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  1. The importance of Jack Lam to the Macau gaming industry cannot be overestimated. As one of the largest VIP junket operators in Asia, Lam's company, the Jimei Group, controls the fortunes of two of the city's most important gaming companies, Las Vegas Sands and its three casinos and Wynn Macau.:
    Macau-based gaming tycoon Jack Lam has been blacklisted by the government for his alleged involvement in an illegal online casino in Clark Field, Pampanga This unethical act by these Israeli companies and their Philippine representative is a major insult to the Department of National Defense and the. Hong Kong casino junket plays are trading near multiyear lows as a protracted slowdown in Macau's high-roller gaming revenue and a mooted government Its shares have plunged per cent since the weekend to a historic low of HK cents, in part because of a company capital-reduction plan. Unlike other gambling hubs like Las Vegas, Macau depends on junkets for many of its customers. These companies bring high-spending gamblers to the casinos from mainland China, issue them credit and collect players' debts in exchange for commissions. The system took root there because the.
  2. HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police charged a prominent figure in Macau's casino junket industry with laundering billion Hong Kong dollars ($ Hong Kong stock exchange filings show Cheung, through his private holding company Jumbo Boom, owned as much as percent of Neptune in.:
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Maida says it was a process of examining regulations from around the world pertaining to technology. In many cases, GLI is the first company into a jurisdiction when word gets out that they are considering the legalization of gaming.

If they decide that they want gaming, we will help them get it regulated properly. The question whether or not to legalize gaming is usually a legislative or parliamentary decision, and we can offer facts and data. Nevertheless, GLI is often called to go before legislative committees or gaming boards whose members are political appointees. Maida says the current economic climate is spurring the legalization of even more gaming.

There was a further expansion in the midpoint of that decade. And now we see a tremendous number of states and countries looking at gaming to raise revenues without raising taxes on the other businesses and citizens. Transparency and integrity are the most important things to us. The goal is not to artificially keep some suppliers out of the market. The goal is to show the regulators that the products meet their standards and give them comfort that the equipment in their field will not create any scandals.

Whatever the regulator wants rules the day. Everyone has to work together. The tradition of Native Americans traveling to Washington, D. So Michael Anderson is simply carrying on a revered institution in Indian Country. While Indian nations are clearly sovereign, they all exist within the United States, so the attitude of the federal government toward tribes is crucial to their well-being. Anderson has the ear of some of the more powerful policymakers in the government, and, along with partner Loretta Tuell, has created what has become the go-to firm for tribes hoping to influence the shape of tribal-U.

The election of Barack Obama-with the near-unanimous support of Native American tribes-gives Indian Country hope that the future will be very different from the past. In some sense, Anderson is trying to temper expectations. And the government is more than just two or three political appointees. There are career, entrenched bureaucrats, if you will, who have not been favorable to Indian issues.

So, we might see modest progressive change, but dramatic change is going to be difficult to accomplish. So, that could be a real opportunity.

Anderson knows Washington intimately, and initially received note because of his background. After being raised in Oklahoma and working for the nation, he was named associate counsel and general counsel for the Senate Special Committee on Investigations. In , he was named executive director of the National Congress of American Indians. He joined the Clinton administration in , serving as legal counsel and later a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Indian Affairs until So when Anderson talks about Native American issues, people listen-especially Congress.

He testifies regularly before congressional committees and understands the government process very well. That knowledge will be tested when approaching the recent Supreme Court decision, Carcieri v. Salazar , which seems to limit the ability to take land into trust for gaming purposes.

With the recent scandals surrounding Jack Abramoff and tribal lobbying in Washington, Anderson says being one of the few Native-owned firms in D. The importance of Jack Lam to the Macau gaming industry cannot be overestimated. In addition to his junket services, Jimei operates two casino cruise ships-the M.

The company also opened its first casino in Macau early in , in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Lam was born in Guangzhou, China, and moved to Hong Kong in to work with his uncle, who owned a factory there. He accompanied his uncle on gambling trips to Macau and became enamored with the industry.

In , he began working as a sub-agent, bringing junkets to the SAR and continuing to establish contacts in the region. He seemed to have an innate grasp of the motivations of Asian gamblers and a sixth sense about what they required and how to treat them.

The relationships he built with his customers have created a loyalty that he has parlayed into an empire. Lam is now preparing for the opening of gaming in Singapore, and expects that city to be an attractive destination for players.

