Employment of Foreign Workers in Macau Casinos Decreased by 33% After COVID

The number of non-resident employees employed by six casino concessionaires in Macau has decreased by 32.6% since 2019 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The information was provided by the Deputy Director of the Macau Labor Affairs Bureau (DSAL) Jung Woo Chan earlier this month and made public this week in response to a written question from fellow legislator Lei Chang Woo.

According to DSAL, as of December 31, 2021, 23,676 non-resident employees, also known as blue card holders, worked in concessionaires and other hotels with casinos, compared to 35,110 in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 11,434 nonresident employees have quit during this time.

The priority of local employees is mentioned in the Macau Gambling Law with recent amendments to the law, currently the Legislative Assembly is placing additional emphasis on encouraging the promotion of local residents compared to foreigners.

DSAL said it would strive to “ensure priority and permanent employment of local employees” and “review labor market conditions in a timely manner to regulate the number of non-local employees.”

Regarding future employment opportunities in the Macau IR sector, DSAL stated:

“If there are suitable or sufficient local employees for the relevant positions, the application of non-local employees with the relevant professions will not be approved, or the company will be obliged to arrange for the relevant foreign employees to leave the field. The number of non-local employees will be [reduced], and local employees will be given priority in employment.”

Source: Inside Asian Gaming

WPT Names Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan As First Stops for New Global Poker Tour

Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan have been named as the first stops for a new global poker brand to be launched as part of the World Poker Tour (WPT) in 2022.

WPT Prime, which replaces WPTDeepStacks,

“combines the best poker tournaments on the WPT Main Tour with affordable buy-ins available to more players around the world,” says the WPT announcement of the new tour.

The very first stop of WPT Prime will be the Crown Poker Club in Hanoi, Vietnam, from May 19 to May 30, 2022. The tour will then visit NagaWorld in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from August 11 to 23, and then head to Chinese Texas Hold’em. Poker Association in Taipei, Taiwan, from November 11 to 21.

By then, the final WPDeepStacks tournaments will be held in Amsterdam, Sydney and California’s Thunder Valley.

“Our ongoing efforts to improve the WPT live tournament experience will benefit more players than ever during the XX season,” said Kathy Zhao, WPT Senior Director of Global Tour Management.

“WPT Prime is the embodiment of our goal to provide players around the world with the best poker tournament experience, and our close relationship with our global partners will improve the quality of WPT service worldwide.”

The company stated that additional WPT Prime events will be added to the WPT XX season schedule in the coming weeks and months.

Source: Inside Asian Gaming

Bally’s Atlantic City Presents 222 Renovated Hotel Rooms

On Tuesday, Bally’s Atlantic City announced the renovation of 222 hotel rooms as part of a 750 tower renovation project. Under the new owner, the hotel has unveiled new rooms marking the start of a $100 million project that will include hotel rooms and suites, a hotel lobby, lobby bar and indoor/outdoor entertainment area, which are expected to debut over Memorial Day weekend.

The rooms are decorated in a modern style, with new floors with carpet inserts, tiled bathrooms with modern dressing tables and illuminated mirrors, as well as brand new showers.

While Bally’s transforms the tower, architectural elements allow the brand to offer a variety of room types. 112 corner rooms with a king-size bed in Bally Tower work as junior suites with additional space and views from the living room and bathroom, and also have a separate sitting area with a sofa, an armchair and a coffee table. In the bathrooms, guests will find a spa space with a separate shower and a free-standing deep tub.

In addition to the complete renovation of suites on floors 45-48, Bally’s will combine a selected number of rooms to create 16 new penthouse-style suites, which will include dining areas, billiard tables, sink bars, special tropical showers and more.

Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City announced the renovation process of its hotel rooms in September 2021 before the New Jersey Casino Control Commission at a public hearing.

Shortly after, the hotel announced the opening of the Asian cuisine restaurant Red Bowl 88 and the construction of a High Limits Room for elite guests with MiniBaccarat, BlackJack, Roulette and Craps tables.

Source: Yogonet

Beyond Van Gogh Is Coming to Hard Rock Atlantic City

The artist’s works are presented in three dimensions, with sound.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will be the last venue for Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience when the traveling exhibition opens on the boardwalk in July.

Beyond Van Gogh presents more than 300 of the greatest works of the post-impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh, including such easily recognizable classics as “Starry Night”, “Sunflowers” and “Cafe Night Terrace”.

Immersive Experience was created by French-Canadian creative director Mathieu Saint-Arnaud and his team at the Normal Studio in Montreal.

According to Saint-Arnaud, the exhibition “liberates” art from its two-dimensional limitations into a three-dimensional experience. Guests are transported into Van Gogh’s world through an exclusively designed space consisting of three areas that seamlessly merge into each other: the education room leads to the waterfall room, which transitions into the immersive experience room.

“Freed from the frames, Van Gogh’s impressive paintings appear on the walls with projections, inviting guests to fully immerse themselves in the incredible details of his work and immerse themselves in his ever-changing, swirling and colorful flowers, cafes and stunning landscapes.”

