Inside Asian Gaming

INSIDE ASIAN GAMING | Dec 2007 42 Briefs Regional Briefs LVS Launches New HK-Macau Ferry Service Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) announced on November 30 that it had initiated a high-speed ferry service between Hong Kong’s Macau Ferry Terminal at Shun Tak Centre and Macau’s newly opened Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal on Macao’s Taipa Island. The launch of the new CotaiJet service gives a vital boost to the transportation capacity between Hong Kong and Macau. “As Hong Kong, Macau, and the wider Pearl River Delta enjoy increasing levels of visitation from throughout Asia and around the world, investments in transportation infrastructure will be vital to the continuing development of the region as a leading leisure and convention destination,” said Mr. WilliamWeidner, president of LVS. “This new service will offer visitors to the region, and residents of Hong Kong, Macau and southern China, important additional trans- portation options on the increasingly utilized Hong Kong-Macau route. In addition, visitors to Macao will have the opportunity to ar- rive directly on Taipa Island in close proximity to The Venetian Ma- cao and the Cotai Strip.” The Grand Canal Shoppes vessel is one of three 47.5 meter hi- tech passenger catamarans providing LVS’ CotaiJet service. The Co- taiJet service features 20 sailings per day, 10 each from Hong Kong and Macao, with service beginning at 7 a.m. each day. An additional seven boats, bringing the fleet of CotaiJets to 10, are expected to be placed into service throughout 2008. PacificNet to Present at China Conference PacificNet, a leading provider of gaming and lottery technology, e-commerce, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) sys- tems in China, announced on November 29 that its Chairman and CEO, Mr. Tony Tong, along with the senior officials of its subsidiary companies, including Take1 Technologies (Take1), PacificNet Games (PactGames) and Guangdong Poly, will present at the 4th Annual International Conference on Gaming Industry and Public Welfare in Shanghai and Macau, to be held on December 1-3, 2007. PacificNet’s latest gaming products such as video lottery terminals (VLTs),mobile gaming devices,bingo and keno gamingmachines will also be show- cased at the 2nd Annual Gaming Technology & Machine Expo, which accompanies the conference. The International Conference on Gaming Industry and Public Welfare and the Gaming Technology & Machine Expo are jointly or- ganized by the China Center for Lottery Studies (CCLS) at Peking Uni- versity,Macao Polytechnic Institute, and Macau’s Institute for Tourism Studies and Tourism and Casino Career Center. “We are honored to be invited to present our products and ser- vices to China’s lottery gaming industry, leading gaming research authorities and government regulators including the Ministry of Fi- nance of the Welfare and Sports Lottery Center,” said Mr. Tong.“This is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our latest gaming and lottery products and technology, as well as our successes in other legal gaming jurisdictions.We are delighted to share PacificNet’s suc- cessful experience with China’s leading gaming and lottery experts, researchers, and government policy makers on gaming technologies for social welfare and the promotion of legal gaming.” PacificNet’s recent investment in Guangdong Poly, a leading le- gal welfare lottery operator in China, is expected to enable PacificNet to participate in China’s rapidly growing state-sponsored legalized gaming and electronic lottery operations. Guangdong Poly is a lead- ing operator approved by China’s Welfare Lottery Center to develop and operate real-time electronic paperless lottery services in China, in accordance with the rules and regulations set by China’s Welfare Lottery Center. China’s lottery market surpassed US$10 billion in 2006 and is expected to continue growing according to the Chinese Ministry of Finance, which oversees all of China’s lottery sales. Of the US$10 billion spent on lotteries in China, over US$6 billion was gen- erated via the China Welfare Lottery (CWL) system, representing a 20% increase over 2005. PBL Demerger Clears Final Hurdle Australia’s Publishing and Broadcasting (PBL) said it has cleared the final hurdle to a demerger of its gaming and media assets, after having won approval from Australia’s Federal Court in November, ac- cording to an AFP report. Under the scheme, PBL’s gaming assets will be held by Crown, with the media assets held by Consolidated Media Holdings (CMH), both of which will be separately listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Shareholders in PBL, the company of the late Kerry Packer, over- whelmingly approved the plan. Crown Casino, Melbourne