Macau is a popular destination for businessmen and women who work in the casino gaming industry. The city is bustling with gaming activity and many operators from around the world have a vested interest in the area. However, after the recent arrests of Crown Resort employees in China, individuals connected to the industry may begin to avoid the area. According to Reuters, CEO Matt Bekier of Star Entertainment Group, has canceled a trip to Macau and Hong Kong last week due to the arrests.
Bekier was due to visit both areas but decided against it after the arrests and would remain in Australia to focus on addressing questions from major investors of the company, the second largest casino gaming company in Australia, and how the detainments would impact business. A spokesman for the Star said the cancellation was not due to security issues and the visit would be rescheduled. The CEO is supposed to speak to shareholders at the annual general meeting of the company this Friday. Bekier takes quarterly trips to Hong Kong to see the joint venture partners of the company, which includes the Far East Consortium International Ltd and the Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd.
Considered a crackdown on gambling, the recent detainment of 18 Crown Resorts staff members has created concern among the gaming industry in Australia about how the local casinos would be affected. Australia casinos rely on high rollers from China to enjoy gaming options in the country. Three of the individuals who have been detained are from Australia. As of Thursday, Crown reported that no charges had been filed against the staff members. Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister, spoke to Sky News and stated that she has been told employees who are being detained are being treated appropriately.
Since last week, shares of Crown Resorts have dropped by 18% while Star Entertainment has seen a 12% decline. Skycity Entertainment Group Ltd is a casino company of New Zealand who has reported that they are likely being adversely affected due to the arrests, with a 19% drop in stock.