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Archive for April 16th, 2019

NagaCorp CEO to Finance 50% of Naga 3 Casino Resort Project

NagaCorp said Sunday that Naga 3, the third phase of its NagaWorld casino resort, will cost around $3.5 billion

Casino and hospitality company NagaCorp said in a Sunday filing that its founder, CEO, and largest shareholder would cover half of the costs related to the development of Naga 3, a major expansion of its existing integrated resort in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.

NagaCorp is the exclusive operator of casino gambling in the Cambodian capital and the surrounding area. The company announced its plan for the construction of Naga 3, the third phase of its NagaWorld hotel, casino, and entertainment complex earlier this month.

NagaCorp said in its Sunday filing that it has decided, following a consultation with its financial advisers, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, that 50% of the Naga 3 development project will be funded by internally generated funds. The other 50% will be covered by the company’s controlling shareholder, Dr. Chen Lip Keong.

Aside from NagaCorp’s largest shareholder, Dr. Chen is also the company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer.

According to the Sunday statement, Naga 3 will include five towers, of which two 45-story towers, two 66-story towers, and one 48-story tower. The whole resort will spread across 544,801 square meters/5,864,236 square feet.

Naga 3 will feature multiple new hotels, food and beverage facilities, swimming pools, meeting and event facilities, and VIP gaming rooms, among other amenities.

Total Cost of the Project

NagaCorp said on Sunday that Naga 3’s project appraiser, Colliers, is of the opinion that project costs, excluding land cost, are reasonable at $3.5 billion for a total gross area of 544,801 square meters. The price was decided upon after NagaCorp had provided Colliers with two development cost estimates by two separate architects.

DRTAN LM Architect had valued the Naga 3 project at $3,515,011,000, while Steelman Partners had come up with a $3,291,685,200 preliminary estimate.

Naga 3 will represent the third expansion phase of NagaCorp’s original NagaWorld integrated resort. The property, which is now referred to as Naga 1, opened doors on its current site in 2003. Prior to that, NagaWorld had operated as a riverboat casino for nearly two decades.

In late 2017, NagaCor launched Naga 2, the integrated resort’s second expansion phase. Naga 1 and Naga 2 are connected via the underground shopping center NagaCity Walk. Naga 3 will, too, be linked to its sister properties via the subterranean facility.

NagaWorld said in its Sunday filing that key benefits from its financing strategy for Naga 3 would include cash advances nil of interest costs, continued high dividend policy for minority shareholders, and mitigation of any potential dilutive effects as a result from incremental earnings from Naga 3, among others.

As part of the agreement under which Dr. Chen will partly finance the project, the NagaCorp CEO will receive 1.14 billion settlement shares in the company. This will increase Dr. Chen’s stake in Naga Corp to 73.17% from 66.1%.

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The post NagaCorp CEO to Finance 50% of Naga 3 Casino Resort Project appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Keith Ferrera Bags Overnight Chip Lead after WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Day 2

Ferrera, eyeing his first WPT title, is leading 90 survivors into the third day of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event

The behemoth field of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown drew 1,360 entrants, all ready to battle fiercely for a prestigious WPT title. However, by the end of Day 2 of the tournament, there were just 90 players left.

Poker pro Keith Ferrera bagged the largest stack after the end of the second day of the fourth largest WPT Main Event in the history of the series. The player had amassed 1.905 million in chips by the time organizers called it a day.

Ferrera is vying for his first title from the WPT’s Main Tour series. The player made it to the final table of the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open at Seminole Hard Rock in Season X, but a title eluded him back then as he hit the rail in sixth place.

Ferrera emerged as the chip leader early into Day 2 of the tournament and never really lost his momentum throughout the levels that were played at the host venue – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood – on Sunday.

Of his performance on the second day of contention, Ferrera said that it felt good to be the chip leader and that he ran very well yesterday. The overnight chip leader recalled that there had been times when he had ran well but had ended up out of the race, so it really felt good to not only make it through Day 2, but bag the largest chip stack.

Tough Opponents Trailing Not Too Far Behind

Ferrera had great run on Sunday at the host casino, winning practically every pot he played. However, his advantage will not make his march toward victory an easy task. Trailing behind the overnight chip leader is 2016 November Niner Jerry Wong. The player put 1.47 million in chips in his bag last night, good for the second spot in the temporary leaderboard.

Another seasoned poker pro and a two-time WPT champ holds the third largest stack into Day 3 of the tournament. Aaron Mermelstein collected 1.425 million worth in chips last night to attack the top for a third title.

Other notables still in the hunt include former champs Eric Afriat, Erik Seidel, Niall Farrell, Seth Davies, and Frank Stepuchin, among others. The only player to have ever won four titles from the series – Darren Elias – also made it through Day 2.

Day 3 of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is set to kick off today at noon Florida time. The remaining players are scheduled to play five 90-minute levels. Each of them has at least $7,620 locked up.

As mentioned earlier, the tournament drew 1,360 entrants who generated a prize pool of $4.352 million. The money was split into 170 payouts, min-cashes starting from $6,185. The winner will be awarded $715,175, including a ticket into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

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The post Keith Ferrera Bags Overnight Chip Lead after WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Day 2 appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Melco Outlines Sustainability Goals in New ‘Above & Beyond’ Strategy

The casino operator is set to tackle environment’s biggest problems with its new game-changing ‘Above & Beyond’ sustainability strategy

Melco Resorts & Entertainment has introduced multiple goals and targets as part of its strategy to deploy sustainable solutions across its existing properties in Macau and the Philippines, and its future resorts.