This initial surge of travelers into Singapore may cause a temporary reduction of customers in other Asian gaming markets, but in the long run, I believe the Singapore market will help to develop new customers, and increase the overall business opportunities in Asia. Lam is also looking at other nations in Asia for an expansion of the gaming industry.

Given the opportunity, I would love to participate in this market in my role. For his home turf, however, he has confidence that the Chinese government will understand the importance of Macau to the entire country.

I believe the father will certainly help the son to grow up in a healthy manner when needed. Even though some operators want to curtail the VIP junket system in place in Macau and in other regions across Asia, Lam is confident it will remain strong.

And as head of that organization, the second-best move was to appoint Frank J. And maybe the best move Fahrenkopf made when he took over was to appoint Judy Patterson has his chief deputy. She learned the ropes as the as special assistant to the president of the American Bar Association, and applied what she learned there to the AGA. In the early days, it was a four-man team, and Patterson said they had to get up to speed quickly. Less than a year later, however, Congress passed a bill that established the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, supported by gaming opponents, who were planning to use the results to rein in the expansion of gaming.

Because we were so proactive, the industry came out very well in the final report. And second, it was a call-to-arms for the industry to get more organized.

It solidified our role with the AGA and brought the industry together in a way it had never been unified before. She organized and chaired several task forces focused on issues such as diversity, taxes, bank secrecy act provisions, communications and responsible gaming. The formation of the National Center for Responsible Gaming is one of the triumphs of the AGA, and it has helped develop groundbreaking research into problem gambling.

And if we were going to fund research, we needed to find a way to make sure it was clearly independent. We were fortunate to join with Dr. Howard Shaffer at Harvard, and he helped guide us in setting up the research and the structure. I give our members credit. They put their money forward not knowing what the ultimate outcome was going to be. But we have always been better served by investing in research that is peer-reviewed and unbiased than we ever would have been if we arrived at the answer via anecdotal information.

With the 10th anniversary of the AGA come and gone, Patterson looks forward to expanding the influence of the association by attracting more members. The road from racket to respectability for the gaming industry has been long and rocky. Faiss had one goal as he entered college: His professionalism caught the attention of a candidate for governor, and when Grant Sawyer was elected, he chose Faiss as public information officer. Still, Faiss had no thought of attending law school, but continued with the political career that had overtaken him.

But when Sawyer was defeated for a third term, Faiss decided to take the plunge and attended law school in Washington, D. Faiss had experience at the state and federal levels serving with President Lyndon Johnson in the late s , but nothing had prepared him for the battle with the mob. Progress was limited, until Faiss backed by his mentor, Sawyer began to re-shape Nevada gaming regulations. So people had been in business for a long time and had been doing things the way they thought best, and suddenly this system started to be foisted upon them.

So there was resistance. Both the courts and public opinion supported this approach. Further tweaks to the system allowed gaming to operate successfully as long as the integrity of the operation and the games was assured.

He wanted us to understand that we were not only representing our clients but we are also officers of the system. Grant Sawyer was wise enough to stay out of the regulatory end of things, and all subsequent governors have followed his lead.

Partisan politics are just not part of the system, and all the commissioners and board members past and present would attest to that. The company saw a huge drop in revenue the following year after losing a huge chunk of its customer base, of which more than 50 percent were U. But under the direction of Mitch Garber, then CEO of the company, PartyGaming took to an aggressive strategy of mergers and acquisitions that saw the company recover its lost revenue by expanding in other jurisdictions that were more friendly to online gaming operators.

Garber has since left PartyGaming, but he remains a pivotal figure in the online gaming world. The approach will be similar to what Garber did with PartyGaming, with a strong emphasis on international growth in regulated and open markets.

The biggest challenge, he says, is to avoid damaging the brands. And while international growth will help the company-especially as it labors under the debt incurred to go private in and reduced revenues at its Las Vegas and Atlantic City properties caused by the ongoing recession-Garber also believes that the future of online gaming definitely includes the U.

There is legislation now in both the House and Senate that would create a system for regulating and taxing online operations in the U. Ron Goudsmit wants to see a level playing field, where land-based casino operators compete on equal terms with the online casino industry. Macau regulatory move on VIP room operators and declining revenue from high rollers see gaming stocks tumble to multiyear lows. Hong Kong casino junket plays are trading near multiyear lows as a protracted slowdown in Macau's high-roller gaming revenue and a mooted government assault on the sector's business model take its toll.

