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CR79-p02&03-international2&3:SJC-Casino Review 19/4/09 01:22 Page 2
Melco considers investing in
Sands’ Macau properties
Macau operator Melco wants to take some of Las Vegas
Sands’ Macau interests off its hands or at least invest
into owning a stake in them. The company, run by
Lawrence Ho, the son of Macau casino magnate Stanley,
said it would consider buying some of its Macu assets
next year but will concentrate fully on finishing its
US$2.1bn City of Dreams project.
Taiwan to launch two casino
Court rules
licences for offshore islands
should have
Two is the magic number in Taiwan where the government has also confirmed no third
licence will be offered for a minimum of ten years.
twoscompany responsibleblaming
AMZ’s plans for an
integrated casino resorts
on the offshore of Penghu
The Executive Yuan of Taiwan A court in the United States has
has announced that it will be ruled that an Indiana casino
issuing no more than two wasn’t duty-bound to shield a
licences for casinos estab- problem gambler who lost
lished on the offshore islands, $125,000 in one night.
following a local referendum. The Indiana Court of
The ruling Kuomintang Appeals said that the casino
(KMT), who control the legis- had sufficient programmes in
lature, pushed through the place and that gambler Jenny
bill in Parliament in January Kephart should have banned
to lift the ban on casinos and herself from the casino.
allow offshore islands to The woman tried to counter-
build casinos only if they are sue the Caesars Indiana in
approved by residents in ref- 2007 after subsequent owners
erendums. Ohio River casino sued her to
The government will not claim back $125,000 that she
issue a third licence for at had gambled in 2006.
least 10 years of licensing the She argued that Caesars,
second one to ‘avoid compe- now Horseshoe Southern
tition and reduce possible Indiana, tempted her with com-
social impacts.’ plimentary food and accom-
Officials say it may take a modation and gave her a credit
year for government agen- line, despite knowing she had
cies to amend the existing been bankrupt four year earlier.
law and complete investment The court ruled: “Kephart
requirements and screening has a responsibility to protect
procedures. The only areas herself from her own proclivi-
qualifying for consideration mined by an international con- licence application. benefit given its infrastruc- backwards emphasised their ties and not rely on a casino to
are Kinmen and Matsu, sulting company, reporting to The company and its advi- tural advantage, and their point by walking backwards bear sole responsibility for her
Penghu, Green Island and the Ministry of Transportation sors, Merrill Lynch, believe efforts to now attract top in a protest in Taipei. actions. While Kephart lost the
Orchid Island in Taitung and Communication (MOTC), that these developments con- international operators and The local referendums are money she wagered, it is an
County, and Liuchiu in Ping- who have been appointed to tinue to support the value of supporting tourism develop- now expecting to be com- injury that she chose to risk
tung County. oversee the administration of its landholdings and keep a ment bodes well for the pleted round the middle of incurring. She wagered her
Penghu is currently in the Integrated Resorts on the off- number of strategic options company with its substantial the year. Following a positive money to purchase a chance to
final stages of preparation for shore islands. open to the company. private landholding.” result, the search for the win even more. Indeed, it is
its referendum, and has previ- AMZ Holdings has spent a Michael Treanor, CEO of Penghu hopes to attract casino operators will take extremely unlikely that she
ously announced that it will considerable period of time AMZ, said: “We are encour- half a million tourist visits place next year, with the proj- would have brought suit had
be seeking to establish assembling land in Penghu, aged that Taiwan has taken each year, generating ects likely to open in 2013. she won her wagers.”
gaming Integrated Resorts and now has a resort building another step to clearly define NT$100bn worth of revenue The Ministry of Trans- Kephart’s lawyer claimed in
on the island. licence awarded to the site, the parameters and adopt a in gambling and tourism, and portation’s Tourism Bureau, court: “This was much more
Developers who secure a which will facilitate and transparent regulatory frame- creating up to 50,000 jobs. however, is expected to start than marketing. They sent a car
licence would be required to accelerate the final construc- work for their Integrated The move has not been inviting bids later this month to her front door.”
build a hotel with a minimum tion submissions to comply Resort Industry. We antici- welcomed by all though. to search for an international The matter could yet be
of 1,000 rooms. Further quali- with any new resort guide- pate that the Penghu Anti-casino activists claiming consultant to manage the referred to the state Supreme
fying parameters will be deter- lines and a successful casino economy will ultimately the casino concept is a step casino project. Court.
Stone follows Weidner out of Sands
stonefaced who walked from the board due to a dis- lehem, Pennsylvania in May. But most wor-
UNITED STATES agreement over the manner in which ryingly for analysts is the lack of continuity
Weidner had left. Company owner Sheldon in overseeing the development of the
Following the high profile departure of its Adelson said it was ‘not a systematic issue’ Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which
president Bill Weidner last month, Las and that he didn’t believe any other resig- many see as the company’s saving grace in
Vegas Sands has been left reeling by the nations were on the horizon. these difficult economic times. Some are
resignation of its executive vice president Weidner and Stone both previously already saying that the casino, which should
Brad Stone, who most pertinently was in worked for the Pratt Hotel Corp in Atlantic open by the end of the year, will become
charge of construction of Sands’ $5bn Sin- City before joining Las Vegas Sands in the most profitable in the world.
gapore project. 1995. Adelson said the role of overseeing In the same SEC filing as Stone’s
Stone, who was also president of global operations and construction would be filled resignation announcement, Las
operations and construction, resigned on by current executives. Vegas Sands said it was in talks with
March 18. His role at the company changed The resignation was announced in a lenders to buy back $800m of the
dramatically last year when Sands delayed filing with the Securities and Exchange company’s $10.5bn in debt.
construction of four resorts in Macau and a Commission. Adelson said the move was
$600m condominium tower on the Strip. The resignation leaves Sands without its another tool to solve potential
These two key departures sandwiched head of construction as it prepares to unveil covenant breaches but highlighted
Bradley Stone
the resignation of director James Purcell its $700m Sands Bethlehem project in Beth- that it wasn’t critical at this time.
May 2009 • internationalnews 3
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