Aside from the 50 people that made our final list and the many others we considered, a handful stood out as particularly worthy of mention. These are the people whose star is on the rise, are in a company worth keeping an eye on or in some cases, like Kazuo Okada and James Packer, have very much remained in the news in recent months.
THE VETERAN GAMING INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE was shifted to Studio City almost three years ago after a successful stint as City of Dreams Manila Property President and COO. Now he’s about to return to Manila in a direct swap with Kevin Benning. Given he knows the role well, it shouldn’t take too long to slot right back in.
Grand Lisboa Palace
APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF SJM’S Grand Lisboa Palace in September 2018, Baker was previously Deputy COO at Genting Malaysia Berhad, EVP – Resort Operations at Wynn Macau and Vice President and Assistant General Manager across multiple Las Vegas properties for Caesars Entertainment.
OFFICIALLY AT LEAST, Grant Bowie’s 20 years of working in Macau’s gaming industry came to an end in August when he stepped down as MGM China’s CEO and Executive Director to slip into a well-deserved retirement. But the man who opened Wynn Macau in 2006 and MGM Cotai in 2018 remains in an advisory role for MGM in the short term, and who knows where he might pop up in the future?
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER – JAPAN DEVELOPMENT
Galaxy Entertainment Group
A HIGHLY RATED FORMER MELCO EXECUTIVE, Ted Chan now leads Galaxy Entertainment Group’s efforts to win a Japan IR license. Those efforts appear to have been substantially enhanced by COVID-19 which has not only thinned the field but highlighted Galaxy’s superior balance sheet.
EXECUTIVE VP AND CFO
Las Vegas Sands
THE SON-IN-LAW OF Sheldon Adelson, Patrick Dumont oversees the company’s key financials including maintaining the sort of healthy balance sheet needed for its current multi-billion dollar expansion plans in Macau and Singapore. Forms the third leg of the triumvirate making key decisions at Las Vegas Sands.
PRESIDENT, CHIEF STRATEGIC AND FINANCIAL OFFICER
MGM China Holdings Ltd
A LONG-TIME MGM CHINA EMPLOYEE, having filled various finance and strategy roles since 2001, Feng was appointed joint President this year following the departure of CEO Grant Bowie. His responsibilities include overseeing the Finance, Human Resources, Brand Marketing, Internal Audit and the Design, Development and Property Operations divisions.
ASSISTANT CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Sociedade de Jogos de Macau SA
THE SON OF STANLEY HO AND ANGELA LEONG is Assistant COO for SJM and a director of Macau Theme Park Resort Ltd, which is soon to open the new US$1.5 billion Lisboeta, a non-gaming resort – for now at least – located alongside SJM’s Grand Lisboa Palace in Cotai.
PRESIDENT, RESORTS WORLD AT SEA
Genting Hong Kong
A VETERAN OF THE INDUSTRY AND PARTICULARLY GENTING, Johansen has filled multiple roles over the years directing premium sales and marketing initiatives as well as being appointed Executive Vice President Casino Operations in 2014.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment
MOHEGAN’S CEO has been actively driving the company’s global expansion efforts since taking over as CEO in September 2017, growing the international INSPIRE brand of IRs via the company’s Inspire Korea development and a recently successful bid to develop Inspire Athens in Greece. Japan remains a long-term goal.
HUMAN RESOURCES AND ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR
Galaxy Entertainment Group
GALAXY’S HUMAN RESOURCES AND ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR, Eileen Lui is also the daughter of GEG Chairman Lui Che Woo and sister of Vice Chairman Francis Lui. An accomplished businesswoman in her own right, her portfolio is wide-ranging. She is also a member of the Zhuhai Committee of the 7th Chinese People Political Consultative Conference.
Universal Entertainment Corp
IT’S BEEN A ROUGH FEW YEARS for Kazuo Okada – kicked out of Wynn Resorts, Universal and Tiger Resorts, Leisure and Entertainment Inc, operator of the Okada Manila IR that still bears his name. He isn’t going quietly though with multiple legal proceedings continuing in Japan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
THE THAI BUSINESSMAN appears to have won the war with former management of Donaco International Ltd, the company that has helped make him a fortune in recent years. After selling Donaco the right to operate its Star Vegas casino on land he owns in Cambodia – and for a cut of the profits – he opened his own casino next door then helped engineer a boardroom coup that has seen him seize control of the company.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Hard Rock Japan
THE FORMER SANDS CHINA PRESIDENT AND CEO is now Hard Rock International’s CEO of Asia, tasked with expanding the company’s regional portfolio including the No 1 target of Japan. While Hard Rock’s chosen location of Hokkaido has pulled out of the IR race, there is talk that it will likely put its hand up again in the future – giving the US firm good reason to stick it out.
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
MGM China Holdings Ltd
ONE OF TWO INTERNAL PROMOTIONS to the dual role of President following Grant Bowie’s departure as CEO this year, Hubert Wang has a long history with MGM China. Having first joined in 2011, he has held a variety of senior finance roles and now finds himself in charge of MGM’s Business Development, Casino Operations, Hospitality, Security and Digital & Technology Solutions divisions.
ONE OF SRI LANKA’S CASINO “KINGS” with two of its five casino licenses in his control, Ravi Wijeratne has long been one of the country’s most powerful men with interests in everything from real estate to hydropower, logistics and shipping terminals. The 61-year-old purchased his first casino, Star Dust – also Sri Lanka’s largest – in 1994 before building a second called Casino Marina Colombo soon after.
STEVE WYNN stepped down as Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts in February 2018 and sold off his 12.1% stake after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced, but he continues to make headlines in Las Vegas due to ongoing legal battles and the recent sale of his Vegas mansion for a tidy US$25 million.
SAIPAN PROJECT DIRECTOR
Imperial Pacific International
JI DROPS OUT OF OUR POWER 50 this year on serious financial woes impacting Imperial Pacific International, owner and operator of Imperial Palace・Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. He is a former executive of junket Hengsheng Group and son of IPI’s Chairman and controlling shareholder, Cui Li Jie.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
THE FORMER DEUTSCHE BANK AND UNION GAMING BANKER joined Okada Manila in June 2018, as well as joining the board of the IR’s operator, Tiger Resorts, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. Okada Manila had been ramping nicely before COVID-19 intervened, but with the property’s hotel room inventory now fully online the future looks promising.
A LEGEND IN THE HONG KONG BUSINESS COMMUNITY, having built the famous Lan Kwai Fong entertainment district from the ground up, Zeman has also stepped into the void left by Steve Wynn’s departure in Macau. He holds sway with officials in Macau, Hong Kong and mainland China.
CHAIRMAN AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
IT’S BEEN A ROUGH FEW YEARS for Landing International and its Korean IR, Jeju Shinhwa World. Still, Chairman Yang Zhihui has shown himself to be a master at escaping from tricky situations, avoiding a reported takeover attempt in 2020 and last year returning suddenly after he disappeared for three months while detained by authorities in mainland China.
For the full list of 2020 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.