Shares of Jimei International Entertainment Group, which holds casino junket contracts in Macau, Cambodia and Australia, according to its website and recent interim report, dropped 3.

Jimei has fallen Also known as gaming or VIP room promoters, junket firms channel wealthy clients into casino private salons, arranging hotel rooms and other perks. Typically, their main role is to provide credit to Chinese clients subject to mainland currency controls. Such firms have been accused in Hong Kong court documents, and in US congressional hearings, of having links to organised crime, and the sector is overshadowed by recurring charges of money laundering.

Although most junkets are privately owned, having a listed arm is seen as an asset during a market slowdown. Listed companies would have a definite advantage over other companies in getting cash more easily," said Carlos Siu-lam, an associate professor with the Gaming Teaching and Research Centre at Macao Polytechnic Institute.

For example, in addition to a share of revenues from junket operator Ocho Sociedade Unipressoal, Hong Kong-listed China Star Entertainment has expanded into medicinal herb distribution and film production. Its shares have plunged The sector has also suffered from a general drop in gaming revenue following a mainland clampdown on graft. Macau accumulated gross gaming revenue fell Skip to main content.

HK casino junket plays poor bets amid slowdown. Wednesday, 23 September, , Additional reporting by Raquel Carvalho. You are signed up.

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And as head of that organization, the second-best move was to appoint Frank J. And maybe the best move Fahrenkopf made when he took over was to appoint Judy Patterson has his chief deputy. She learned the ropes as the as special assistant to the president of the American Bar Association, and applied what she learned there to the AGA. In the early days, it was a four-man team, and Patterson said they had to get up to speed quickly.

Less than a year later, however, Congress passed a bill that established the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, supported by gaming opponents, who were planning to use the results to rein in the expansion of gaming. Because we were so proactive, the industry came out very well in the final report. And second, it was a call-to-arms for the industry to get more organized. It solidified our role with the AGA and brought the industry together in a way it had never been unified before.

She organized and chaired several task forces focused on issues such as diversity, taxes, bank secrecy act provisions, communications and responsible gaming. The formation of the National Center for Responsible Gaming is one of the triumphs of the AGA, and it has helped develop groundbreaking research into problem gambling.

And if we were going to fund research, we needed to find a way to make sure it was clearly independent. We were fortunate to join with Dr. Howard Shaffer at Harvard, and he helped guide us in setting up the research and the structure.

I give our members credit. They put their money forward not knowing what the ultimate outcome was going to be. But we have always been better served by investing in research that is peer-reviewed and unbiased than we ever would have been if we arrived at the answer via anecdotal information. With the 10th anniversary of the AGA come and gone, Patterson looks forward to expanding the influence of the association by attracting more members.

The road from racket to respectability for the gaming industry has been long and rocky. Faiss had one goal as he entered college: His professionalism caught the attention of a candidate for governor, and when Grant Sawyer was elected, he chose Faiss as public information officer. Still, Faiss had no thought of attending law school, but continued with the political career that had overtaken him. But when Sawyer was defeated for a third term, Faiss decided to take the plunge and attended law school in Washington, D.

Faiss had experience at the state and federal levels serving with President Lyndon Johnson in the late s , but nothing had prepared him for the battle with the mob. Progress was limited, until Faiss backed by his mentor, Sawyer began to re-shape Nevada gaming regulations. So people had been in business for a long time and had been doing things the way they thought best, and suddenly this system started to be foisted upon them. So there was resistance.

Both the courts and public opinion supported this approach. Further tweaks to the system allowed gaming to operate successfully as long as the integrity of the operation and the games was assured. He wanted us to understand that we were not only representing our clients but we are also officers of the system. Grant Sawyer was wise enough to stay out of the regulatory end of things, and all subsequent governors have followed his lead.

Partisan politics are just not part of the system, and all the commissioners and board members past and present would attest to that. The company saw a huge drop in revenue the following year after losing a huge chunk of its customer base, of which more than 50 percent were U. But under the direction of Mitch Garber, then CEO of the company, PartyGaming took to an aggressive strategy of mergers and acquisitions that saw the company recover its lost revenue by expanding in other jurisdictions that were more friendly to online gaming operators.

Garber has since left PartyGaming, but he remains a pivotal figure in the online gaming world. The approach will be similar to what Garber did with PartyGaming, with a strong emphasis on international growth in regulated and open markets. The biggest challenge, he says, is to avoid damaging the brands.

