THE M3: ESUN SUIT DISMISSED; GGR 2Q DETAIL; MELCOLOT; PHILIPPINES; CHINA TRANSACTION TAX

The Macau Metro Monitor, July 19th, 2010


COURT BLOCKS eSUN'S MACAU CLAIM WSJ, macaubusiness.com

High Court Judge A.T. Reyes ruled that East Asia Satellite Television (Holdings) Ltd.'s $2.39 bililion lawsuit against New Cotai LL-- accusing New Cotai of deliberating delaying the development of their Macao Studio City project in order to force a renegotiation of the terms of their JV--was "untenable" under Macau and HK laws.  He allowed a separate claim for $88.6 million against Oaktree and Silver Point for “inducing breach” of an agreement to proceed.  East Asia is a joint venture company through which eSun Holdings Limited and CapitaLand Limited have invested in Macao Studio City.  New Cotai, owned by Silver Point, Oaktree and former Las Vegas Sands Corp. executive David Friedman, became an investor in Macao Studio City in December 2006.

David Friedman, CEO of New Cotai, said in a statement: "We are pleased that the High Court dismissed so many of East Asia's claims at this early stage of the proceedings... New Cotai remains well positioned to complete Macao Studio City once the impediments to doing so, including the litigation initiated by East Asia, are resolved."

The court ruling reiterated that the Macau government will reclaim the 6 million sq ft project site if plans don't proceed in the "near future."


CASINO'S GROSS REVENUES FROM BACCARAT NEARLY DOUBLES IN 2ND QUARTER MacauNews, Macau Daily News

According to the DICJ, VIP baccarat increased 98.7% YoY to MOP 32.368 BN in 2Q.  VIP baccarat represented 72.1% of the total GGR, MOP 44.902 BN, in 2Q.  VIP+Mass revenues accounted for 90.6% of the total GGR in 2Q (last year, their share was 87.1%).  Slot revenues rose 32.3% YoY to MOP 2.028 BN in 2Q.

The traditional Chinese game of dice known as Cussec or Big & Small reached MOP 856 MN in 2Q ( 34.2% YoY). Blackjack accounted for MOP 541 MN (25.3% YoY growth), stud poker for MOP 266 MN (16% YoY growth), and roulette for MOP 161 MN (28.8% YoY growth).  In other betting arenas--greyhound and horse races, lotteries, and soccer and basketball bets--, gross receipts totaled MOP 317 MN (50.2% YoY growth).

For 2Q, the number of gaming tables increased to 4,828 (up 17 QoQ) and the number of slot machines increased 156 units QoQ to 14,659.  According to Macau Daily News, industry experts believe GGR of MOP 130-140 MN for 2010 is an "acceptable level".


CHINA WELFARE LOTTERY DEAL FOR MELCOLOT AND INTRALOT Inside Asian Gaming, Yogonet.com

MelcoLot Ltd has reached a deal to supply INTRALOT's LOTOS Horizon hardware and software to the China Welfare Lottery operation in the city of Chongqing on the Chinese mainland.  MelcoLot is part of the HK-listed Melco Group, under Lawrence Ho.  The contract is for five years with a five-year renewal option by mutual consent.

PHILIPPINES MAY PRIVATIZE CASINO INDUSTRY Yogonet.com

President Benigno Aquino is considering privatizing the 41-casino chain of PAGCOR.  He stressed that the government will need to determine any irregularities within PAGCOR and come up with steps to remedy them.  "If at some point in time we can do away with having the government be the operator and the regulator, that will be a good direction," said Aquino.

TRANSACTION TAX MAY COOL CHINA HOUSING: PBOC ADVISER Reuters

Xia Bin, one of three academic advisers on the PBoC monetary policy committee, believes a higher tax on property transaction would do more than a property tax to cool China's housing market.