IAG DECEMBER 2016 WEB - page 42

In a statement, APL President Judic Kim said, “The Asia Poker
League has always hosted events in compliance with local laws. If
there is amisunderstanding related to the scope of the event with
the local authorities and that thisproblem cannot be solved it’sour
responsibility to take such adecision (to close it down).
“Our priority is toprotect our players and tomake sure that the
AsiaPoker League’s future inMainlandChina remains intact.”
The abandonment of the event comes 18 months after the
APPT Nanjing Millions was shut down by police and organizers
arrested ina clear statement of intent fromChineseauthorities that
unauthorizedgamblingof any sort wouldnot be tolerated.
APL Shanghai had reportedly obtained a license to operate via
thePokerSportsShanghaiClub,howeveranumberofother regional
poker tours have refrained from hosting events on the mainland
due to concerns over the validity of locally issued licenses.
TakChunto focus futureonCotai
One of Macau’s leading junket operators, Tak Chun Group, says
Cotai andTaipawill be its focus in the future as it continues to shift
operations away fromPeninsulaproperties.
Having opened its most recent VIP Club on 24 November
at Studio City – its third VIP Club launch in Cotai over the past
three months following on fromWynn Palace and The Parisian –
the company said it was doing so, “in order to actively renew the
Group’s visibility, market position, and premium services that are
offered in every oneof its outlets to itsVIP customers.”
In September, Tak Chun announced that it was ceasing its
operations at MGM Macau, shifting its 15 tables across to The
Parisian instead.Nevertheless, CEOLevoChanhasdescribed2016
as a “meaningful” year for the Group which now boasts 13 VIP
Clubs inMacau and 15 globally.
“This year has been a meaningful one for Tak Chun Group as
it has made some extraordinary achievements along the year,” he
said. “While themarket has continued to witness re-adjustments,
Tak Chun has kept on progressing at a steady pace and has once
again proven itsmarket position as a recognized leading operator
in the gaming industry.”
Tak Chun’s newest VIP Club at Studio City is located on the
second floor of Star Tower, covering 1,000 square meters and
boasting four roomswithnine tables between them.
Just over amonth after 18CrownResorts employeeswere detained
in mainland China on suspicion of committing gambling crimes,
Chinese authorities have sent another strongmessage by ordering
the Asia Poker League (APL) Shanghai poker tournament to shut
downoperations just a fewhours after it hadbegun.
TheAsiaPoker League (APL)was launchedearlier this yearwith
the promise of running a series of tournaments across mainland
China–amove that immediately raisedeyebrowsgiven theobvious
risks involved. Andafter hostingapreviousevent inBeijing recently
without a hitch, the APL wasn’t so lucky this time around amid
rumors that there was disagreement among local Kunshan City
authorities over exactly how theShanghai event should run.
Macau’s mass market gaming revenue grew by a staggering
11% year-on-year in the three months to September 30 2016, an
indication of just how strong the sector is becoming in Asia’s
Official figures released by the DICJ last month showed the
mass market had grown by 3.9% during 3Q16, up MOP$1 billion
to MOP$26.36 billion. However, Union Gaming analyst Grant
Govertsen says the real figure is considerably higher given recent
table re-classificationswhichhave changedhowGGR is reported.
“What we found was very encouraging and backs up various
management commentary of notable mass market strength and
our view that we’re seeing an inflectionpoint,”Govertsen said.
“Importantly, we find thatmassmarket GGR actually grew 11%
year-on-year in 3Q16, which does include some benefit from new
supply. Thiswas 600bps better than theDICJ data.”
Govertsen said that while mass remained the most promising
sector,premiummasswasstarting toshowencouragingsignsaswell.
“This makes sense in that premiummass customers, for the
same reason as VIP customers, shied away from Macau in the
context of the anti-corruption drive. Two-plus years on, we think
some number of them are feeling more comfortable about their
situation and are returning to themarket,” heobserved.
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