CasinoCityTimes.com

Home
Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
News
Newsletter
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Author Home Author Archives Author Books Search Articles Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
I. Nelson Rose Archives
More Strategy Experts

I. Nelson Rose Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Trapped in Macau

30 November 2023

By I. Nelson Rose
On Saturday, Macau awarded “provisional licenses” to the six current casino operators. These will allow them to continue to operate until they are awarded their official concessions in January.

No surprise there. In fact, the biggest surprise is that another company, Genting, even bothered to compete.

Genting had hoped to add what was once the world’s richest casino market, prior to Covid, to its massive Resorts World operations in New York, Singapore, Malaysia and Las Vegas.

It may be unfair for me to also include Caesars as one of the losers, since the company formerly known as Harrahs knew it would be a waste of time to try to replace one of the entrenched concession holders. But it has been desperate to undo the dreadful mistake it made in 2001. When Macau open its casino licensing opportunities to the world, the company did not even submit a bid. It apparently thought that the sleepy little former Portuguese colony, with a rumored presence of organized crime, was not worth the effort.

I visited one of the dark, dangerous looking casinos in Macau in 1996, so I understood Harrahs’ executives’ emotional reactions. But in the gaming industry, money beats feelings every time. I did not see how having the only legal casinos in China, the most populous nation in the world, could be anything but a sure thing.

Now I am not so sure. The new concessions are only good for ten years. Operators will soon have to start again the horrible process of seeking renewals. And the governments of Macau and the Peoples Republic of China have made it clear that they barely tolerate legal gaming.

Macau announced that the main criteria for the right to operate a casino is now how much the casino company promises to spend on non-gaming.

Operators will have to spend at least US$1.27 billion on non-casino developments over the next decade. This is on top of a hike in the tax rate to 40%, one of the highest in the world.

One of the two Macau officials now in total control of casinos, the Secretary of Economy and Finance, announced that non-gaming would become a major economic driver in the next ten years.

“What we need to change is Macau’s image as a gambling city.”

The other official, the Chief Executive, agreed, stating that one of his administration’s main goals is to ensure that non-gaming accounts for 60 percent of Macau’s Gross Domestic Product in the future.

So how are the six casino operators – MGM, Galaxy, Sands, Melco, Wynn and SJM – suppose to spend those billions of dollars? And what will take gambling’s place?

The Macau government will be building up “MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions), culture, modern finance and Chinese medicine.”

Macau and the PRC are also putting in many restrictions on how casinos can operate. The ability to bring in high-rollers, the lifeblood of Macau’s casinos, will be difficult, if not impossible. Junkets are greatly limited. Mainlanders will no longer be able to transfer out cash.

Each casino will have a government bureaucrat overseeing day-to-day operations. The two top officials will decide how many tables and slot machines each casino can have. They even think they can determine how much those slots and tables should win and will fine casinos that don’t make their quotas.

What do you do if you have spent hundreds of millions of dollars and two decades building your business in Macau, which, before Covid, had been one of the most successful casinos in the world? Do you walk away from your billion-dollar integrated resort?

No. You stick with it, even when the government orders you to close the casino and have literally no income for months because a total of six people died of Covid in the entire city.

Macau’s casinos won US$37.6 billion in gaming revenue in 2018. And now the government has ordered the casino companies to replace that with MICE, culture, modern finance and Chinese medicine.

That would be a lot of money spent on Chinese medicine.

Perhaps Caesars was right to not get trapped in Macau.
 

Hiding an elephant in a mousehole

5 July 2023
The federal D.C. Court of Appeals just ruled that the Seminole Tribe has a monopoly on internet sports betting in Florida. The legal gambling world is abuzz about whether this means every tribe in America can now operate online sportsbooks and take bets from gamblers not on Indian land. Will the U.S. ... (read more)
 

Judge rules taking bets from black markets is no big deal

22 May 2023
An online sportsbook can report taking millions of dollars in bets from gray and black markets, as long as the numbers they report are accurate. This is the startling decision of New York federal district court judge Paul A. Engelmayer: “disclosing the fact of operations in Asia ‘did nothing more than’ ... (read more)
 

NFL suspends five players for alleged violations of gambling policy

25 April 2023
The NFL hit four Detroit Lions and one Washington Commander with heavy suspensions for allegedly violating league gambling policy, officials said Friday. Wide receiver Quintez Cephus and safety C.J. Moore of the Lions, and defensive end Shaka Toney of the Commanders were “suspended indefinitely through at ... (read more)

Next 10 Articles >

  • Featured Articles

What should daily fantasy sports do now?

