon attacked by criminal gang, Gambling911

Top Macau casino tycoon attacked by criminal gang, Gambling911 | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

A top casino magnate Ng Man-sun was bludgeoned by six men in his own casino in Macau, China, an attack police say is reminiscent of Macau's violent history.

 

The attack harkens back to Macau's violent past during its time as a Portuguese colony. The region's economy is predominately fueled by gambling, and prior to the arrival of Las Vegas developers, the late 1990s were rife with gang warfare.

 

Ng is known to have been in a rather public rivalry with Wan Kuok-koi, one of Macau's biggest gangsters also known as Broken Tooth. Wan told Time magazine in 1998 he planned to "wipe him out," referring to Ng.

 

Other sources:

http://www.gaming-awards.com/NEWS/archives/11033

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Macau’s record growth is slowing down, Michael Robinson Innovate Gaming

Macau’s record growth is slowing down, Michael Robinson Innovate Gaming | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Gaming is still expected to expand in Macau, but analysts believe these first signs of slowing growth rates will see operators face a tougher challenge in the decade ahead. This year’s revenue growth has so far been running at just over half the 2011 rate, before the abrupt slowdown in May.

 

According to recent Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau figures, year-on-year growth rates have steadily declined in 2012. Gross revenues dropped from 34.8 percent in January, 28.3 percent in February, 27 percent in March, 25.7 percent in April to 7.3 percent in May, which represents revenues of us$3.3 billion last month.

 

Other sources:

http://www.yogonet.com/english/2012/06/13/macau-june-revenue-may-grow-15 ;

http://news.investors.com/article/614514/201206120802/china-mixed-numbers-seen-benefiting-vegas-casinos.htm

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Asian land-based casinos are booming, GamingZion

Asian land-based casinos are booming, GamingZion | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Macau’s gambling industry resembles an oligopoly. It is controlled by six operators that were granted 20-year licenses. The gambling bonanza continues and these operators rake in tens of billions of dollars annually. This makes them hardly complain about the 40% tax rate China imposed on gambling revenue in Macau.

 

Singapore is one of the competitors. It taxes the casinos from as little as 12.5 % to still relatively low 22.5%, depending on gambling type (i.e, high roller vs. small bettor). Nevada casinos pay as little as 6.75% on their revenues.

 

Other countries entering the race for casinos include Philippines, Vladivostok in Russia and  maybe North Korea.

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$3m scam at Grand Lisboa using poor shufflers, Gambling Compliance

The Grand Lisboa has been named in a Macau court as the casino that lost more than HK$24m ($3m) in March 2011 in a shuffling machine scam.

 

The flagship property of SJM Holdings, the leader of Macau's gambling market by revenue, was targeted by a gang of mainland Chinese on March 28 last year. The gang's shuffler-swapping scam was first detected in January 2011 at SJM satellite casino Le Royal Arc, the Court of First Instance heard on Wednesday last week. One suspect captured in the Grand Lisboa's surveillance footage was alleged to have swapped a machine at the feet of a distracted dealer.

 

The machines had been fitted with small cameras and infrared transmitters and were swapped with genuine machines on baccarat tables while dealers and other staff were distracted, the court was told. The card shufflers belong to a competitor of Shuffle Master.

 

Other sources:

http://www.blackjackchamp.com/casino-news/15886-asian-casinos-attract-worlds-top-cheaters/

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Galaxy's H1 net profit jumps ninefold, Gambling911

Galaxy's H1 net profit jumps ninefold, Gambling911 | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment, posted a ninefold increase in first-half net profit, beating expectations as its new casino cashed in on a steady flow of Chinese visitors keen to try their luck in the world's largest gambling destination.

 

The $12 billion company controlled by Hong Kong property tycoon Lui Che Woo and 13 percent owned by European private equity firm Permira, reported net profit of HK$3.5 billion ($445 million) for the first six months of the year, up from HK$378.3 million in the same period a year ago.

It was the first full 12 months of earnings for the company's new casino which opened in April last year.

 

Galaxy's shares have risen almost 53 percent in the year to date, outperforming the benchmark Hang Seng Index which has climbed 7 percent in the same period.

 

Other sources:

http://www.g3newswire.com/china-galaxy-entertainment-doubles-first-half-revenue/

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Wynn revenues falls - profits surge, Las Vegas Sun

The Las Vegas-based company earned $138.1 million, or $1.37 per share, compared with $122 million, or 97 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell to $1.25 billion from $1.37 billion a year ago.

