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The Grand Waldo casino weekend tournaments Melco PBL Entertainment is changing its name to Melco Crown
has opened a room to leading up to the Macau Entertainment Limited, reflecting a previously announced
host six cash tables and leg of the Asia Pacific Melco PBL change in the ownership structure of its founding shareholders,
capacity for 110 Poker Tour (APPT) in
Publishing and Broadcasting Limited. PBL, now known as
tournament players. September. The Grand
second to
The casino will partner Lisboa was the first casino
Consolidated Media Holdings Limited, completed a demerger of
its gaming and media businesses into two separate companies,
host poker
with PokerStars, the to introduce Texas
both listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with Crown, led by
world’s largest online Hold’em in January. James Packer, becoming the owner of the gaming assets of
poker site, which will run PBL including PBL’s shares in MPEL.
Junket rate
go round
and round
A round the table meeting last month saw Macau’s six licence
holders and sub-licence holders discuss the government’s new
gaming market regulations in a special meeting organised by the
Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) government.
junkfeud SJM, Melco International, of However, the other two market share grew from 4.9 tative Stephen Weaver said by most people present that
CHINA which his son Lawrence Ho is topics caused much debate. per cent in July last year to 21 that even a rate of 1.5 per cent the commission should have
chairman, and Wynn Macau. Operators in Macau tend per cent this year. would not work. a lower maximum rate than
High ranking executives from Melco PBL’s co chairman to pay a percentage of their Having seen the end of a 40 “It isn't the table that the current market level when
Macau’s six casino operators Lawrence Ho: “We believe the VIP winnings to junket opera- year monopoly savaged attracts players,” Weaver it came to junkets although
have met face to face to voice recent announcement by the tors who in return supply a Stanley Ho’s market share, argued. “One could build a opinion was split on the
their opinions on the SAR gov- Macau government regarding steady stream of high-rollers. Stanley Ho said: “The only way room and put in 1,000 tables, number of tables each licence
ernment’s ruling to freeze the the regulation of the gaming In 2007 the VIP market to control this crazy cutthroat but unless there is a reason holder should be allowed to
development of any new proj- industry is a major positive accounted for 67 per cent of competition is to control two for people to visit there, the operate.
ects, to set junket commis- for the industry and MPEL. We the live market. things, the number of tables table would be unused.” “The government takes the
sion at 1.25 per cent and to applaud the continued lead- Melco PBL’s Crown Macau, for each licensee and the com- He said operators had to responsibility to regulate the
review table numbers in ership the government has however, has rocked the ferry mission rate.” overcome more challenging gaming industry, ensuring its
Macau’s casinos. demonstrated on these this year though by increas- Ho’s proposal was to intro- locations by paying a higher healthy and sustainable devel-
The decision to prevent important issues, and we are ing its junket commission to duce a maximum commission commission. opment, and now it is time to
any new casino projects going proud that our development 1.35 per cent, meaning junket rate of 1.25 per cent and to Tam Pak Yuen, secretary for take a more active step and
ahead was welcomed by three pipeline delivers what Macau operators were more likely to limit table numbers at 1,000 economy and finance of the provide a platform for the
out of the six gaming opera- needs to become the enter- supply them with high rollers. for each licence holder. SAR government, however, operators to exchange their
tors, including Stanley Ho's tainment capital of Asia.” Subsequently, Crown’s VIP Las Vegas Sands’ represen- said agreement was reached opinions,” he explained.
Court rules against Adelson in
Sands licence lobbying debate
hiredhelped? arranged in Beijing in July 2001
CHINA between Chinese government
officials and Las Vegas Sands
The courtroom battle between Las executives was responsible for the
Vegas Sands boss Sheldon casino operator winning its
Adelson and Hong Kong licensing bid.
businessman Richard Suen has Adelson told jurors that
come to an end with a jury ruling a William Weidner, president and
US$43.8m judgment against Las chief operating officer, provided
Vegas Sands. a letter to Suen seeking his
Suen filed the civil lawsuit in assistance in doing business in
2004, claiming that he and his Macau but said Suen was never
company were promised a $5m hired by the company.
‘success fee’ and two per cent of The eight-person Clark
net casino profits for helping the County District Court jury
Las Vegas-based company secure deliberated for about a day
its gambling licence in the Chinese before returning the award.
enclave of Macau. Las Vegas Sands lawyer Rusty
According to Suen, Las Vegas Hardin said the company plans to
Sands hired his services to win appeal the decision.
favour with the Chinese Hardin said: “There is
government. He was successful absolutely no evidence these
and Las Vegas Sands opened the folks had anything to do with
Sands Macao and the Venetian The Sands Macau winning a subconcession. They
Macao and has plans for at least have provided no evidence,
10 more casino properties. only speculation.”
Las Vegas Sands attorneys The company later partnered Macau government. Sands a sub concession, a Weidner testified that Suen
argued that Suen was owed nothing with Hong Kong-based Galaxy The companies couldn't reach a decision that Suen's lawyers said would have earned a consultant's
because he did not make good on Entertainment in February 2002 contract agreement, however, and was a result of their client's fee of about $400,000 for about a
his promise to aid company and was awarded one of three the partnership was dissolved. previous lobbying. He argued that year-and-a-half of work but
executives in 2000 and 2001. gambling licences by the Macau then awarded Las Vegas a series of meetings Suen claims he wasn’t hired.
16 July 2008 • worldnews
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