Bloomberg News

AMZ Holdings’ Treanor Says Taiwan’s Casinos May Take Two Years

January 14, 2009

AMZ Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer Michael Treanor says it may take Taiwan two years to enact gaming regulations and to set up casinos.

Taiwan lawmakers on Jan. 12 repealed a ban on gambling in the offshore islands. AMZ, which owns 11 hectares of land on the Penghu islands, plans to build a resort there as a step toward getting a casino license. Treanor spoke in a Bloomberg TV interview and in a separate interview in Taipei today.

“It’s going to take another two years or so for regulations to be enacted and for developers to position themselves to construct a casino. So if all goes well, new casinos will come online at a time when economic recovery is at hand.”

On Taiwan’s potential gambling market:

“Some estimates are that upwards of 15 percent of revenue derived from Macau comes from Taiwanese gamers.”

“The proposed tax rate in Taiwan, which would be 15 percent, is far below that of Macau, and provides a great opportunity for junket operators to bring folks from all over southeast Asia into Taiwan for gaming.”

On AMZ’s business model:

“Our game plan is not to construct and operate the casino and resort. Our game plan here is to seek out an international gaming company, a top-tier company that can be our joint venture partner, and have them construct and operate a casino on the land and obviously share in the revenue. Because it’s our belief that Taiwan is going to want to see one of the name brands as its first or second operator.”

On possible venture partners:

“Virtually every major company is interested, and it stands to reason that those that have less of a presence in Macau or Singapore are probably more interested in Taiwan for an Asian presence.”

On job creation:

Based on two casinos getting a license, the creation of “10,000 to 20,000 jobs is not unreasonable because an integrated resort is a very labor-intensive undertaking. You have so many different activities going on in addition to the gaming. If you look at some of the Las Vegas resorts, it’s not uncommon for them to have 5,000 or 10,000 employees.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at tculpan1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Longid at flongid@bloomberg.net.


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