TICKERS: MGM, MPEL, MAR, CCL, PCLN
MGM - MMCT, the joint Mohegan-Mashantucket Pequot venture authorized to seek a site for Connecticut's third casino received five site proposals ahead of Friday's 4 p.m. deadline. The venture, which issued a request for casino proposals in October, said in a press release that it had received submissions from East Hartford, East Windsor, Hartford and Windsor Locks. Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman Kevin Brown has described the project as in direct competition with MGM Springfield, which is scheduled to open in late 2018.
MPEL - The firm operating the City of Dreams Manila casino resort in the Philippines capital, Manila, said its chief operating officer Kevin Sim resigned on Friday for “personal reasons”. Melco Crown Resorts Corp added, in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange announcing the news, that the company would make an announcement about Mr Sim’s replacement “at the appropriate time”. The firm is a unit of Asian casino developer Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
MAR - U.S.-based hotel chain Marriott International Inc and Alibaba Group's online travel booking platform announced a tie-up on Monday, joining a flurry of rivals expanding their presence in China to cater to the country's growing upper-middle class. Marriott's deal announced on Monday is a commission-based tie-up with Alitrip that allows customers to book rooms with their mobile phones. It follows a September deal with an Alibaba affiliate allowing Marriott customers to settle their bills with Alipay, a Paypal-like payments service.
CCL - Papua New Guinea's uninhabited Conflict Islands, one of the most remote and peaceful atolls in the world, will be opened up to cruising from next year. Unveiling its 2017-18 program, P&O Cruises announced Pacific Jewel will make the first-ever cruise ship call to the privately-owned islands in June 2016. In 2017 P&O will also offer its first international "sea break" short cruise, with Pacific Eden's second Cairns season including four-night roundtrip itineraries to Alotau in Papua New Guinea and scenic cruising through Kawanasausau Strait and Milne Bay.
PCLN - A partnership with China Mobile – China’s biggest mobile phone network with more than 800 million users – means anyone reserving a room from a dedicated booking.com page on China Mobile’s web site gets at least 1GB-worth of free data. It also applies to bookings made via the China Mobile app. And for subscribers to China Mobile’s Shanghai Mobile brand, the reward is 2GB per booking. The amount of free data will increase in proportion to the number of bookings a user makes. Booking.com modestly claims this is “the world’s biggest cross-industry marketing campaign in history.”
Gaming Industry Review - The government will complete this year its review of the gaming industry, Secretary of the Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac has said. Mr Leong told reporters that the results of the review would be announced early next year. The review examines the progress of the six casino operators since the liberalisation of the gaming market in 2002. Each of the concessions they hold will expire between 2020 and 2022.
Demand For Casino Staff - Demand for manager-level and other types of skilled workers in the Macau casino industry is forecast to grow by about 30% over the next three years. A special committee on labour policies set up by the government has come up with the estimate. The forecast was based on studies commissioned by the committee from four Macau higher education institutions. The studies have not been made public; the estimate was instead included in an official press release on Friday’s meeting. It did not detail the methodology used to come up with the figure.
Takeaway: Unit labor costs are probably still headed higher
River Cruises - Several river cruise lines have been forced to cancel or alter their plans on the Danube River, due to continuing low water levels and drought conditions in Europe. On a sailing from Budapest to Amsterdam on Uniworld Boutique Cruises' Maria Theresa supership, the captain delivered the news Friday in Passau that the ship could go no further. Other ships are tied up at a smaller town about 12 hours east. Saturday, members of the ship were told that three cargo barges have run aground near Deggendorf, completely closing the river, even to small craft.
REGIONAL REVENUES (OCT):
- MARYLAND SS GGR: +9.2% YoY
- ILLINOIS SS GGR: +2.1% YoY
- BYD: -1.5% YoY (Par-A-Dice)
- IOWA SS GGR: +1.6% YoY
Takeaway: Regional gaming revenues coming in solid for October. We still like BYD on the long side