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Commentaries

Lessons Learned from G2E Asia

By The Innovation Group

The Innovation Group came away with countless invaluable takeaways from our time at G2E Asia. Our top lessons learned include:

1. All things related to the emerging Japanese gaming market were on the minds of virtually every conference attendee. While the details of the necessary implementation bill remain unclear, one certainty is that locals will be a significant customer segment for the gaming license winners. While the goal is to maximize local and foreign-generated benefits expected to come from gaming’s introduction in the country, mitigation of potential social impacts and promotion of responsible gaming are of no less importance in the Japan IR context.

2. With the return of positive revenue growth in many Asian markets, including Macau, an optimistic view has returned to the Asian market. This view is now accompanied with a healthy dose of caution as operators are hesitant to state that the comeback to stable growth is complete.

3. The Macau market continues to become increasingly competitive. Over the past year, Macau has seen two new property openings in The Parisian Macau and Wynn Palace. The market can be expected to become even more competitive as the number of casinos continues to grow with properties such as Lisboa Palace and MGM Cotai slated to open in the near future.

4. As the competitive environment increases in Asian gaming markets as well as other gaming jurisdictions throughout the world, customer strategies informed by data analytics are becoming even more important tools in fueling organic revenue growth.

5. Asian gaming properties are continuing to create more diversity with non-gaming amenities. These amenities are, perhaps, the only way for properties to create meaningful market distinction for potential patrons. In particular, strong non-gaming amenity plans will certainly be crucial for Japanese license seekers.

6. Diversification remains a necessity for Macau operators. As the first Macau-Cotai license concessions near their end, Director of Macau’s Gaming and Inspection Coordination Bureau, Paulo Martins Chan, warned Macau’s concessionaires that the government will continue to watch diversification efforts closely.

7. Infrastructure remains a topic of interest for existing and emerging Asian gaming markets. While Macau has thrived despite poor infrastructure, it will be interesting to see how the opening of Macau’s new Pac On ferry terminal – now officially named the Taipa Maritime Terminal – opens to passengers on June 1 as well as other infrastructure improvement projects that will impact the market. Recognizing that several of the potential Japanese IR sites currently lack adequate infrastructure, potential developers are working hard to understand whether or not infrastructure (or lack thereof) will significantly impact visitation to these eventual projects.

8. Regulatory compliance must remain a top priority for operators. Whether it is through Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC), or other compliance initiatives, operators must remain proactive in order to avoid operational and fiscal headaches caused by regulatory missteps.

9. Despite a cloudy legal and regulatory environment surrounding iGaming, virtual forms of gaming are poised to become a key growth driver for Asian markets. iGaming companies had a strong presence on G2E Asia’s show floor, with several new companies exhibiting. Recognizing that there is a steep learning curve for the operating and legal environment that iGaming operates in, industry players must take the time to become knowledgeable in order to take advantage of this ever-changing, fast-growing industry.

The Innovation Group has long been recognized as one of the world’s most respected and sought-after research and advisory firm, specializing in the gaming, entertainment, hospitality and leisure industries. To date, their research and analyses have driven over $100 billion in investment decisions across more than 80 countries and six continents.