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 Macau casino operator SJM will run the first international e-Sports competition

Macau casino operator SJM will run the first international e-Sports competition
Published: 2017-12-19

Macau venue the Grand Lisboa Hotel, run by local casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd, is the sponsor of a three-day international e-Sports event in is described as: “The first international e-Sports competition held in Macau”

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The MDL Macau Dota2 International Elite Invitational with nine teams of contestants will have a prize pool of US$300,000.

According to the chief executive of SJM Holdings, Ambrose So Shu Fai: “Formally recognised by China as an official sports programme, the e-Sports industry has seen rapid growth in recent years. The viewership of e-Sports in China is increasing and is gradually catching up with that of traditional sports. (READ HERE: MACAU. GALAXY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LTD APPLIES E-WALLETS IN THEIR PAYMENTS SYSTEMS)

Ambrose So Shu Fai, also said:

“E-Sports is an emerging industry with huge growth potential and global viewership. Macau is put in the limelight with this major e-Sports tournament, which we believe will further benefit the development of the city’s tourism and leisure business.”

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South Korea needs a policy “white paper” on the role and future of its own casino industry. 

Macau casino operator SJM will run the first international e-Sports competition

South Korea needs a policy “white paper” on the role and future of its own casino industry, in the face of a “big threat” competition-wise from a Japanese integrated resort (IR) with casino, MGM Osaka, due to open in 2030.

That is according to Yang Hyung-eun, a researcher of the Institute of Amusement Industry Studies at Osaka University of Commerce, in Japan. His thoughts are in an opinion article in the Korea Times, published last week.

Scholar Mr Yang wrote that the eventual launch of Japan’s MGM Osaka, possibly in six years, “will pose a big threat to [South] Korea’s casinos with a 60-year history,this was already predicted from the early 2000s. The [South] Korean government focused on regulation rather than promotion for the future.”



South Korea has 18 casinos, but only one of them – Kangwon Land – has gaming facilities open to local players. Regional competition for players is building in the wake of factors including China’s campaign on mainlanders gambling while overseas.


Kangwon Land, for its part, has also periodically faced pushback from the country’s politicians in terms of the scale of its domestic gaming business.


A number of investment analysts has commented on some public perception in South Korea of casino gambling being a socially-harmful activity, rather than one to drive economic growth, including foreign earnings from inbound tourism.


According to Mr Yang, “a ‘casino white paper’ is needed to prevent the same mistakes from occurring again.” He did not specify the supposed nature of such “mistakes”.


The scholar said that “for the sake of a ‘Korean-style IR’ [sector], a civic meeting of intellectuals should carry out a comprehensive review”.


Mr Yang said a minimum was to establish in South Korea what he termed an “integrated resort promotion headquarters”, as well as a casino regulatory commission. He referred in the article to Japan’s IR Promotion Headquarters, which he noted was “a unit designed to promote countermeasures against gambling addiction”.


Now is the time for a future vision and philosophy” for the South Korean casino industry, he suggested.


A number of publicly-listed firms that run foreigner-only casinos in that market indicate that historically Japan and China have been important source markets for players.


China’s government has recently been running a campaign to discourage mainland residents from casino gambling when travelling abroad, which a number of investment analysts has suggested could impact casino-services demand in South Korea.


Kangwon Land Inc, the operator of Kangwon Land, has indicated recently it wants to seek business growth by pursuing the foreign-client segment, including via improved facilities.



In March, a senior South Korean government official said in a speech that he hoped the recently-opened private-sector Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort at Incheon, which has an 15,000-seat concert arena as well as a foreigner-only casino, would boost what he termed “cultural tourism” to the country.



South Korean popular music, television soap operas, and clothing fashions are among cultural elements said to have a strong following across East Asia, according to some market research sources. Such elements have been consumer themes taken up in non-gaming facilities at the Paradise City casino resort at Incheon, according to materials from that venue’s promoters.


Integrated resorts: Japan’s axis of future growth. 

Macau casino operator SJM will run the first international e-Sports competition

Japan will open its first casino in Osaka in the fall of 2030. Japan, the sole Group of Seven member country that has no casinos, has given the go-ahead to the 24-hour operation of an open casino that doesn’t limit the admission of its nationals. It’s the result of 35 years of elaborate public debate.

In 1996, citizens and scholars who had thought that casinos must be nurtured as a healthy amusement industry founded a casino society. Around that time, some local governments emerged, claiming the introduction of casinos was needed for increased tax revenues and regional revitalization.


The “Odaiba casino plan” the then Tokyo governor mentioned as an urban tourism resource in 2001 ignited a campaign for casino legalization. Both governing and opposition parties also moved to enact a law designating casinos as a new amusement industry.


The casino in Osaka is named “Osaka IR.” Casinos were legalized through a law promulgated in 2018, popularly called the “IR (Integrated Resort) Act.” At first, it was a casino law, but after accepting Singapore’s IR model, it was transformed into the casino integrated resort act, IR act including casinos, IR maintenance act and then IR Act.


The purpose of the IR Act is to “utilize the proceeds from the casino business” and “realize the attractive stay-at-home tourism that is internationally competitive.” As most of the proceeds come from the casino business, it is stipulated that strict casino regulations are necessary to attain the purpose of the law.


The Japanese government established the IR Promotion Headquarters, a unit designed to promote countermeasures against gambling addiction and the Casino Regulatory Commission, believing that the casino business must be operated soundly under its proper monitoring and management.


