Perhaps the only task tougher than compiling this year’s Asian Gaming Power 50 was putting together the panel that would choose it. Members would require in-depth knowledge of Asia’s gaming industry, be non-conflicted and in some cases need approval from the companies they work for. Then they had to want to do it. Let’s meet the panel!
Andrew W Scott
Inside Asian Gaming
Inside Asian Gaming’s CEO first entered a casino in 1986, fell in love with the surrounds and has been around them ever since. Andrew founded World Gaming Group and launched WGM in 2009, took over IAG in 2015, debuted a third magazine called High Life this year and now has a fourth in development. He managed the Ho Tram Poker Room in Vietnam in 2015 and is a regular media commentator on all things gaming. Named the 2014 Macau Person of the Year, Andrew is also a regular consultant to institutions investing in Asian gaming stocks, President of the Macau Taxi Passengers Association, a member of the Portuguese and English Press Association of Macau and a permanent member of the Macau Gaming Management Association. He is in the latter stages of completing a Master’s Degree in International Integrated Resort Management at the University of Macau.
Inside Asian Gaming
Ben began his career as a sports journalist in Sydney in 1999 before his interest was piqued by the growing number of poker shows that frequented the airwaves late at night. He soon found himself not only playing the game but writing about it too – taking on the role of Editor for PokerNews Australasia and subsequently visiting Macau for the very first time in 2008. It was during this trip that Ben learnt a midday walk from his base at the old Grand Waldo to Cotai’s only integrated resort at the time, the Venetian, was a shockingly bad idea. Nevertheless, when he was offered the opportunity to immerse himself in Asia’s gaming hub as Managing Editor of WGM in early 2013, he didn’t hesitate. Ben has since added IAG to his list of responsibilities, allowing him to delve even further into this incredibly fascinating industry.
Inside Asian Gaming
Muhammad Cohen has been covering business in Asia since 1995 and focused on the casino business for the past decade. He’s interviewed gaming’s best and brightest, been publicly upbraided (at least once, unjustly) by them and in turn has keenly assessed what they’ve produced. His experience as a diplomat and city planner help him place gaming policies, projects and destinations in the broader urban and geopolitical context of Asia’s increasingly complex web of competing domestic and international interests and imperatives. As a former baseball writer, working with some of the game’s top statistical analysts, he brings a keen appreciation of the power and limits of numbers to paint a picture that may be incredibly accurate but also multi-dimensional.
Professor Desmond Lam, PHD
Acting Program Director of Hospitality and Gaming Management
Faculty of Business Administration, University of Macau
University of Macau Professor Desmond Lam is a life member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. He has been one of the judges for the International Gaming Awards (London) since 2008 and an academic affairs advisor to the Macau Gaming Management Association since 2012. He has written and presented extensively on gaming-related issues and his articles are featured in premier trade publications. Desmond is author of the book Chopsticks and Gambling, which examines the little-known world of Chinese gambling from historical, cultural, psychological and social perspectives. He is the recipient of several research and industry awards including the Cambridge Clare Hall Fellowship and the Emerging Leader trophy at the 2016 Asia Gaming Awards. Throughout his career, Desmond has lectured in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Malaysia. He has conducted numerous university courses and executive workshops in gaming, tourism and hospitality.
Rui Pinto Proença
Corporate and Gaming Practice Partner
MdME Lawyers Private Notary
Rui specializes in corporate and in mergers and acquisitions, heading MdME’s practice in those areas. He regularly acts on mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions, boasting an enviable track record across a range of different industries. He also advises corporations, financial institutions and private equity funds on a broad variety of corporate matters, including restructurings, debt issuance, regulatory compliance and strategic advise at a board level. Rui often advises issuers with Macau interests in relation to listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. He is a key contact in MdME’s gaming industry practice, where he provides corporate and regulatory assistance to junket operators, gaming equipment manufacturers, service providers and gaming concessionaires’ equity holders. He also integrates the company’s insurance industry panel of experts regularly advising a number of sector players at transactional, contractual and regulatory levels.
Head of Consumer and Gaming Research
Based in Hong Kong, Aaron Fischer joined CLSA in 2005 and is the regional head of consumer and gaming research. He was ranked No 2 Best Consumer Analyst by Institutional Investor Asia in 2010-2013 and No 1 Best Hong Kong Analyst by The Wall Street Journal in 2012. Aaron has been covering the Asian gaming market closely for over 12 years with a particular focus on Macau, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan. He has written a number of in-depth gaming and tourism industry research reports and participated in most of gaming IPOs in Asia. Prior to this, Aaron spent five years in London with Goldman Sachs as a consumer analyst with a focus on luxury goods. He previously worked at Arthur Andersen for five years as a chartered accountant before moving into research. Aaron holds a BCom degree from the University of Melbourne and is a CFA Charterholder.