Saint-Arnaud said in a statement, adding that the artist’s own dreams, thoughts and words are included in the symphonic score.

More than 2.5 million Beyond Van Gogh tickets have been sold worldwide, which, according to officials, makes the exhibition one of the most popular traveling exhibitions to date.

The exhibition will be organized by Paquin Entertainment Group and presented by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City when it opens to a limited visit at the resort on July 8. Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Friday, February 25.

“The magical and exciting adventure Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience takes on the task of breathing new life into a huge number of Van Gogh’s works. Thanks to the use of 3D projection technology and music that reveals all his genius, guests can feel the artist with all their senses,” Saint-Arnaud said.

Justin Paquin, co-producer of Paquin Entertainment, added:

“This original and unique multimedia artistic adventure deeply resonates with the audience. Including a refreshing new twist that art lovers haven’t seen before, Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience gives a new appreciation to the stunning work of this tortured artist. It is not surprising that millions of people around the world believe that Van Gogh has strengthened his relationship with art. Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience will only strengthen this connection.”

Source: Gaming America

WSOP Reveals Daily Tournament Schedule for 2022

This is the first time that the world-famous poker tournament takes place on the Las Vegas Strip.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) announced today the schedule of daily events ahead of the 2022 tournament. The 2022 tournament, which will be held at Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip after 17 years at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, will begin on May 31 and end on July 20.

The main event of this year’s WSOP will be held on Independence Day. The main event of 2021 attracted more than 6,000 players, despite the many restrictions associated with Covid-19.

“This year has been especially historic for the WSOP as it has moved into the heart of the Las Vegas Strip and debuted in the best halls we’ve ever had,” said Ty Stewart, WSOP executive director, resident during his 17th WSOP.

“We are ready to welcome players from all over the world to our housewarming party at Bally’s, the upcoming Horseshoe and in Paris. The schedule is packed with top-notch events, and we expect this to be the biggest and most anticipated WSOP.”

Another event that will take place this year is a tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $5 million and a buy-in of $500, which is scheduled to take place on the first weekend of the competition. This event will be called “Housewarming”.

Other highlights include; The Return of the Record Holders, which will take place from June 11 to July 16, the Tournament of Champions with 88 previous winners on July 18, and Unlimited Hold’em for High Rollers. Throughout the event, from June 1 to July 16, there will be a number of events with average bets in which you can win up to $ 5,000.

As Covid-19 recedes from the spotlight, the WSOP organizers decided to abandon the vaccine passports. However, the company has made it clear that the event will be conducted in accordance with all the recommendations of the state and the CDC.

Source: Gaming America

Wynn Resorts Will Sell Encore Boston Harbor Real Estate To Realty Income for $1.70 Billion as Part Of a Purchase and Sale Transaction with a Leaseback

Wynn Resorts has announced a final agreement to sell all Encore Boston Harbor land and real estate to Real Estate Revenue (NYSE:O) for $1.70 billion in cash, which corresponds to a capitalization rate of 5.9% (“transaction”). Wynn Resort Hotels will continue to operate the property in accordance with the five-star standard for which the Company is famous.

Simultaneously with the closing of the transaction, we conclude a three-time lease agreement on Encore Boston Harbor with the participation of Real Estate Income. The lease will have an initial total annual rent of $100.0 million and an initial term of 30 years with the possibility of extending the lease for one thirty years. The rental rent will increase by 1.75% during the first ten years of the lease and by 1.75% more, and the CPI will increase during the previous year (maximum 2.50%) during the remaining lease term.

Wynn will retain its 13-acre parcel of land on the east side of Broadway in Everett, Massachusetts, on part of which the Company plans to build an extension that is expected to include additional covered parking as well as other non-gaming amenities. The company has received an option to sell land plots and real estate related to such an expansion, Real estate income up to $ 20 million in additional rent at the established marginal rate for up to six years after the closing of the transaction.

The transaction is subject to the usual closing conditions, including the necessary regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“Encore Boston Harbour is the premier gaming resort on the East Coast and the valuation we received with this sale reflects the quality of the property,” said Craig Billings, CEO of Wynn Resorts.

Last but not least, the individual structure and terms of the lease allow us to maintain greater operational flexibility depending on economic cycles. The proceeds from the transaction also provide us with liquidity for several of our future development projects and the potential to repay other debts.”

Kirkland and Ellis LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisors to Wynn Resorts in connection with the transaction.

Source: official website of Wynn Resorts

Carnival Cruise and Royal Caribbean Casino Lift Smoking Ban This Week

Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean are reinstating smoking in their casinos starting this week. The two lines were among several that introduced a smoking ban at casinos last month amid tougher Covid-19 protocols in response to the omicron option.

The new rules of the Carnival Casino, which come into force for cruises departing on Monday, February 14, state that smoking is prohibited in the casino if the guest is not sitting and playing, Cruise Citric reports. Seats at gaming tables and slot machines are reserved only for players.

However, casino guests must still wear a face mask unless they are “actively smoking or drinking drinks,” according to the updated policy. Although the casino bar should remain open, it is considered a non-smoking area, as is the rest of the ship.

