In order to rank the 50 most powerful people in Asian gaming, the panel considered almost 100 candidates in 2020. These five are the people knocking on the door of the Power 50 and those we currently consider the most likely new entrants next year. Although we did rank these five people 51 through 55, we’ve listed them below in alphabetical order. You’ll just have to guess who came in at number 51!
CHAIRMAN AND CEO
AS HEAD OF THE PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION, Andrea Domingo finds herself in the unusual position of being both regulator and operator. That brings challenges in its own right, let alone having to deal with COVID-19 which has wreaked havoc on the Philippines gaming industry.
But 2020 aside, Domingo has overseen a period of strong growth across the board, with casino GGR reaching US$4.92 billion in 2019 – up from US$3.3 billion just three years earlier. She has also fought hard to implement greater controls over online gaming, including formation of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) scheme.
CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
SRI LANKA’S RICHEST MAN owns three of the nation’s five casino licenses, operating Bally’s Colombo, Bellagio Colombo, and MGM Colombo, but his plans to build a US$200 million integrated resort in Queensbury was knocked on the head by the government in 2017. That shouldn’t faze him too much for the time being, with Perera continuing to benefit from tight controls of casino gaming in neighboring India.
AN OLD PAL WHO backed Stanley Ho’s first foray into VIP rooms, Albert Yeung was rewarded with a satellite casino operated under Ho’s concession, and he has made the most of it. Yeung’s Grand Emperor Hotel has long enjoyed a superb location on the Macau peninsula, around the corner from Ho’s flagship Lisboa complex. But like many peninsula properties, the challenge in recent years has been competing with the mega IRs that have sprung up across the water in Cotai.
Executive Director and Chairman
SONNY YEUNG is nothing if not unique. Ponte 16, the casino resort he opened in 2008, is the only operation of its type in Macau’s Inner Harbour – boasting recreation facilities, restaurants, cafes, bars and a high-end spa on a waterfront 2.3-hectare site. Yeung’s Success Universe, of which he holds a 72% stake, owns 49% of Ponte 16 and until COVID hit had been continuing to perform admirably: 2019 profit grew 36.1% compared with 2018 numbers.
PRESIDENT AND CEO
Grand Korea Leisure
YOO TAE-YEOL TOOK OVER Grand Korea Leisure in June 2018 but fixing the state-controlled, foreigner-only operator’s falling casino revenues appears no simple task. GKL operates two casinos in Seoul and one in Busan under its Seven Luck brand, yet continues to fall behind its main competitor in the market, Paradise Group, which has the advantage of a sparkling new integrated resort in Incheon. COVID-19 hasn’t helped, with GKL booking a US$20 million second quarter loss on casino closures and low business volumes.
For the full list of 2020 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.