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  • Scott F. Feeney

Investing In Gaming in SE Asia - Opportunities

With the gaming industry in SE Asian being greatly effected by this pandemic since March 2020, and with a long road to recovery from this situation, each country will have it's challenges to not only reduce infections, vaccinate everyone etc., but to then make suitable arrangements between neighbouring countries for travel 'bubbles' or such like one by one. This could take several years to see anything resemble pre-covid travel and makes choosing a gaming investment quite a challenge.


Which gaming jurisdiction offers the most opportunity in the long-term? Let's discount a few with a quick reason why. First to Vietnam the government's stance is that the few casinos catering to locals will remain, with little hope for future US$2 billion and above projects to have any real chance of good returns with those levels of investments and no local players. Hoiana is one example of a great product but a decidedly risky investment. Some investors will try, but these projects take years to get off the ground, costs are escalating, and then they'll need to rely on international tourists and gamblers. We now look at Cambodia. Naga in Phnom Penh has the monopoly and the rest are scattered around the borders and struggle at best, whilst Sihanoukville now has 80+ casinos (open or closed post-pandemic yet to be seen) and the majority are owned by the Chinese. Questions remain as to who will take a great risk to invest there. Taiwan's plans seem to have halted. South Korea see's large resorts planned and stalled and will, once open, only cater to foreigners. Jeju Island could see some investment come in over the next few years as confidence returns, but is once again very reliant on the Chinese market. Japan is now down to the final contenders, most withdrawing over the levels of investment required and the very strict gaming regulations. The three successful companies will have their challenges however Japan remains the glittering prize in the region. Nepal is a minefield, case in point is Silver Heritage and their progress since 2016 trying to make a success with their project with the capability of the government mostly hindering any real progress. Laos, Myanmar, Poipet (Cambodia) are very high risk as Donaco (ASX:DNA) will attest.


In our opinion the Philippines offers the investment opportunities that in the longer term will be very successful. Most licenses are held by local conglomerates but there are opportunities there to invest and co-invest. Projects such as City of Dreams and Resorts World Manila are two very successful joint ownership examples. Udenna has been courting investors globally for its Emerald Casino in Cebu. Okada, owned by Universal Japan, has a local partner, a critical component of receiving a license. In Clark, Koreans own D'Heights, the Taiwanese have an interest in Midori and Hong Kong listed IEC are the owners of New Coast in Manila, amongst others. Investments in Clark and Cebu are typically US$200 million and above as mandated by PAGCOR, whilst Manila is in the US$1-2 billion range to be competitive with the competition. Both offer real opportunities. Over the next 3-5 years many projects in Manila, Clark and Cebu are planned. License holders will be looking for investors. Some major benefits to the Philippines gaming market include locals being able to gamble, new international airports in Clark and Cebu and the tollway link from Manila Airport to Entertainment City. These three major gaming destinations are all very unique whether it be the golf courses of Clark, the beachside and islands off Cebu or the city area of Manila's Entertainment City.


For investments or general enquiries in the gaming industry in the Philippines please email enquiry@gcggamingadvisoryservices.com



GCG Gaming Advisory Services Pty Ltd.


GCG Gaming Advisory Services offers a fixed price Pre-Opening Services Agreement (PSA) in which we supply the executives within the agreement at the appropriate times throughout the pre-opening period. This starts at the precise time that you have the license, land and permits in hand. You can be assured of keeping this part of the pre-opening budget fixed. "One Price, One Agreement". Any delays and it's no extra cost to you. We charge one price for your planning and pre-opening period. Whether 3 years turns into 4, through our guidance and flexible fixed price agreement, you can be assured our fee is the final set fee.









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