In order to rank the 50 most powerful people in Asian gaming, the panel considered many more than 50 people. We actually needed to look at the ranking of more than 60 people to ensure we had the “number 50 cut off” in the right place. These five are the people knocking on the door of the Power 50 and those we currently consider the most likely new entrants next year. Although we did rank these five people 51 through 55, we’ve listed them in alphabetical order. You’ll just have to guess who came in at number 51 as, to borrow a poker term, the unlucky “bubble boy”.
MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO | Silver Heritage Group
Having been forced to raise additional funding last year to complete construction, Silver Heritage Group’s ambitious Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa in Nepal finally opened its doors last November, with casino operations commencing shortly before New Year’s. Ramp has been slow yet steady – the target Indian audience just across the border having never seen an offering quite like this before – but enough for Silver Heritage to purchase a second plot of land in Jhapa, East Nepal.
MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO | Donaco International
Ongoing legal disputes with its former Thai vendor has crippled Donaco International’s progress over the past 12 months. The warring factions currently have court proceedings in motion in Cambodia, Singapore and Australia – all originally stemming from what Donaco says was a violation of non-compete provisions in Poipet where the company operates Star Vegas on the border with Thailand. There have also been interruptions to Donaco’s junket operations so time will tell how quickly any recovery mission can be launched.
CHAIRMAN | Delta Corp
It’s been a big year for India’s biggest gaming company, Delta Corp. Benefiting from a substantial hike in casino license fees that has driven a number of smaller operators out of the market, Delta Corp has booked substantial revenue jumps for the past three quarters – aided by similar growth from its popular online poker site Adda52. Delta operates three of Goa’s six floating casinos and government regulations that will eventually relocate all floating ships to land-based operations should only aid the company’s expansion.
CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR | Vallibel One
Sri Lanka’s richest man owns three of the nation’s four casino licenses, operating Bally’s Colombo, Bellagio Colombo, and MGM Colombo, but his plans to build a US$200 million integrated resort in Queensbury were knocked on the head by the government in 2017. That shouldn’t faze him too much for the time being, with Perera continuing to benefit from tight controls of casino gaming in neighboring India.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER | Summit Ascent
Questions were raised of Summit Ascent last December when former Chairman Lawrence Ho sold off his entire 27.71% stake amid concerns that Russia was about to double its gaming tax. That never eventuated and the company’s Russian integrated resort Tiger de Cristal in Vladivostok has enjoyed strong results ever since. Time will tell what impact the cluster effect has on Tigre de Cristal in the long-term with NagaCorp and Diamond Fortune Holdings set to open their own IRs in the Primorye gaming zone in the next few years.