Sunday, 8 February 2015

More trouble for Aquis?

I thought I would bump a story from the local blogs section over on the right into the main section as it's rather interesting. Hillbilly Watch reports that a speed bump for Aquis, possibly far bigger than those encountered so far, has been announced by the Chinese government:
Aquis is officially and totally dead.

It's not clear how long it will take the politicians to accept this as fact, but it's now clear to us.

Chinese President Xi Jinxing today issued a second tranche of regulations to govern Chinese citizens gambling activities in overseas casinos.  President Xi set out early in 2013 on a campaign to fight "tigers and flies" - government cadres of both high rank as well as lower-level bureaucrats.
Read on at Hillbilly Watch. I hadn't seen anything about the Chinese government cracking down on their people heading overseas to gamble, so headed to Google News. The reports don't specify Australia as a target, but it's probably a safe assumption our casinos are going to take a hit.

The South China Morning Post reports:
China is to stem the flow of people gambling overseas and online by launching a crackdown on domestic casino-linked business that were set up to attract big-spending clients.

The crackdown - led by the country's powerful Ministry of Public Security - is being seen as a significant extension of the unprecedented campaign to clean up Macau's casinos launched by Beijing late last year. That campaign has already seen a number of major junket operators - the shady firms that bring high rollers to the tables - shrink or close their operations in the former Portuguese enclave.
News that the crackdown would now extend beyond Macau seems to have caused Macau casino shares to climb a little, with investors thinking that while the playing field is still bad, at least other countries will be on the same field.

With the headline China's president just declared war on global gambling, Business Insider reports:
“Some foreign countries see our nation as an enormous market, and we have investigated a series of cases,” said Hua Jingfeng, a deputy bureau chief at the Ministry of Public Security. “A fair number of neighbouring countries have casinos, and they have set up offices in China to attract and drum up interest from Chinese citizens to go abroad and gamble. This will also be an area that we will crack down on.”

In other words, Xi is telling companies around the world that saw their revenue triple when Macau opened up to foreigners that the Chinese gambler will not be following them abroad to countries like Singapore and the Philippines where billions have been spent on new projects to attract those same people.
Let's re-read that last bit - "the Chinese gambler will not be following them abroad to countries like Singapore and the Philippines where billions have been spent on new projects to attract those same people." That sure sounds like Aquis. The viability of the Aquis project has to take a hit from this. Even if Australia isn't in the current round of targets, is there much doubt that we will be in future expansion of targets?

I was hoping our government might save us from Aquis. Perhaps the Chinese Government will instead.

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