And while international growth will help the company-especially as it labors under the debt incurred to go private in and reduced revenues at its Las Vegas and Atlantic City properties caused by the ongoing recession-Garber also believes that the future of online gaming definitely includes the U.

There is legislation now in both the House and Senate that would create a system for regulating and taxing online operations in the U.

Ron Goudsmit wants to see a level playing field, where land-based casino operators compete on equal terms with the online casino industry. Goudsmit began his casino career 33 years ago, as a dealer at the first legal casino in The Netherlands. On his way up through the ranks of the Holland Casino organization, Goudsmit has held various positions, including a casino directorship and corporate divisional vice presidencies of gaming, international and business development.

Since he has served as secretary of the executive board of Holland Casino. The ECA is a fairly recent invention. Founded in , the non-profit organization seeks to provide European casino operators with a voice that can be heard by E. At the time we had the European Casino Forum, but that was an informal group with few members and not properly organized.

With the ECF we were missing relevant information, and we had no way to convey information to the E. These days a great deal of focus of the ECA is on the online gaming industry, the question being how to regulate it. Some are already involved with online gaming and some are on the brink of getting involved.

Somehow you have to try and work with Brussels to try and help find a solution, because the problem is just as big for them as it is for us. The Council of the EU has an official working group studying the general subject of gambling, with online gaming just one of the major points.

The working group is precisely the kind of body that the ECA needs to be able to assist with expert information, says Goudsmit. One of the ECA methods for gathering information is to survey its members on a particular question. There is a very open communication and exchange of information, something that has grown over the last couple of years and is very much appreciated by the members.

Goudsmit expects the European casino industry to move increasingly toward mixed entertainment, with less emphasis on gambling and more on amenities that make the casino an attractive place for an evening out on the town. As for Europe-wide legislation from Brussels, he believes that might be a lot farther down the road, if at all. As someone versed in urban planning and traffic engineering, Steve Rittvo has expanded his field of influence quite a bit since he was introduced to the gaming industry in the early s.

As head of Urban Systems, Rittvo was engaged by Chris Hemmeter, a hotel developer and one of the first bidders for the New Orleans casino, to study traffic patterns near the proposed gaming site. He later became the master-planner and principal analyst for that casino project.

We took that to 21 casino companies until we partnered with Players International. And we ended up with license No. With the combination of consulting and being involved in his own project, Rittvo got up to speed quickly on gaming.

But the real breakthrough was his ability to develop and refine forecasting models for casino revenue when gaming companies were considering jurisdictions and specific sites. The next big move for Rittvo was to partner with Jason Ader, who was at the time the leading investment bank gaming analyst with Bear Stearns. The Innovation Group quickly became one of the leading consulting companies in the gaming industry. Rittvo partnered with Steve Szapor, the former president of the Sahara in Las Vegas, and the company began a rapid growth spurt.

His knowledge of operations has been valuable to clients whose knowledge of the business came only in passing. With the economic crisis, Rittvo is seeing a lot of activity in the company, particularly in the construction and management side of the business. Working for a living is something that John Wilhelm knows intimately.

Since graduating with high honors from Yale, Wilhelm has helped organize workers at the lower rungs of the employment ladder. When he was appointed to lead organizing efforts in Las Vegas in , a seminal moment for the gaming resort, his diplomacy and advocacy for the front-line and back-of-the-house workers paid dividends for both the city and the employees. Now, granted, management agreed to allow us to do it this way, but I contend that the growth of Las Vegas during this time would never have been accomplished without card check.

You had labor peace in Las Vegas during this entire period where both the casino companies and the employees prospered. It was good for everyone. Because I believe that any town that develops a reputation for labor turmoil has its marketing message undermined quite dramatically. Wilhelm is always looking for the solution that works for everyone, and the one element that works for everyone in the gaming industry is customer service. We have to be attentive to people, whether they are employees or customers.

Wilhelm believes that workers in that industry need representation as much as in the commercial gaming industry, with one exception. In that case, tribes have to deal with the fact that their employees should be permitted to organize and improve their lives. I think they are undermining tribal sovereignty by refusing to recognize on a voluntary basis the rights of their employees.

For Mac Seelig, his friends and colleagues are his family. It started more than 30 years ago when casino gaming came to his home town of Atlantic City. As a small hotelier and vending machine operator, Seelig had to figure out how he could use gaming to better his family.

