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CR79-p14&15-asia_oceania_africa_mid_east:SJC-Casino Review 19/4/09 00:13 Page 1
Indian state of Sikkim opens for gaming
India, a country which is mostly closed to gambling, now has
a third casino region with Sikkim following in the gambling
footsteps of Goa and Nepal. The Sikkim government recently
moved to open the first casino in the state at the Royal Plaza
Hotel in Gangtok to boost
tourism. The venue has opened
with a full quota of table games
and 40 slots. The state
government wants to attract
high-end domestic and foreign
tourists with the casino opening.
Sikkim, known as the kingdom
of flowers, is situated in the
eastern Himalayas, below Mount
Khangchendzonga, the third
highest mountain in the world.
Sky City
relocationrelocation a AU$30m underground car that any plans could take saying talks were only at the
AUSTRALIA park last year, which would two years to come to embryonic stage. Skycity
have resulted in each car fruition. Christian said that has transformed the for-
Skycity Entertainment parking space equating to a Adelaide should deserve a tunes of its Adelaide prop-
Group has said it may move $75,000 investment, Ade- bigger casino adding that erty since taking it off the
away from its revered her- laide general manager David theirs was the only capital market. It was a highlight of
itage-listed railway station Christian said a move could city casino without a hotel the group performance in
site in Adelaide so that it can be on the cards. However, he as part of the business the half year up to Decem-
develop a bigger casino for said discussions were yet to model. He provided no clues ber, helping boost group
the area. begin with the site’s owner, though as to which areas revenue by 18.3 per cent to
Having axed plans to build the State Government, and were being researched $14.2m.
Political environment
not conducive to tax cut
access to
The current political environment makes it
Executive’s post this summer, accountmein
inappropriate for Macau’s casino operators
adding to his own popularity AUSTRALIA
among the electorate by stand-
to press now for a reduction of gaming
ing up to vocal gaming opera- Melbourne’s Crown
taxes, according to the Macau finance
tor lobbying. Tam himself is Casino will be allowed to
minister. GamblingCompliance Ltd’s James
seen as a possible candidate for look at the financial
Kilsby reports on how the minister wants
the CE position, and one who records of a problem
appears increasingly in favour gambler who is suing
more tourist attractions tax relief for casinos. with the mainland government them for the AU$36m that
as the weeks pass. he lost in the casino, so
taxstuck cent rate that will be applied to Tam said that he did not con- that it can view his situa-
CHINA Singapore’s two resort casinos sider it correct that the Macau tion ‘in context’.
once they open in late 2009 casino sector’s decline would Harry Kakavas, a Gold
Macau’s Secretary of Economy and early 2010. continue throughout 2009, Coast property devel-
and Finance Francis Tam has Macau casino magnate adding that the revenue statis- oper, is taking Crown to
confirmed that now is “not the Stanley Ho, whose company tics for January and February the Supreme Court for
correct moment” to discuss a SJM operates 20 casinos in the had even been better than the money he says he
possible reduction in the 35 former Portuguese colony, pub- anticipated by the regional lost at the casino
per cent tax on gross gaming lically criticised the Macau gov- late that the six gaming opera- Crown Macau: one of government. between June 2005 and
revenues currently paid by the ernment last year over its tors could consider making a
Macau’s many casinos
The finance minister also August 2006, along with
territory’s six casino conces- refusal to discuss reforming renewed push for tax reforms, suggested that the upcoming an extra $50m in
sion holders. Tam’s comments the tax regime to lower the particularly ahead of the advent grounded in some very evident opening of Melco Crown’s ‘City damages. The case is
come as Macau’s compliance burden on gaming operators. of casino gaming in Singapore political realities. Any move to of Dreams’ casino in June could due to go to trial in June.
with international tax standards Dr Ho’s reflections came at later this year. amend the gaming tax regime prove to be a turning point for Kakavas is accusing
reportedly became a major a time when the Macau gov- But Tam effectively ruled would have to go to Macau’s the casino industry in Macau. Crown of enticing him
issue of contention at last ernment’s annual takings from out any prospect of a tax cut to Legislative Assembly and they “Without a doubt, the opening back through their doors
week’s G20 summit in London. casino taxes were rising at an assist gaming operators have an election later this year. of the ‘City of Dreams’ will despite knowing he had
Macau casino interests have exponential rate, but pressure through the current down- Were the government to come improve Macau’s image as a been the subject of
long harboured ambitions of from operators has continued turn, pointing to wider politi- out with a bill now, there would international-standard destina- several banning orders
seeing a lowering of the Macau since the local casino sector cal challenges faced by the not be enough time for the leg- tion and we hope that the resort preventing him from
gaming tax, which is set at a entered into its current slump Macau government with islators to discuss and approve will bring with it more attrac- entering casinos. The
considerably higher rate than during the middle of last year. regards taxation. “We are not it before the election. tions for the territory rather court was told during a
in other leading international Recent figures from the going to change [the gaming But Macau observers specu- than just gaming,” Tam said. preliminary hearing that
casino jurisdictions including Macau Census Bureau have tax rate] because right now late that Tam’s statements may “Macau is doing okay. Kakavas had psychiatrist
Nevada and New Jersey, where shown gross casino revenues there is not the appropriate also be motivated by a desire to People accept that we are reports stating he was a
operators are taxed at rates of for January and February 2009 political environment to get the potentially explosive developing the gaming sector pathological problem
6.5 and 8 on gross revenues down 16 percent on the com- discuss any type of tax reduc- issue of gaming tax out of the in the correct manner, but we gambler from 1994.
respectively. The rate is also parable periods in 2008, tion,” Tam told Lusa reporters. way before the concurrent do need more tourist attrac- Crown is demanding to
higher than the 10 to 20 per leading local media to specu- Tam’s statements are election for the Macau Chief tions,” he added. see his bank statements
going back to this time.
Nick Hopkins, working
for Crown on the case,
Sands to
newyearsresolution the rescue package. this calendar year, keeping in said: “He lost $70m at
CHINA The debt-laden US opera- mind that when we sus- casinos, for others that is
return to
tor suspended expansion pended these works, we a large amount of money,
With investor talks progress- work on the Cotai strip in were only about nine months but it needs to be put in
ing Las Vegas Sands has said Macau last November laying off from opening the first context.”
it will return to the construc- off around 11,000 construc- phase. The company has Justice David Harper
building site
tion site of its delayed Macau tion staff. It is in talks with a funds available at the parent ruled Crown should be
projects by the end of 2009. collection of banks to find the level which if needed, could able to look at records
by year end
Stephen Weaver, Sand’s investment of up to US$2bn be used to complete the relating to assumptions
Asian president said, to fund the delayed projects project. I think you should about Kakavas’ income
however, that the Macau gov- Weaver said: “We are cer- rest assured that this would contained in the psychol-
ernment would not be funding tainly looking to resume in be financed.” ogists’ reports.
14 May 2009 • asia&oceanianews
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