Mixed martial arts (MMA) has “great relevance to the Macau audience”, said MGM China Holdings Ltd, one of Macau’s six casino operators, in an email to GGRAsia.
The firm was responding to our request for further information regarding the possible staging of a MMA event at MGM Cotai.
The email confirmed that MGM China had a partnership with Legend Fighting Championship, an outfit that describes itself as “China‘s original mixed martial arts organisation”.
The casino firm did not say how many events might be staged with the outfit, or when.
The martial arts group said in an online posting on June 20 that a September 14 event at MGM Cotai’s small arena, the MGM Theater, would be “the ﬁrst of several major events lined up over the next 12 months”.
MGM China told us: “MGM is committed to bringing in quality, world-class entertainment to our theatre and this includes sporting events. MMA in particular has great relevance for the Macau audience and, with its focus on Asia-Pacific fights [competitors hailing from the region] and track record of success, Legend Fighting Championship is a natural partner for us.”
No information was available as of Thursday on MGM Cotai’s website, to confirm a September 14 show.
But the casino firm did state in its email: “This [MMA] event will see our theatre transform into a fighting venue, once again showing the capacity of this Asia-first dynamic theatre, which will welcome more and more-highly-entertaining events in the future.”
The Macau casino industry as a whole has at times struggled to find non-gaming entertainment with lasting appeal for Macau’s visitors, most of whom are Chinese. That has been the case despite the Macau government urging local operators to increase the amount of non-gaming business in their casino resorts.
Last month MGM China’s chief executive Grant Bowie told GGRAsia the firm had dropped the idea of having a self-commissioned resident show at MGM Cotai. He added that instead, the firm planned to continue bringing to the property international shows on a temporary basis.
“Fuerza Bruta”, a contemporary physical theatre show from Argentina, is being performed at MGM Theater until August 4 inclusive.
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"One thing that is certain under the coronavirus era is that the biggest beneficiaries are the illegal operators, both bricks and mortar and online"
Partner and director overseeing government affairs at casino industry consultancy Global Market Advisors