AGS | Performance of US-linked gaming operators more important for concession renewal than political factors - Gaming researcher

A gaming researcher from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute told MNA she believes operational issues, such as Steve Wynn stepping out as Wynn CEO, will be taken more in consideration by Macau authorities when renewing the concessions of US gaming operators than political issues such as escalating US-China trade tensions

Taipei (MNA) – Macau authorities will probably look more into the operational aspects and performance of US linked gaming operators looking to renew their concession than political issues connected to increased US-China tensions, a gaming researcher from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) International Gaming Institute told Macau News Agency (MNA).

“I think we will see perhaps a little bit more scrutiny toward the renewal of the gaming concessions. I think they will focus more on the operational aspect than necessarily using them as pawns for a political debate,” the Director of Research at the UNLV International Gaming Institute, Brett Abarbanel, told MNA.

The gaming researcher made the remarks at the Asia Gaming Summit being held in Taipei, Taiwan, between November 6 and 8.

MGM China will see its concession expire in 2020, while those held by Sands China Ltd., Wynn Macau Ltd. expire in 2022.

According to Ms. Abarbanel, American gaming operators will not be interested in having any major role in the tensions created by the escalating trade war between China and the US, and the fact they are operating in an SAR instead of the Mainland could shield them from direct reprisals by Chinese authorities.

“A lot of it comes up to the performance of the company, and individual performances or actions. So per example with Steve Wynn I would be surprised if we don’t see something surrounding how the company is now operating in his absence and how that might come into play for the renewal concessions,” she added.

Steve Wynn stepped down as CEO of Wynn Resorts on February 7 of this year after allegations surfaced in the Wall Street Journal that he had engaged in sexual misconduct, with Matt Maddox appointed for the position afterwards.