In its latest Sustainability Report for 2018, the gaming and hospitality giant said that it has brought together its social and environmental achievements and ambitions in the ‘Above & Beyond’ strategy. The new strategy outlines important goals Melco will look to achieve in the years to come in a bid to cement its commitment to provide environment friendly services across its resorts and to offer its employees the best possible working environment.

Melco is looking to achieve carbon neutrality at its resorts by reducing a range of emission sources. As part of its ‘Above & Beyond’ strategy, the company also plans to eliminate single-use plastics in its daily operations and achieve zero waste across its properties. As outlined in its latest sustainability report, Melco will focus on meeting its goals by 2030.

Through its services and offering, the integrated resort operator will also try to educate and inspire its guests and visitors by demonstrating “a sustainable future is a better future” and by deploying sustainability in the experience offered at its properties.

Creating the Best-in-class Working Environment

Melco’s ‘Above & Beyond’ strategy is also concerned with the welfare of the company’s employees, it said in a press release from earlier today. The casino powerhouse intends to uphold diversity and inclusion and to keep providing “the best-in-house amenities including onsite medical clinics and healthy food options around the clock” for its workers.

Commenting on his company’s new strategy, Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho said that their Sustainability Report “captures Melco’s vision for change and [their] commitment to embrace sustainability as both an engine for growth and a catalyst for change” within the company itself and across the industry.

Mr. Ho went on that Melco strives to “be a game-changer” and that the ‘Above & Beyond’ strategy is their “commitment to make [their] business sustainable for all those involved, and to deliver a more sustainable future” to the communities hosting its integrated resorts.

News emerged earlier this year that Melco has partnered Macau SME to develop together what would be Macau’s largest array of solar panels. The casino operator plans to install 18,000 solar photovoltaic panels across 30,000 square meters of rooftop space at its City of Dreams and Studio City properties in Macau. Once fully operational, the system will generate 7.7 million kWh of energy or the equivalent of what 1,500 households consume over a year.

As part of its strategy to embrace and promote sustainability, Melco has also joined recently the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment initiative to tackle plastics pollution. The company has said that it is committed to “eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging and reducing single-use plastics.”

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The post Melco Outlines Sustainability Goals in New ‘Above & Beyond’ Strategy appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Icahn-Recommended Anthony Rodio To Be Named Caesars CEO

Caesars will reportedly announce today the appointment of Anthony Rodio as the replacement of outgoing CEO Mark Frissora

Gaming and hospitality company Caesars Entertainment Corp. is expected to name today Anthony Rodio as its new Chief Executive Officer, the Wall Street Journal reports citing sources familiar with the matter.

It is also believed that the Las Vegas casino powerhouse is evaluating takeover interest after news emerged in recent weeks that at least two fellow gambling companies were interested in buying Caesars.

In an announcement expected to be made later today, Caesars is to reveal that Mr. Rodio will replace the company’s outgoing Chief Executive Mark Frissora and will take his seat on the board. Mr. Rodio currently serves as CEO of private gaming company Affinity Gaming.

Mr. Frissora’s departure was first announced last year. Caesars’ top executive, who steered the company through a complex bankruptcy of its main operating unit, was originally expected to step down in February, but it later on became clear that he would stay until at least mid-April.

It can be said that Caesars might have bowed to pressure from its largest stockholder Carl Icahn with the naming of Mr. Rodio as its new CEO. Reports emerged earlier this year that the New York activist investor was lobbying the casino company to pick namely Mr. Rodio as a replacement for its outgoing Chief.

Reviewing Takeover Bids

Sources also said that Caesars has formed a board committee that will be working with bankers at investment bank PJT Partners to assess takeover interest it has received.

The Las Vegas company has been courted by at least two suitors who are interested in buying its more than 50 gambling and non-gambling resorts across four continents. News emerged last month that Caesars has granted access to financial data to fellow casino operator Eldorado Resorts and that the latter was conducting due diligence in relation to the potential acquisition of its larger counterpart.

Sources also revealed earlier this month that the owner of the Golden Nugget casino chain, Tilman Fertitta, has too approached Caesars with offer for a potential tie-up. Mr. Fertitta made a bid to buy the casino empire and merge it with his own gaming business last fall, but Caesars rejected that offer.

The latest wave of reports from inside the Las Vegas gambling powerhouse shows that it might have succumbed to pressure from its largest shareholder to consider selling itself. Mr. Icahn announced that he was building a stake in Caesars early this year, revealing that he owned 10% of company shares at the time.

The businessman has amassed a 28.5% stake and has secured board representation since his original announcement. Mr. Icahn has been pressing Caesars to sell itself or merge with another company, as he believes this is the best path forward for the company, which emerged from a bankruptcy in the fall of 2017, but is still trying to cope with an $18 billion long-term debt.

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The post Icahn-Recommended Anthony Rodio To Be Named Caesars CEO appeared first on Casino News Daily.


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