The IR Act stipulates the world’s highest level of regulation. It was the declaration that Japan will build a new “Japanese-style IR” by benchmarking regulations concerning crime prevention, security maintenance, sound development of youth and gambling addiction conducted by leading countries of casinos.


Pre-entry regulations include up to three integrated resorts, casino facilities having less than 3 percent of the resort's total floor area, regulations on ads and a ban on junkets and complimentary items and services. Regulations after entering the casino include three visits for seven days (10 visits for 28 days), identification by ID card, admission fee (6,000 yen, $37, or for a single visit), restriction of admission when requested by family members, prohibition of credit card use when purchasing chips and ban on ATM installation.


The core of those regulations is how to deal with gambling addiction. The financial resources for these measures will come from admission fees and casino taxes (30 percent), which will also be used for tourism promotion, welfare of residents, crime prevention and anti-prostitution measures.


The direction of the IR Act, which envisions creation and operation by the private sector, is different from that of the gambling industry, which envisions creation and operation by the public sector. This means that for the growth and development of the casino industry, casinos must be built and operated by private operators under the management and supervision of the central and local governments.


The innovation of the Korean casino industry begins with a shift to the integrated resort industry policy in terms of future growth. Public perceptions should be altered first, and policymakers and the relevant industry should reflect on themselves. A “casino white paper” is needed to prevent the same mistakes from occurring again.


For the sake of a “Korean-style IR,” a civic meeting of intellectuals should carry out a comprehensive review. At least, it’s necessary to establish an integrated resort promotion headquarters, tourism agency and casino regulatory commission. Now is the time for a future vision and philosophy for the national leader for the Korean casino industry.


The writer, Ph.D., is a researcher of the Institute of Amusement Industry Studies at Osaka University of Commerce.


Singapore distrusts Online Casinos and sees more possibilities of money laundering than in physical ones. 

Macau casino operator SJM will run the first international e-Sports competition

Singapore authorities have described the threat of money laundering activity taking place through the nation’s land-based casinos as “moderately high” but said the nature of gaming means the casinos are likely seen as a less attractive option to criminals than other sectors.

The nature of Singapore’s money laundering threats was outlined in a new report jointly released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Law and the Monetary Authority of Singapore last week, which also found that online gambling gives greater cause for concern.



Despite strict laws and regulations against online gambling, and multi-pronged enforcement actions, syndicates are still able to conduct illegal online gambling activities due to the ease of setting up or shutting down of an illegal online gambling site,” it says. “The ability to host these illicit websites outside of Singapore makes clamping down on illegal gambling a challenge for law enforcement agencies.


Syndicates are also able to use alternative payment methods such as cryptocurrencies and illegal payment platforms which make the detection of suspicious transactions or money tracing difficult.”


According to the report, foreign fraud, and particularly cyber fraud, pose some of the greatest money laundering threats in Singapore. It also pointed to the banking sector as one of concern.


Pogo's the stone in the shoe, this week they continue to pressure them to turn off. 

Macau casino operator SJM will run the first international e-Sports competition

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the nation's gaming regulator, which is facing the possibility of being disbanded in favor of a smaller agency, attempted to address these concerns in July 2023. It implemented new regulations for POGOs, rebranding them as "Internet Gaming Licensees" (IGLs) and imposing stricter operational guidelines.

These reforms aimed to improve transparency and mitigate potential illegal activities within the industry. However, the recent calls for a complete ban suggest these efforts might be falling short.


China pressures the Philippines to turn off POGOs.

To further tighten control, the DOLE has pledged to significantly tighten its screening process for foreign workers seeking permits to work in the offshore gaming sector. This move aims to ensure that only qualified individuals with legitimate purposes are employed and to minimize the risk of involvement in illegal activities. The stricter screening process will likely involve enhanced background checks, verification of employment purpose, and potentially stricter language proficiency requirements.


Malaysian Authorities Arrest TikTok Influencers for Promoting Illegal Gambling. 

Macau casino operator SJM will run the first international e-Sports competition

Malaysian authorities have arrested 27 influencers after investigations reportedly led the police to believe gambling syndicates hired social media personalities to promote illegal gambling and other activities. 


The group included four males and twenty-three women captured in seven states: Johor, Perlis, Kuala Lumpur, Kedah, Penang, Negri Sembilan, and Selangor. The individuals were between the ages of 21 and 35.



At a recent press conference, Mr. Mohd Shuhauly of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Royal Malaysia Police described how each influencer receives approximately US$430 for each social media platform, contingent on the number of followers. He also stated that they believe each influencer is active on multiple social media platforms.



In this Muslim-majority Asian state of slightly under 35 million people, gambling is strictly prohibited, albeit certain types of betting-like lotteries, casino games, and horse racing-are allowed. On the other hand, sports betting and internet betting are prohibited.


Thirty cell phones were seized as part of the ongoing investigation into this activity, which has been going on for the past year. According to Mohd Shuhaily, the authorities are still trying to find the people behind the gambling syndicates.


Influencers' Effectiveness


According to a recent report, influencer marketing efforts have proven successful for numerous well-known businesses. Examples of these projects include Dunkin's connection with the TikTok phenomenon Charli D'Amelio and MAC's association with Sabrina Bahsoon.


Additionally, Influencer Marketing Hub projects that the influencer marketing sector will reach a roughly $21.1 billion valuation by 2023, with TikTok emerging as the leading influencer marketing platform.


According to reports, influencer marketing helps organizations reach a target audience while selecting ambassadors who share their values, and social media helps businesses precisely target their ideal clients.


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