1) Regulators and policymakers alike will come under increasing pressure to address issues such as the integrity of sports betting, whether social gaming should be regulated, what prescriptive standards and requirements should be set aside in favour of risk-based regulatory oversight, and how emerging technologies like virtual reality games should be evaluated for suitability to be offered as gambling propositions. The challenges of short cycle technology in the gaming industry are not new, but the current proliferation of new technologies is. Regulatory lag is likely to become an increasingly evident constraint on industry growth in 2017.
Proponents seem focused on their capacity to buy such a license, in addition to any legal privilege they may be able to purchase. In my view, that is a dangerously misguided and culturally imperialistic view.
2) While Japan is seen by the industry as perhaps the last great untapped opportunity for investment, that is not necessarily a view shared by the Japanese. A social license to support legalization is likely to be far more significant than in any other Asian country which has moved to allow integrated resorts, with the possible exception of Singapore. Proponents seem focused on their capacity to buy such a license, in addition to any legal privilege they may be able to purchase. In my view, that is a dangerously misguided and culturally imperialistic view.
3. I expect the Macau SAR government will give industry some guidance as to how it will handle the looming expiry of the casino concessions. The first of the concessions (SJM/MGM) is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2020. Given both SJM and MGM are yet to open their Cotai developments, there is a pressing need for clarity around the process…will it require a re-tender? Will exceptional circumstances justify the extension of the term of the SJM concession, and by extension, of the MGM sub-concession, by the Chief Executive prior to his departure from office in December 2019? What will the government expect from the concessionaire in consideration of the concession being extended, or a new concession granted? What will be the term of any new concession? And so on it goes.
Note from David Green, CEO, Newpage Consulting.
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