The two big daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators, FanDuel and DraftKings, and their backers are, in the immortal words of former President George H.W. Bush, in "deep-doodoo." But lawyers with legal shovels can probably dig them out.As recently as last year, the DFS industry's problems were relatively insignificant. ... (read more)
 

Gambling and the Law: Are daily fantasy sports legal?

Technology is speeding up changes in the world of gaming. It took almost two centuries for poker to evolve from Straight Poker – five paper cards dealt face down with no draw – to Internet Hold ‘Em linking players using computers in different states and even on different continents. Decades passed before ... (read more)
 

Gambling and the Law: Culture clash

It is not easy to do business in Asia. Or in the U.S.This is especially true of heavily regulated businesses, like legal gaming. And the problems are compounded when an individual who is a product of one culture wants to expand into a foreign market.Sometimes, the barriers are structural. How, for example, ... (read more)
 

Gambling and the Law: Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!

Opponents of legal gambling are notorious within the industry for making up numbers. Robert Goodman, for example, is a discredited "anti" and the founder of the grandly named, though now defunct, "United States Gambling Research Institute." He is infamous for proclaiming, "The American Insurance ... (read more)
 

Gambling and the Law: 'Blackjack and the Law' wins case for casino

In one of the very first cases heard by the federal court in Las Vegas in 2011, Harrah’s (now renamed Caesars) once again won the right to kick out card-counters. Roger L. Hunt, Chief U.S. District Judge for Nevada, based his decision, in part, on a book I co-authored in 1998, BLACKJACK AND THE ... (read more)
I. Nelson Rose
Professor I. Nelson Rose is an internationally known scholar, public speaker and writer and is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on gambling law. A 1979 graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a tenured full Professor at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, where he teaches one of the first law school classes on gaming law.

Professor Rose is the author of more than 300 books, articles, book chapters columns. He is best known for his internationally syndicated column, "Gambling and the Law ®," and his landmark 1986 book by the same name. His most recent book is a collection of columns and analysis, co-authored with Bob Loeb, on Blackjack and the Law.

A consultant to governments and industry, Professor Rose has testified as an expert witness in administrative, civil and criminal cases in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, and has acted as a consultant to major law firms, international corporations, licensed casinos, players, Indian tribes, and local, state and national governments, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas and the federal governments of Canada and the United States.

With the rising interest in gambling throughout the world, Professor Rose has spoken before such diverse groups as the F.B.I., National Conference of State Legislatures, Congress of State Lotteries of Europe, United States Conference of Mayors, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has presented scholarly papers on gambling in Nevada, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, England, Australia, Antigua, Portugal, Italy, Argentina and the Czech Republic.

He is the author of Internet Gaming Law (1st & 2nd editions), Blackjack and the Law and Gaming Law: Cases and Materials.

I. Nelson Rose Websites:

www.gamblingandthelaw.com

Books by I. Nelson Rose:

Gambling and the Law

> More Books By I. Nelson Rose

I. Nelson Rose
Professor I. Nelson Rose is an internationally known scholar, public speaker and writer and is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on gambling law. A 1979 graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a tenured full Professor at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, where he teaches one of the first law school classes on gaming law.

Professor Rose is the author of more than 300 books, articles, book chapters columns. He is best known for his internationally syndicated column, "Gambling and the Law ®," and his landmark 1986 book by the same name. His most recent book is a collection of columns and analysis, co-authored with Bob Loeb, on Blackjack and the Law.

A consultant to governments and industry, Professor Rose has testified as an expert witness in administrative, civil and criminal cases in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, and has acted as a consultant to major law firms, international corporations, licensed casinos, players, Indian tribes, and local, state and national governments, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas and the federal governments of Canada and the United States.

With the rising interest in gambling throughout the world, Professor Rose has spoken before such diverse groups as the F.B.I., National Conference of State Legislatures, Congress of State Lotteries of Europe, United States Conference of Mayors, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has presented scholarly papers on gambling in Nevada, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, England, Australia, Antigua, Portugal, Italy, Argentina and the Czech Republic.

He is the author of Internet Gaming Law (1st & 2nd editions), Blackjack and the Law and Gaming Law: Cases and Materials.

I. Nelson Rose Websites:

www.gamblingandthelaw.com

Books by I. Nelson Rose:

> More Books By I. Nelson Rose