Pansy Ho Chiu King, co-chairperson of Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd, said the firm would focus on the quality of its customers at the new property MGM Cotai (pictured), a casino resort built with facilities that can cater to “any sorts of events”. Ms Ho additionally said that she does not expect the firm’s VIP business to be cannibalised by other gaming operators, as the Cotai property nears completion.
MGM China said in September that its under-construction casino resort on Cotai is on target to open on January 29, 2018. That is more than one year later than outlined in the original timetable presented by the company. The company currently operates a single property, MGM Macau, in the city’s traditional downtown casino district.
The company’s chief executive Grant Bowie told Hong Kong media on Monday that the firm plans to have five junket operators at MGM Cotai, which could help with the ramp up of the new property. Mr Bowie had previously mentioned during a conference call on the firm’s third-quarter results that MGM Cotai would initially open offering only “in-house VIP” gaming; but the firm had a programme to add junkets “as quickly as” it could.
In comments to reporters on the sidelines of MGS Entertainment Show 2017 on Tuesday, Ms Ho said she does not expect the firm to face a “cannibalising environment” in terms of junket business post-MGM Cotai opening.
“Everybody has gone through this new kind of dynamics [of opening a property on Cotai]… In the future, even if all of us still want to take our own share in the so-called junket business or the high-value customers, there will still be enough [for everyone],” said Ms Ho.
She added: “Now we are going after more quality. They [customers] would appreciate the quality of service as much as would also appreciate the quality of their play [experience].”
Ms Ho declined to reveal the number of new-to-market gaming tables the firm would apply for with the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. According to MGM China, the Cotai property has capacity for up to 500 tables.
The MGM Theatre at the new property and other function rooms will be able to host concerts and “even e-game events”, Mr Bowie told Hong Kong media. The MGM China CEO reportedly said that the Cotai casino resort will be positioned to attract the middle-class, with the mass-market gaming taking the lead.
Commenting on the new property, Ms Ho said on Tuesday: “When everybody is just building a larger stadium or exhibition venue, we are the smallest in terms of our capacity, our [land] area…we utilise our space in such a way that we think we are leading the rest in terms of how we are going to be able to bring all sorts of new ideas because the spaces – though they are not the largest – are capable of hosting any sort of events.”
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia