PACKER FINALISES US $ 9000M WYNN CONCESSION
PBL has acquired a US $ 900M sub-concession to own and operate hotel casino resorts in Macau from Wynn Resorts, effectively allowing it to reap all profits from its two planned casino developments.The deal also means that James Packer and his gaming partner, Melco International, will be able to build other casino developments in the areas. PBL and Melco International, will now have no operational ties with Stanley Ho’s SJM, which has dominated the Macau casino industry for 30 years. Ho will remain as chairman of Melco, controlled by his son Lawrence Ho, but SJM has agreed to waive important rights it holds with the joint venture partners.
It is understood that under arrangements negotiated before PBL and Melco had the prospect of obtaining their own sub-concession, SJM would have operated the two casinos, the $ 260m high-roller Crown Macau and the $ 1.4bn mass-market City of Dreams, on behalf of the joint venture partners.
SJM would have been entitled to over 20 percent of gross gaming revenues, but now, PBL AND Melco will be able to operate the casinos and lift table numbers- restricted under the original deal with SJM. The two companies will also now equally split the profits in Macau rather than Melco taking 60 per cent.
It is still not fully understood why Ho agreed to waive SJM’s rights, although Ho has been under scrutiny from Macau gaming regulators for some time and this deal can perhaps be seen as an attempt at some positive public relations.
For James Packer, this represents his first big deal since the Boxing Day death since the Boxing Day death of his father, Kerry.
The deal, if approved, will be effective until June 2022. Packer said: “I expect that the acquisition of the sub concession will deliver an excellent return on PBL’s investment and in addition will allow a more flexible and robust operating structure for our two proposed Macau casinos, Crown Macau and City of Dreams.”
Sub-concessions issued to date in Macau do not limit the number of casinos or limit the number of casinos or limit the number of tables and machines in those casinos.
Sky City in Unitab takeover rumours
SKYCITY Entertainment Group is strongly tipped to be preparing a takeover of Unitab, after managing director Evan Davies described the two gaming companies as ‘complementary.’
Auckland-based SkyCity owns casinos throughout New Zealand, and Adelaide and Darvin in Australia, while Unitab operates gaming and wagering services in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. “I think we’re quite good at gaming. We don’t know too much about wagering,” Davies added, although he refused to rule out a merger between the two companies.
* South Africa’s new limited payout machine industry has made a significant contribution to public revenues, created over 100 sustainable new jobs, and is committed to over R200m in new investment. Limited Payout Machine Association deputy chairman, Paul Leonard, said that the new industry had substantially advanced National Gambling Act objectives.
“Although our sector only operates in three provinces so far, and is little more than two years old, we accounted for more than R40m last year in government revenue.” All companies within the LPMASA are active participants in South Africa’s internationally-acknowledged National Responsible Gambling Programmed, and fully satisfied the programmer’s protocols in respect of staff and site owner training, public education, research and free help for those who experienced problems with their gambling.