Although smoking is allowed in the casino during the game, it is prohibited when the casino is closed, and it is also not allowed “anywhere on board” during refueling for security reasons.

“We appreciate our guests’ support for these protocols, implemented taking into account everyone’s interests,” Carnival said.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean has updated its smoking policy to allow guests to smoke in designated areas on the ship again. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes and pipes is allowed in designated outdoor areas and will be allowed in certain areas of the casino.

The permit is valid for cruises departing on or after February 15, 2022, the company says, with the exception of ships departing from China, the UK and Australia. On cruises departing on or before February 14, 2022, smoking is prohibited in the casino, and masks are still mandatory. Unlike Carnival, the mask mandate has now been removed after the policy update.

The smoking ban was introduced by several cruise lines in an attempt to combat Covid, which caused a mixed reception: while smokers protested against these measures, non-smokers generally welcomed the policy. Similarly, most companies have introduced mandatory masks on their ships, which some, including Royal Caribbean, Regent and Oceania, are now seeking to abolish.

However, not all cruise lines agree with the return of smoking. The bans are still in effect on Holland America and Princess cruises until March 31, according to a previously quoted news source.

The policy introduced to ban smoking in cruise casinos in the face of a pandemic is no different from the policy established for land-based casinos. For example, Atlantic City in New Jersey introduced a ban on smoking in its casinos as a measure to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in 2020, although the ban expired in April 2021. Since then, casino employees have been trying to restore it.

Source: Yogonet

The Belgian Casino Casino de Spa Has Received a Gambling License in the Netherlands

The historic Belgian land-based casino is the 12th operator to receive a Dutch license for online gambling.

Netherlands. One of the world’s oldest land-based casinos has become the 12th operator to receive a license to launch a new regulated online gambling market in the Netherlands.

Casino de Spa, which opened in the Belgian city of Spa in 1763, was licensed by the Dutch regulatory authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).

A five-year license gives Casino de Spa the right to offer online gambling in the Netherlands from February 2. It will manage its online brand Casino777.be in the country.

The newly regulated online gambling market in the Netherlands started operating on October 2, initially with ten licensees. In November, JOI Gaming, a division of the Dutch land-based casino operator JVH Gaming & Entertainment Group, became the 11th operator to receive a license.

Other major players hope to get Dutch licenses for online casinos in the next couple of months. Rene Jansen, chairman of KSA, said that the final shape of the Dutch online gambling market will not be visible until April.

Source: Focus Gaming News

Nepal Ordered To Close Two Casinos due to Non-Payment of Royalties

According to local news agency myRepublica, casinos at the Yak & Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu and Dreamland Hotel in Nepalgunj were closed after ignoring repeated government demands for payment of fees.

The Yak & Yeti Hotel, which has operated a casino since 1992, was also stripped of its five-star classification, as the Ministry sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Internal Affairs asking for help in implementing its decision.

Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale said:

“Judging by the records … the company has not yet paid the debt until the 2020/21 fiscal year, renewal fees for the 2021/22 fiscal year and royalties in the amount of 420 million rupees (3.5 million US dollars). The casino license and the hotel classification certificate have been revoked in accordance with the law.”

The Dreamland Hotel license was revoked due to non-payment of royalties totaling 3.8 million rupees (31,500 US dollars) after ignoring repeated written requests.

Nepal’s casinos only reopened in October after they had been closed for 18 months due to COVID-19.

At that time, the government waived the annual license fee for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, for all casinos that regularly paid the annual fee until the outbreak of the pandemic. However, it states that only eight or nine casinos are eligible for such a waiver.

Nepal’s casino industry is said to employ about 15,000 people.

Source: Inside Asian Gaming

Nevada Casinos Welcome Repeal Of Face Mask Mandate

Governor Steve Sisolak announced the immediate termination of the mandate for the use of masks indoors in Nevada.

USA. In Nevada casinos, things are starting to get back to normal. Yesterday, Governor Steve Sisolak announced that the state will no longer require face covering in gaming halls or other enclosed public spaces. The change takes effect immediately.

Shortly after Sisolak’s press conference, Nevada Gambling Control Board Chairman Bryn Gibson sent a notice to the Las Vegas casino.

“Under Governor Sisolak’s Emergency Directive 052, effective immediately, people are no longer required to wear a mask in public spaces at licensed gaming establishments, unless the local jurisdiction still imposes such a requirement,” Gibson said. “If the licensee is subject to the requirements of the local jurisdiction regarding masks, the Council expects the licensee to comply fully.”

Sisolak warned:

“I want to make it clear, the emergency is not over yet.”

And added:

“The pandemic is not over. We still have too many cases, too many hospitalizations and too many deaths.

I hope and am confident, based on the data we have, that we are able to abandon this and return some freedom to people. Everyone wants to get back to normal … I mean, it’s been two years. I think the time has come,” the governor said.

The end of the mask-wearing mandate is good news for Las Vegas casinos. Despite record gaming revenue, during fourth-quarter profit and loss calls, casino executives said the mask-wearing mandate prevented some patrons from returning to Las Vegas.

Source: Focus Gaming News