While the answer was not as black-and-white as it might seem today, Seelig reached a deal with a small slot company called International Game Technology to distribute its machines in Atlantic City and the Caribbean. Because of a regulation in New Jersey that barred casinos from buying more than 50 percent of their machines from one company, IGT was able to overcome the substantial lead held by the then-slot giant Bally Manufacturing. And the addition of his wife and sons as directors of the company has truly made it a family affair.

Seelig served as an introduction to the community for IGT, which allowed the company to be recognized as a leader, first in Atlantic City, and later in the world. We think you'd also like. Thank you You are on the list. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Casino junket plays poor bets amid slowdown. Most Popular Viewed 1. China risks escalating row with US and EU with steel duty cut. Why bitcoin could trigger the next global financial crash.

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They put their money forward not knowing what the ultimate outcome was going to be. But we have always been better served by investing in research that is peer-reviewed and unbiased than we ever would have been if we arrived at the answer via anecdotal information. With the 10th anniversary of the AGA come and gone, Patterson looks forward to expanding the influence of the association by attracting more members.

The road from racket to respectability for the gaming industry has been long and rocky. Faiss had one goal as he entered college: His professionalism caught the attention of a candidate for governor, and when Grant Sawyer was elected, he chose Faiss as public information officer. Still, Faiss had no thought of attending law school, but continued with the political career that had overtaken him. But when Sawyer was defeated for a third term, Faiss decided to take the plunge and attended law school in Washington, D.

Faiss had experience at the state and federal levels serving with President Lyndon Johnson in the late s , but nothing had prepared him for the battle with the mob. Progress was limited, until Faiss backed by his mentor, Sawyer began to re-shape Nevada gaming regulations. So people had been in business for a long time and had been doing things the way they thought best, and suddenly this system started to be foisted upon them.

So there was resistance. Both the courts and public opinion supported this approach. Further tweaks to the system allowed gaming to operate successfully as long as the integrity of the operation and the games was assured. He wanted us to understand that we were not only representing our clients but we are also officers of the system. Grant Sawyer was wise enough to stay out of the regulatory end of things, and all subsequent governors have followed his lead.

Partisan politics are just not part of the system, and all the commissioners and board members past and present would attest to that. The company saw a huge drop in revenue the following year after losing a huge chunk of its customer base, of which more than 50 percent were U.

But under the direction of Mitch Garber, then CEO of the company, PartyGaming took to an aggressive strategy of mergers and acquisitions that saw the company recover its lost revenue by expanding in other jurisdictions that were more friendly to online gaming operators. Garber has since left PartyGaming, but he remains a pivotal figure in the online gaming world. The approach will be similar to what Garber did with PartyGaming, with a strong emphasis on international growth in regulated and open markets.

The biggest challenge, he says, is to avoid damaging the brands. And while international growth will help the company-especially as it labors under the debt incurred to go private in and reduced revenues at its Las Vegas and Atlantic City properties caused by the ongoing recession-Garber also believes that the future of online gaming definitely includes the U. There is legislation now in both the House and Senate that would create a system for regulating and taxing online operations in the U.

Ron Goudsmit wants to see a level playing field, where land-based casino operators compete on equal terms with the online casino industry. Goudsmit began his casino career 33 years ago, as a dealer at the first legal casino in The Netherlands.

On his way up through the ranks of the Holland Casino organization, Goudsmit has held various positions, including a casino directorship and corporate divisional vice presidencies of gaming, international and business development.

Since he has served as secretary of the executive board of Holland Casino. The ECA is a fairly recent invention. Founded in , the non-profit organization seeks to provide European casino operators with a voice that can be heard by E. At the time we had the European Casino Forum, but that was an informal group with few members and not properly organized.

With the ECF we were missing relevant information, and we had no way to convey information to the E. These days a great deal of focus of the ECA is on the online gaming industry, the question being how to regulate it. Some are already involved with online gaming and some are on the brink of getting involved. Somehow you have to try and work with Brussels to try and help find a solution, because the problem is just as big for them as it is for us. The Council of the EU has an official working group studying the general subject of gambling, with online gaming just one of the major points.

The working group is precisely the kind of body that the ECA needs to be able to assist with expert information, says Goudsmit. One of the ECA methods for gathering information is to survey its members on a particular question.

There is a very open communication and exchange of information, something that has grown over the last couple of years and is very much appreciated by the members. Goudsmit expects the European casino industry to move increasingly toward mixed entertainment, with less emphasis on gambling and more on amenities that make the casino an attractive place for an evening out on the town.

