IAG DECEMBER 2016 WEB - page 7

Cover Story
resort, NagaWorld, in 2003. “You need to be wary of the regulatory
environment. More often than not you’re going into an under-
regulated environment. You’re going into an environment where if
you have legal disputes youmay not have the right environment to
be successful in litigation, so you have to be aware of the risks you
are undertaking.”
Gaming regulationhasbeengaming’sbuzzword in recent times,
“Macau’s incredible successhas
resulted inoperators fromaround
theworld looking forAsia’snext
emergingmarket in thehopeof
finding theirowngoldengoose.”
due inpart to the huge disparity in laws andprocesses employed by
the various nations across Southeast Asia.
Korea, for example, boasts 17 casinos nationwide but only
one in which locals are allowed to play. Vietnam has 11 casinos of
which none are yet locals friendly. Of India’s 36 states and Union
territories only three allow casino gaming. And Thailand bans
casinos altogether.
But various factorscomplicate thosematters further.WhileKorea
has tried to protect its citizens by restricting locals play to just one
remote property, Kangwon Land, that property makes more profit
annually than the 16 foreigners-only casinos combined – around
US$400 million. Vietnamese spend around US$800 million a year
gambling outside of their home country, with an average of 3,000
people crossing the border toCambodia to gamble every single day.
Likewise Thailand, where border casinos in Cambodia and Laos
welcome their arrivals in the thousands.
Clearly all of these countries represent markets as yet either
untappedor only fulfilling a tiny part of their potential, which iswhat
makes them so attractive. But investing heavily in these markets
basedpurely onpotential is adangerous game.
Nevertheless, one company convinced it has struck gold isSilver
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