 

Wynn Resorts Ltd. said Tuesday its revenue fell 7 percent in Macau and nearly 12 percent in Las Vegas, showing that more people are shying away from spending extra money in a still-shaky economy.

 

Other sources:

http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2012/jul/18/wynn-results-suggest-high-end-business-steady-stri/

http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/49582

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Casino owner Adelson supsected to support loan sharks and prostitution, iGaming Post

Casino owner Adelson supsected to support loan sharks and prostitution, iGaming Post | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

The former chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Macau casinos alleges in court documents revealed Thursday that billionaire Sheldon Adelson personally approved of prostitution and knew of other improper activity at his company’s properties in Macau.

 

Jacobs was fired in July 2010 from his role overseeing the Macau properties. He sued the companies and Adelson three months later. In the lawsuit, he accuses the company and Adelson of breach of contract and of pushing him into illegal activity in Macau.

 

In documents revealed Thursday — including a sworn seven-page declaration that Jacobs submitted along with a summary from his attorneys of problems obtaining documents from Sands — Jacobs describes an effort he launched after arriving in Macau in May 2009 to rid the casino floor of “loan sharks and prostitution.”

 

Sheldon Adelson is besides being one of the richest casino owners most known for being against online gambling and trade unions, which he believes could hurt his casinos. Sheldon supports Romneys campaign in the presidential election.

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$1 billion casino heats up Philippine gambling race, iGaming Post

$1 billion casino heats up Philippine gambling race, iGaming Post | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Bloomberry Resorts Corp, says it is on track to open its $1 billion integrated resort and casino in Manila Bay by the first quarter of 2013. Bloomberry’s Solaire Manila will be the first of four resorts to open in Entertainment City, which is being developed on reclaimed land in Manila Bay. The other three integrated resort and casino projects are being undertaken by billionaire Henry Sy’s SM Group, Travellers International Hotel Group, as well as Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada’s Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc.

 

Entertainment City will be the country’s version of Macau, which is the world’s largest gambling center.

 

Other sources:

http://www.innovategaming.com/melco-to-enter-manila-casino-market

 

Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment is set to enter the prosperous Philippines market by partnering with local property developer Belle Corp., controlled by the country’s richest man Henry Sy. The deal will see the company develop a $1 billion casino resort at Manila Bay.

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Wynn Invests $4 Billion in Macau Despite Cool Economic Climate, GamingZion

Wynn Invests $4 Billion in Macau Despite Cool Economic Climate, GamingZion | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Macau casinos, operating in full compliance with Chinese gambling laws, have long overtook Las Vegas in terms of revenues and growth rate, but currently enjoy a cool off period.

 

This didn’t stop Steve Wynn, the owner of US gambling giant Wynn Resorts, from investing another $4 billion into its latest casino resort in Macau. Wynn told China gambling news that he is confident in the region’s growth potential and sees the new property returning on the investment despite current cool economic climate.

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Macau growth at 3 year-low, iGamingPost

Macau growth at 3 year-low, iGamingPost | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Macau Casino operations reported 7.3 percent growth in its May gambling revenue on Friday, the slowest expansion rate for over 3 years, indeed since July 2009.

 

Total revenues of 26.08 billion patacas ($3.3 billion) recorded for May is the second highest for a single month, but way off from the 70-90 percent monthly growth rates it was seeing in 2010 and even the 22 percent growth in April of this year.

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Macau Government Insists Gaming Revenue To Fall In 2012, Martin John Williams, GamblingCompliance

Macau Government Insists Gaming Revenue To Fall In 2012, Martin John Williams, GamblingCompliance | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Macau's economy and finance secretary has maintained his prediction that the Chinese territory's gross gaming revenue will fall 10 percent in 2012, a position at odds with analysts and even the gaming regulator.

 

Francis Tam said on Sunday that 2012 revenue is budgeted to fall well below the year-to-date average of 24.8bn patacas ($3.1bn) per month and that the government's forecast is unchanged.

 

"Because of fluctuations in the global economic environment that have affected the economic circumstances and capital flows in Macau and neighbouring areas, the [Macau government's] estimate for gaming revenue this year has undergone an appropriate adjustment in the 2012 budget," Tam said.

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