Laos has abandoned plans to develop a casino business in one of its designated zones. According to InterGame, the government has decided Boten, located on the country’s border with China, will change classification. It will now be a specific economic zone that doesn’t include a casino as the government encountered “security issues” in the area. The area was established under a concession agreement in 2003 that meant 12 activities were allowed, one of which was a casino. That agreement has been altered to “ensure sustainable development”. They had already mentioned this could happen a month back and this merely acts as confirmation that they are moving away from allowing so much casino expansion.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key won’t be following Singapore’s lead by introducing a levy on casino visitors. The rumors surfaced after Key likened a government deal for Auckland’s Sky City to certain developments in Singapore during a recent visit to the country. The comparison had led to rumors of a levy on locals similar to the S100 one on Singapore but Key explained this isn’t the case.
“[A levy] hasn’t been something that New Zealand’s ever thought was necessary,” Mr Key told media in Singapore. “You couldn’t limit it to a casino. The vast bulk of pokie machines actually aren’t in casinos in New Zealand, they’re in community facilities and pubs and clubs.”
Korean VIPs have been deserting local casinos as the effect of cheap travel to Macau look to be paying dividend. Kangwon Land is the only casino business able to accept homegrown customers and sales declined last year for the first time since it opened in 2000. The venue earned 1.26 trillion won in sales last year, a figure down 3.7 percent the year before and attributed to a drop in VIPs. An official from Kangwon Land said: “We believe it was attributed to the decreased visits of VIP guests due to negative news reports about the casino and stricter regulations.”
Market watchers think the country’s foreigner only casinos will post 9.7 percent annual growth with sales of all casinos combined up 10.8 percent. Last year the venues posted $830 million in sales.