Asia round-up: Citizen Zhijiang, Q2 woes and Galaxy’s concession quest

Home » Asia round-up: Citizen Zhijiang, Q2 woes and Galaxy’s concession quest

She Zhijiang will be returned to China.
Chinese online gambling operator apprehended Thai police have confirmed that She Zhijiang will be deported from Thailand and returned to China following his arrest last week.
He faces charges of running an illegal cross-border gambling operation upon his return.

Zhijiang, the chairman of Yatai International Holding Group, was convicted of running an illegal lottery business in the Philippines by a court in China’s Shandong province, despite having settled in Cambodia as a citizen by then, prompting a decade-long search by Chinese authorities to bring him back.

Meanwhile, Yantai International is working on a $15 billion casino project near the Burmese border.

Japan’s growth has slowed, according to Catena.

Catena Media cited decreased Japanese revenue as one of the major reasons for the slump in its disappointing Q2 report. The affiliate attributed its poor performance to a weak yen and political controversy, but it expects better results in the future, as pro-gaming parties were recently elected in the country.

“Revenue in Japan declined unexpectedly due to multiple factors including a weak yen and a political controversy centered on online gaming,” said Catena CEO Michael Daly. The political storm temporarily jolted player sentiment and depressed revenue, and we expect the impact to last a quarter or so. The victory of pro-gaming parties in the July parliamentary elections will help this process.

“The parties’ initial focus will be on legalizing land-based casinos, but their participation should improve the preconditions for online casino and be beneficial to Catena Media.”

Galaxy is still “well positioned” for a gaming concession in Macau.

Following the release of its Q2 results (see below), Galaxy Chairman Lui Che Woo stated that the casino group is still “well positioned” and ready to bid for one of Macau’s new gaming licenses.

“We are well positioned to compete for one of Macau’s gaming concessions and look forward to completing the concession bidding process by the end of the year,” he said.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Macau has been subjected to severe restrictions in accordance with China’s zero-Covid policy, causing Galaxy to postpone its Phase 3 opening date, which it says will be determined by market conditions at the time.

The ACMA wants Internet service providers to block illegal gambling and affiliates.

The Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has directed ISPs (internet service providers) to increase their efforts in blocking illegal offshore gambling and affiliate sites.

During a recent investigation, the ACMA determined that a number of sites, including Casino Moons, Extra Vegas, Winnerama, and Win Paradise, were operating outside of the Interactive Gambling Act and should be blocked by ISPs.

Since sending its first blocking request in 2019, the ACMA has successfully blocked 568 illegal gambling and affiliate sites.

Trio releases second-quarter results

Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) reported a 56% drop in revenue year on year, totaling HK$2.4bn ($310m) in its Q2 results – and its adjusted EBITDA dropped into negative territory, totaling HK$-384m, compared to HK$1.13bn in 2021.

Meanwhile, Studio City International Holdings reported revenue losses in its Q2 results, reporting a negative $1.9m figure against a total of $31.2m in the 2021 Q2. Furthermore, Studio City’s EBITDA fell sharply year on year, finishing with a negative $40.2 million.

Finally, Melco Resorts and Entertainment reported a 48% loss on Q2 revenue of $296.1 million. Melco, like MGM China, Wynn Macau, and SJM Holdings, has felt the effects of China’s zero Covid policy, with Macau’s lockdowns limiting footfall and thus gambling trade.

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