Okada suit thrown out in Nevada; Macau growth expected; AERL continue woeful performance

macau-new-thumbA court in Nevada have thrown-out Kazuo Okada’s long-running lawsuit against Wynn Resorts. Okada’s claim that a $135million donation to the University of Macau was improper was dismissed as “unfounded” by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. AFP quotes A.G. Burnett, NGCB chairman, as stating that after the “extensive probe there are no Nevada regulatory violations”. To further compound Okada’s woes, Wynn Resorts gained the support of Institutional Shareholder Services, a leading proxy firm, as they continue to fight for Okada’s removal – which they hope will take place during a Wynn board of directors special vote on Feb. 22. The complaint that Wynn has concerns Okada’s dealings in the Philippines and in that regard this saga is well and truly still rolling on. There is also no word on whether Wynn Resorts are still being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) though with Reuters suggesting the same commission is now investigating payments made by Okada to the Philippines. The plot thickens…

Macau gross gambling revenue will rise by 12 to 15 percent in 2013 if you believe estimates made by Barclays Bank. Macau Business report the estimates are based on projected growth of 5-10 percent in the VIP segment and mass-market growth in the low 20 percent range. The news comes after the enclave saw a 7.3 percent improvement in revenues during January 2013 compared with the previous year and shows there is considerable optimism in the financial world.

Junket operator Asia Entertainment & Resources Ltd. (AERL) is continuing to suffer from poor performance as they reported a drop in rolling chip turnover for yet another month. January saw a decline of 26 percent to US $1.26 billion (MOP10.1bn). The firm blamed the declines on their internal “self-directed tightening of credit to agents due to the slowing economy in the mainland”. The enclave’s analysts agree with the firm’s sentiments and David Bain from Sterne Agee stated that he expects them to become “more aggressive with credit loosening to agents in stages, matching a Macau market rebound by the second quarter of 2013.”