IAG NOVEMBER 2015 - page 4

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Chief ExecutiveOfficer
Founder andAdviser
Chief OperatingOfficer
Editor at Large
MuhammadCohen, PaulDoocey,KareemJalal,
INelsonRose, AndrewWScott
Rui Gomes
Ike, GaryWong, JamesLeong,WongKei Cheong
Endof anera–and the start of anewone
t is with a desire to honor the past but also a sense of anticipation and excitement for the future
that I put pen topaper (well, fingers tokeyboard) towrite this,myfirst everEditorial for
. Over the last ten years this page has been reserved for the IAG Editor of the day to wax
lyrical, analyzing a particularly relevant aspect of the Asian gaming industry. But just this once I
hope you’ll forgive a little introspection about this verymagazine youhold in your hands.
World Gaming Group acquired Must Read Publications Ltd, the company that publishes IAG,
effective fromMay 1st this year, from its founder Kareem Jalal. As CEO of World Gaming Group and
our ownMacau-based gaming magazine WGM (formerly
World Gaming
magazine), I’ve long admired
what Kareem has donewith IAG since he founded themagazineway back in 2005, four years beforewe
established WGM. Asian gaming was a very different industry back then. Macau consisted of the old
Lisboa property and a few SJM satellite casinos alongwithWaldo casino and SandsMacao, respectively
the only properties open for Galaxy Entertainment Group and the company which would eventually
become Sands China. Wynn, MGM andMelco Crown didn’t even have open properties. Grand Lisboa
was still a couple of years away. Casinos in the Philippines were essentially PAGCOR operated affairs,
withResortsWorldManila still four yearsaway.Nagaworld inPhnomPenhdidn’t evenhavehotel rooms!
Since those early days of the “new” Asian gaming industry, IAG has been a constant presence,
documenting every twist and turn. IAGwentmonthly in January 2007 andhasn’tmissed an issue since.
IAG is now approaching its 120th edition.
Over those nearly 120 editions IAG has built up an impressive list of advertising clients. IAG has
become the magazine of record for the Asian gaming industry and like many premier B2B industry
magazines, a company needs to advertise in it or be written about in its pages to be considered an
important player in the industry. This premier industry leadership is all down to Kareem’s hard work
driving IAGover the last decade.
Sowhat changeswillWGGmake to IAG?Theanswer isalmost none.Whywouldwe changeawinning
formula? That would be a bit likemarrying someone and then trying to change them –why did youmarry
them in the first place?Whatever changeswemightmakewill bewill be veryminor and for the better. As
part of the terms of the acquisition, Kareemwill remain on the IAG seniormanagement team for years to
come andnow sports the rather dashing title of “Founder andAdviser”.We are verymindful that IAGhas
beenKareem’sbaby for the last decade, soany small changeswemight considerwill only be implemented
withhisblessing. Its importantwehonor themagazineKareemhascreatedandnot stray toomuch fromhis
vision. Kareemwill alsobemaintaining contactwith IAG’s clientsandother industry contacts.
What wewill be able to offer to IAG are the resources of thewiderWorldGamingGroup.WGG has
three arms:media (includingWGM andWGMDaily), consulting (under ourWorldGamingConsultants
brand) and operations (essentially third party revenue share arrangements under our World Players
Entertainment brand). Bringing IAG in to thiswider groupmeansmore staff andmore resourceswill be
at IAG’s disposal, which gives us the chance to bring you evenmore of the great industry stories you’ve
come to know and love.
Over the years IAGhas had anumber ofManagingEditors, all of whomhave contributed in their own
ways tomaking IAGwhat it is today. In particular I would like to acknowledge bothMichael Grimes and
JamesRutherford, bothofwhomhadextendedperiodsasEditorof IAG, andof courseKareemhimselfwho
hasacted in the roleonmanyoccasions, including rightup to lastmonth. It’s time forKareem to takeavery
well earned rest thoughand I’mactingasa temporaryeditor –but only for a feweditionsafterwhichwewill
bepassing thebaton toanewManagingEditor (whobothKareemand Iwill approveandguide).
Kareem’s a very likeable and popular fellow, and has become good friends withmany IAG clients.
He’s been a pleasure to deal with during the acquisition process. So while this is not exactly goodbye,
sincewe’ll beworking closely together on IAG for years to come, it is a very big thank youKareem for the
contribution youhavemade to theAsiangaming industry in the last decade.
While it is the endof an era inoneway, it is thebeginningof anewone inothers. This year has seen
theopeningofGalaxyphase II and late lastmonthStudioCity–which is thesubjectof our cover story this
month. The next two to three years will see the openings of Wynn Palace, Parisian, MGMCotai, Lisboa
Palace and themuch anticipated Louis XIII. Of course all this is in thewake of 17 consecutivemonths of
year-on-yearGGR contraction. As they say, “May you live in interesting times.”
Just as Kareem navigated IAG as the Asian gaming industry’s magazine of record through the
“interesting times”of the last decade,weatWGG intend todo thesame through thenext decadeat least,
andnodoubt those timeswill be just as interesting!
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