Small Nuggets of News

Ho Hoi Meng, president of the Macao Association of Convention, Exhibition and Tourism Sectors, says the city will host as many as 600 exhibitions in 2023. Barring cancellations due to Covid or associated limits on international travel, that number would be 30 percent higher than this year and also exceed the number of pre-Covid events, which averaged 400 to 500 per year. ● Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is set to issue an executive order ending mandatory face masks indoors. Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said the move would “allow our country to be at par with our ASEAN neighbors who have long liberalized their mask mandates” and reinvigorate the casino industry, an important contributor to tax coffers. ● The opening of Phase 3 of the Galaxy Macau casino resort in Cotai is unlikely “until at least 2023,” hopefully in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Goldman Sachs (Asia). Analysts said Galaxy doesn’t want to “incur incremental costs before seeing sustainable visitation/GGR recovery.” Phases 3 and 4 would add “3,000 high-end and family rooms and villas”; a 16,000-seat multipurpose arena; meeting space and F&B outlets. ● Las Vegas’ popular Neon Museum received a special proclamation from the city last week to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its opening on Las Vegas Boulevard. Executive Director Aaron Berger accepted the proclamation inside the museum’s Neon Boneyard, home of its iconic neon sign collection. ● Operating expenses across the Macau gaming sector grew 45.4 percent year on year in 2021, to just above MOP9.95 billion (US$1.23 billion). For the same period, total revenues amounted to nearly MOP90.81 billion, up 42.0 percent over 2020. The increase was “attributable to a rebound in the number of visitor arrivals” to Macau, according to official data. ● The San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority (SMGHA), which owns the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, announced that it has awarded a total of $1.2 million in the form of 30 grants to various organizations throughout Southern Nevada, as part of its annual Palms Cares outreach program. The grants ranged in value from $5,000 to $250,000, with the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas receiving the largest sum. SMGHA Chairwoman Latisha Casas told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the program is symbolic of the help that the tribe received from others when it faced difficult times. ● This month, the Sahara Las Vegas celebrated its 70th anniversary, making it one of the longest-standing institutions on the famous Las Vegas Strip. The property may not be the premier destination it once was, but it’s remained steady despite undergoing two rebrands and ownership transfers in just the last 15 years. Current President Paul Hobson told Nevada Public Radio that the casino’s survival has largely been attributed to continued investment and development, especially the expansion of 1,100 additional rooms in the late ‘80s. ● Actor Vince Vaughn has been tapped by Caesars Sportsbook & Casino as a promotional spokesman. “Prince Vaughn” will join comedian JB Smoove as a star of Caesars sportsbook ads. Smoove portrays Caesar in the commercials. Caesars introduced Vaughn as the new face of Caesars iGaming and casino platforms. “Vince Vaughn is the ideal Prince of our iCasino brand,” said Caesars Chief Marketing Officer Sharon Otterman in a statement. “Prince Vaughn represents the entertainment and experience that our customers have with our app.” ● The federal government of India is mulling taking action against more than 220 offshore gaming sites, according to G2G as reported by Asian Gaming Brief. The Information Technology Ministry is also considering blocking new domain names to prevent websites that were initially blocked from dodging those impediments and reemerging under new names. It has also ordered media platforms to not advertise or promote offshore companies. It warns that broadcasters could lose their licenses if they don’t comply. The skill gaming body All India Gaming Federation estimates that offshore sites spend NR 3,500 crore a year ($424,472) on advertisements and promotions. • The Belgian Gaming Commission has begun to enforce a €200 weekly loss limit. The previous limit on net deposits was €500 per week. The limit applies to each site. An attempt to impose a “global limit” failed. Players may ask to have the limit raised if they are not registered as defaulters by the National Bank’s credit registry. ● For the third time a casino in Pennsylvania is changing its name—the Mohegan Sun Pocono will now be known as Mohegan Pennsylvania. The name change coincides with a $10 million renovation to the casino’s hotel. ● Casino equipment and gaming content provider International Game Technology Plc (IGT) has bought back just over 1.35 million shares of its own stock, for nearly $22.2 million. They said it was part of a share buyback program announced in November 2021. The company has said it increased the “maximum acceptance amount” of its offering to just above $600 million.