As for Europe-wide legislation from Brussels, he believes that might be a lot farther down the road, if at all. As someone versed in urban planning and traffic engineering, Steve Rittvo has expanded his field of influence quite a bit since he was introduced to the gaming industry in the early s. As head of Urban Systems, Rittvo was engaged by Chris Hemmeter, a hotel developer and one of the first bidders for the New Orleans casino, to study traffic patterns near the proposed gaming site.

He later became the master-planner and principal analyst for that casino project. We took that to 21 casino companies until we partnered with Players International.

And we ended up with license No. With the combination of consulting and being involved in his own project, Rittvo got up to speed quickly on gaming. But the real breakthrough was his ability to develop and refine forecasting models for casino revenue when gaming companies were considering jurisdictions and specific sites.

The next big move for Rittvo was to partner with Jason Ader, who was at the time the leading investment bank gaming analyst with Bear Stearns.

The Innovation Group quickly became one of the leading consulting companies in the gaming industry. Rittvo partnered with Steve Szapor, the former president of the Sahara in Las Vegas, and the company began a rapid growth spurt. His knowledge of operations has been valuable to clients whose knowledge of the business came only in passing. With the economic crisis, Rittvo is seeing a lot of activity in the company, particularly in the construction and management side of the business.

Working for a living is something that John Wilhelm knows intimately. Since graduating with high honors from Yale, Wilhelm has helped organize workers at the lower rungs of the employment ladder.

When he was appointed to lead organizing efforts in Las Vegas in , a seminal moment for the gaming resort, his diplomacy and advocacy for the front-line and back-of-the-house workers paid dividends for both the city and the employees. Now, granted, management agreed to allow us to do it this way, but I contend that the growth of Las Vegas during this time would never have been accomplished without card check.

You had labor peace in Las Vegas during this entire period where both the casino companies and the employees prospered. It was good for everyone. Because I believe that any town that develops a reputation for labor turmoil has its marketing message undermined quite dramatically. Wilhelm is always looking for the solution that works for everyone, and the one element that works for everyone in the gaming industry is customer service.

We have to be attentive to people, whether they are employees or customers. Wilhelm believes that workers in that industry need representation as much as in the commercial gaming industry, with one exception.

In that case, tribes have to deal with the fact that their employees should be permitted to organize and improve their lives. I think they are undermining tribal sovereignty by refusing to recognize on a voluntary basis the rights of their employees.

For Mac Seelig, his friends and colleagues are his family. It started more than 30 years ago when casino gaming came to his home town of Atlantic City. As a small hotelier and vending machine operator, Seelig had to figure out how he could use gaming to better his family. While the answer was not as black-and-white as it might seem today, Seelig reached a deal with a small slot company called International Game Technology to distribute its machines in Atlantic City and the Caribbean.

Because of a regulation in New Jersey that barred casinos from buying more than 50 percent of their machines from one company, IGT was able to overcome the substantial lead held by the then-slot giant Bally Manufacturing. And the addition of his wife and sons as directors of the company has truly made it a family affair. Seelig served as an introduction to the community for IGT, which allowed the company to be recognized as a leader, first in Atlantic City, and later in the world.

He says that the new leaders heading up gaming companies today give him hope for the future. This new generation is much more calculating. The industry is changing. There are new customers who we must appeal to and diversify ourselves beyond gaming.

Seelig and his family have raised thousands of dollars for causes in Atlantic City and beyond over the past 30 years. Pound for pound, no industry comes close to what we do.

It has allowed him to maintain control of the company and spread the family influence. We believe in strong core values that our family holds. Because of this close contact with the industry, Seelig says his company is positioned well for the future.

Skip to content September , Features. For more information, visit http: Organized by Guinness record holder for greatest memory, Dave Farrow. For more information, visit https: Produced by Spectrum Gaming Group. Listed companies would have a definite advantage over other companies in getting cash more easily," said Carlos Siu-lam, an associate professor with the Gaming Teaching and Research Centre at Macao Polytechnic Institute.

For example, in addition to a share of revenues from junket operator Ocho Sociedade Unipressoal, Hong Kong-listed China Star Entertainment has expanded into medicinal herb distribution and film production. Its shares have plunged The sector has also suffered from a general drop in gaming revenue following a mainland clampdown on graft.

