Integrated Resort

Gaming in India: An Evaluation of the Market’s Potential

Although Macau’s gaming market is struggling, its reliance on the Chinese gamer still allows it to dominate the global gaming landscape and maintain its role as the largest gaming market in the world. As a result, the global gaming industry remains transfixed by the potential value of the Chinese gaming market. Not surprisingly, gaming destinations throughout the Asia Pacific region, including Singapore, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam and South Korea, have opened hoping to capitalize on the market’s potential. Some gaming operators have attempted to target other possible valuable demand segments in Asia like the Japanese. With these large sources of demand capturing the attention of the gaming industry, many gaming operators and markets have yet to fully explore other alternative sources of Asian based gaming demand.

So far, few gaming operators have considered China’s democratic and capitalistic neighbor, India, as a potential source of demand. India shares many of the same characteristics that make China such an attractive source of gaming demand. India also has a large, prosperous economy, an enormous population, and favorable consumer/gaming habits. On top of that, India is able to offer a stable and less reactionary government and volatile economy.

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Urban Alliances: The unique challenges of building casinos in a city

Casinos located in cities have long had an uneasy alliance with their host communities.

Local municipalities have enjoyed the tax revenues and jobs that casinos brought and civic leaders have recognized the charitable contributions casino leadership have made to their communities, as well as their greater economic contributions. Yet, cities have long treated casinos with a certain degree of disdain, relegating them to locations that would be unappealing to any hotel developer.

At the same time, many city governments have showered developers of sports venues, hotels and convention centers with a wealth of benefits including tax abatements, generous land leases, municipal bond funding and sales tax rebates in the hope that those developments would somehow lead to a revitalization of their urban cores.

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Casinos and the City – A White Paper

Casinos and the places where they can be found have increased dramatically over the last twenty five years. Where at one time there were only a few places on the planet where one could go to participate in legal gambling activities, today casinos are a fairly common enterprise. In the United States alone, there are over 900 commercial and Indian gaming establishments. Casinos can be found not only in North America but also throughout Europe, Central and South America, Oceana and Asia.

Since the passage of the Casino Control Act in 1976, legalizing casino gaming in Atlantic City, NJ, casinos have been narrowly viewed as a tool for urban redevelopment, providing tax revenues to state and local governments and jobs to its citizens. Their success in providing those benefits cannot be disputed. Collectively, the casinos in Atlantic City, the riverboat and barge casinos in the Midwest and southeast United States, Indian casinos, and the land-based commercial casinos in a number of US cities as well as those on the Macau Peninsula and Singapore have contributed billions of dollars to government coffers and created hundreds of thousands of jobs. However, their success as a tool for stimulating commercial activity within the neighborhoods that they are located in has produced less dramatic results.

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Seven Keys to Casino Success

The success of Singapore’s recently established casino industry, along with the unprecedented growth in gaming revenues in Macau, has attracted the interest of governments throughout Asia. Several are considering instituting new policies that will permit the expansion of casino gaming in their countries in the form of so-called integrated resorts, as a means to boost
economic and tourism growth and generate tax revenues.

The examples of Macau and Singapore, together with those of other Asian countries that did not manage to enjoy quite as much success with their casino initiatives, have helped identify seven factors that are critical to the success of any new gaming venue in the region.

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Russian Roulette: Is Vladivostok Russia the Next Important Gaming Destination in Asia?

Vladivostok, Russia, a city much closer to Beijing than Macau and bordering northern China; a city in which President Vladimir Putin has spent over $18 billion over the past four years improving and building; the incredibly strategic southernmost port city in Russia, has opened its doors to the world to develop the integrated entertainment destined to be a world-class casino-resort destination serving northeastern Asia, and in particular, northern China.

All you have to do to understand its potential is look on a map. However, there is no buzz in the industry, and operators are quickly missing the next new gaming destination in Asia.

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Asia: Seven Steps to Success

Call it the Macau/Singapore effect.

The initial success of integrated casino resorts in Singapore, coupled with the unprecedented growth in gaming revenues in Macau, has attracted the interest of government policy-makers in
countries throughout Asia. Several are now considering instituting new policies that will permit the expansion of casino gaming in their countries in the form of what is now being referred to as integrated casino resorts, and with it, both economic and tourism growth.

The success of Asian resorts has helped identify those factors that are critical to the success of any new gaming venue. Here are seven factors that are critical to creating a successful gaming policy that grows tourism, enhances tax revenues and acts as an engine for economic growth.

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Emerging Issues in the Use of Free Play

Non-negotiable slot credits or what is commonly called free play has become the primary form of customer incentives in many casinos. Free play is now used instead of cash for point and coupon redemptions as well as for a variety of promotions. Combined, free play has become the single greatest component of player reinvestment. The increased use of free play has also created unintended consequences. Free play has affected multiple departments within the casino including Slots, Marketing and Accounting. This article attempts to identify the emerging issues of free play and how they are impacting both the casino and the customer.

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Swapping Out Debt: Solving the riddle of debt-asset swaps and triangular deal structures

The riddle of “debt-asset swaps” is currently befuddling CFOs, public debt analysts, casino buyers and hedge funds.

All look to profit from discounted gaming company debt and the sale of distressed assets. Right now, there is a disconnect between a gaming company and its debt. On the one hand, the gaming company’s debt—whether $5 billion of publicly traded bonds or $50 million in privately held notes—is trading at prices that may be 10 cents to 70 cents on the dollar. On the other hand, the gaming company may be willing to retire that debt at face value, as part of its de-leveraging process.

The theory of a debt-asset swap is to take advantage of that disconnect. If one could purchase the gaming company debt at today’s steeply discounted price, and then present it to the gaming company for retirement at face value, then one should be able to profit greatly.

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The Challenges of Developing a Casino Resort

Over the past fifteen years the Indian casino industry has evolved and so too have the individual properties that make up this industry. Many of these casinos have evolved from simple gaming operations housed in temporary structures to regional gaming entertainment centers, and some have succeeded in evolving into lavish full-scale resorts. While the evolution of a casino into a regional gaming entertainment center is often a natural and progressive form of casino development, the creation of a true casino resort is often a difficult, expensive and risky process. There is, in fact, a wealth of problems facing any casino operator that attempts to make the transition from a local oriented casino to a full-scale casino resort.

When conducting a market assessment for an expansion of a casino into a resort, consultants examine a number of variables including 1) the location of the proposed resort and
its ability to support this kind of development, 2) the expected demand for a resort from primary feeder markets, 3) the proposed quality level of the resort, 4) the kinds of amenities
that will support the resort experience, 5) the size of the proposed resort and the size of its related amenities, 6) the relative strength of the competition and 7) the ability of casino
management to effectively manage a full-scale resort operation. Misreading any of these variables can doom the project.

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The Coming of the Entertainment Superstore

Casino development in Las Vegas has historically acted as a bellwether for the development of gaming and nongaming amenities in regional markets. Development trends such as the multi-station buffet, multiple dining options, casino food courts and showrooms were first introduced in Southern Nevada and eventually exported to other markets. Casino developers in regional markets have traditionally looked to Las Vegas to see what works and what doesn’t work; what is particularly appealing to gamers and what is not and adopted those development trends that hold the greatest promise.

While Strip properties often offer the most glamorous of amenities, it is Las Vegas’s locals casinos that have developed amenities that are most relevant to casinos in regional markets. Beginning with the opening of Sam’s Town Casino in 1978, followed by the Gold Coast Casino, the whole concept of a locals casino was first developed in Southern Nevada along with the suite of amenities that held appeal to local gamblers.

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