Macau accumulated gross gaming revenue fell Skip to main content. HK casino junket plays poor bets amid slowdown. Wednesday, 23 September, , Additional reporting by Raquel Carvalho. You are signed up. We think you'd also like. Thank you You are on the list. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Casino junket plays poor bets amid slowdown. Most Popular Viewed 1. China risks escalating row with US and EU with steel duty cut.

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Faiss had one goal as he entered college: His professionalism caught the attention of a candidate for governor, and when Grant Sawyer was elected, he chose Faiss as public information officer. Still, Faiss had no thought of attending law school, but continued with the political career that had overtaken him. But when Sawyer was defeated for a third term, Faiss decided to take the plunge and attended law school in Washington, D.

Faiss had experience at the state and federal levels serving with President Lyndon Johnson in the late s , but nothing had prepared him for the battle with the mob. Progress was limited, until Faiss backed by his mentor, Sawyer began to re-shape Nevada gaming regulations. So people had been in business for a long time and had been doing things the way they thought best, and suddenly this system started to be foisted upon them.

So there was resistance. Both the courts and public opinion supported this approach. Further tweaks to the system allowed gaming to operate successfully as long as the integrity of the operation and the games was assured.

He wanted us to understand that we were not only representing our clients but we are also officers of the system. Grant Sawyer was wise enough to stay out of the regulatory end of things, and all subsequent governors have followed his lead.

Partisan politics are just not part of the system, and all the commissioners and board members past and present would attest to that. The company saw a huge drop in revenue the following year after losing a huge chunk of its customer base, of which more than 50 percent were U.

But under the direction of Mitch Garber, then CEO of the company, PartyGaming took to an aggressive strategy of mergers and acquisitions that saw the company recover its lost revenue by expanding in other jurisdictions that were more friendly to online gaming operators. Garber has since left PartyGaming, but he remains a pivotal figure in the online gaming world. The approach will be similar to what Garber did with PartyGaming, with a strong emphasis on international growth in regulated and open markets.

The biggest challenge, he says, is to avoid damaging the brands. And while international growth will help the company-especially as it labors under the debt incurred to go private in and reduced revenues at its Las Vegas and Atlantic City properties caused by the ongoing recession-Garber also believes that the future of online gaming definitely includes the U. There is legislation now in both the House and Senate that would create a system for regulating and taxing online operations in the U.

Ron Goudsmit wants to see a level playing field, where land-based casino operators compete on equal terms with the online casino industry. Goudsmit began his casino career 33 years ago, as a dealer at the first legal casino in The Netherlands. On his way up through the ranks of the Holland Casino organization, Goudsmit has held various positions, including a casino directorship and corporate divisional vice presidencies of gaming, international and business development.

Since he has served as secretary of the executive board of Holland Casino. The ECA is a fairly recent invention. Founded in , the non-profit organization seeks to provide European casino operators with a voice that can be heard by E.

At the time we had the European Casino Forum, but that was an informal group with few members and not properly organized. With the ECF we were missing relevant information, and we had no way to convey information to the E. These days a great deal of focus of the ECA is on the online gaming industry, the question being how to regulate it.

Some are already involved with online gaming and some are on the brink of getting involved. Somehow you have to try and work with Brussels to try and help find a solution, because the problem is just as big for them as it is for us. The Council of the EU has an official working group studying the general subject of gambling, with online gaming just one of the major points. The working group is precisely the kind of body that the ECA needs to be able to assist with expert information, says Goudsmit.

One of the ECA methods for gathering information is to survey its members on a particular question. There is a very open communication and exchange of information, something that has grown over the last couple of years and is very much appreciated by the members.

Goudsmit expects the European casino industry to move increasingly toward mixed entertainment, with less emphasis on gambling and more on amenities that make the casino an attractive place for an evening out on the town.

As for Europe-wide legislation from Brussels, he believes that might be a lot farther down the road, if at all. As someone versed in urban planning and traffic engineering, Steve Rittvo has expanded his field of influence quite a bit since he was introduced to the gaming industry in the early s. As head of Urban Systems, Rittvo was engaged by Chris Hemmeter, a hotel developer and one of the first bidders for the New Orleans casino, to study traffic patterns near the proposed gaming site.

He later became the master-planner and principal analyst for that casino project. We took that to 21 casino companies until we partnered with Players International.

And we ended up with license No. With the combination of consulting and being involved in his own project, Rittvo got up to speed quickly on gaming. But the real breakthrough was his ability to develop and refine forecasting models for casino revenue when gaming companies were considering jurisdictions and specific sites.

The next big move for Rittvo was to partner with Jason Ader, who was at the time the leading investment bank gaming analyst with Bear Stearns. The Innovation Group quickly became one of the leading consulting companies in the gaming industry. Rittvo partnered with Steve Szapor, the former president of the Sahara in Las Vegas, and the company began a rapid growth spurt. His knowledge of operations has been valuable to clients whose knowledge of the business came only in passing.

With the economic crisis, Rittvo is seeing a lot of activity in the company, particularly in the construction and management side of the business. Working for a living is something that John Wilhelm knows intimately.

Since graduating with high honors from Yale, Wilhelm has helped organize workers at the lower rungs of the employment ladder. When he was appointed to lead organizing efforts in Las Vegas in , a seminal moment for the gaming resort, his diplomacy and advocacy for the front-line and back-of-the-house workers paid dividends for both the city and the employees.

Now, granted, management agreed to allow us to do it this way, but I contend that the growth of Las Vegas during this time would never have been accomplished without card check. You had labor peace in Las Vegas during this entire period where both the casino companies and the employees prospered.

It was good for everyone. Because I believe that any town that develops a reputation for labor turmoil has its marketing message undermined quite dramatically. Wilhelm is always looking for the solution that works for everyone, and the one element that works for everyone in the gaming industry is customer service. We have to be attentive to people, whether they are employees or customers. Wilhelm believes that workers in that industry need representation as much as in the commercial gaming industry, with one exception.

In that case, tribes have to deal with the fact that their employees should be permitted to organize and improve their lives. I think they are undermining tribal sovereignty by refusing to recognize on a voluntary basis the rights of their employees.

For Mac Seelig, his friends and colleagues are his family. It started more than 30 years ago when casino gaming came to his home town of Atlantic City. As a small hotelier and vending machine operator, Seelig had to figure out how he could use gaming to better his family.

While the answer was not as black-and-white as it might seem today, Seelig reached a deal with a small slot company called International Game Technology to distribute its machines in Atlantic City and the Caribbean. Because of a regulation in New Jersey that barred casinos from buying more than 50 percent of their machines from one company, IGT was able to overcome the substantial lead held by the then-slot giant Bally Manufacturing.

And the addition of his wife and sons as directors of the company has truly made it a family affair. Seelig served as an introduction to the community for IGT, which allowed the company to be recognized as a leader, first in Atlantic City, and later in the world. He says that the new leaders heading up gaming companies today give him hope for the future. This new generation is much more calculating. The industry is changing.

There are new customers who we must appeal to and diversify ourselves beyond gaming. Seelig and his family have raised thousands of dollars for causes in Atlantic City and beyond over the past 30 years.

Pound for pound, no industry comes close to what we do. It has allowed him to maintain control of the company and spread the family influence. We believe in strong core values that our family holds. Because of this close contact with the industry, Seelig says his company is positioned well for the future. Skip to content September , Features. For more information, visit http: Organized by Guinness record holder for greatest memory, Dave Farrow.

For more information, visit https: Produced by Spectrum Gaming Group. For more information, visit nclgs. Organized by Casino Essntials.

Produced by Clarion Gaming. For more information, visit www. Also known as gaming or VIP room promoters, junket firms channel wealthy clients into casino private salons, arranging hotel rooms and other perks. Typically, their main role is to provide credit to Chinese clients subject to mainland currency controls. Such firms have been accused in Hong Kong court documents, and in US congressional hearings, of having links to organised crime, and the sector is overshadowed by recurring charges of money laundering.

Although most junkets are privately owned, having a listed arm is seen as an asset during a market slowdown. Listed companies would have a definite advantage over other companies in getting cash more easily," said Carlos Siu-lam, an associate professor with the Gaming Teaching and Research Centre at Macao Polytechnic Institute. For example, in addition to a share of revenues from junket operator Ocho Sociedade Unipressoal, Hong Kong-listed China Star Entertainment has expanded into medicinal herb distribution and film production.

Its shares have plunged The sector has also suffered from a general drop in gaming revenue following a mainland clampdown on graft. Macau accumulated gross gaming revenue fell Skip to main content. HK casino junket plays poor bets amid slowdown.

Wednesday, 23 September, , Additional reporting by Raquel Carvalho. You are signed up. We think you'd also like. Thank you You are on the list. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Casino junket plays poor bets amid slowdown.

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