The opening in 2016 of the new ferry terminal (pictured) at Pac On, Taipa, in Macau, could be a “game changer for Cotai”, says a report from Daiwa Securities Group Inc, issued on Thursday.
It added that not only will the new facility be able to handle 40 ferries per hour – versus the four ferries per hour at the Taipa temporary terminal next door – but also the new terminal will have the first commercial helipads in the Taipa-Cotai area.
Helipads are dedicated landing places commonly used by passenger-carrying commercial helicopter services. The main ferry terminal on Macau peninsula has a commercial helipad, and this has benefited the casinos in the city’s traditional downtown gaming area, said Daiwa.
“The new [Pac On] helipads could help Cotai take a crack at Macau’s top 1 percent [of gamblers],” wrote Jamie Soo, Adrian Chan and Jennifer Wu.
“The ultra high-end market has historically buoyed peninsula GGR [gross gaming revenue]… Anecdotally, the ultra-high-end segment still contributes about 10 to 15 percent to Macau’s total GGR, as at today,” they added.
“A high proportion of these clients travel to Macau via helicopter, and based on our checks, these patrons share a common characteristic: namely, their sensitivity to time,” stated the Daiwa team, adding “against travelling [to Macau] via ferries, travelling via helicopter saves a marginal 40-45 minutes per trip”.
Daiwa stated: “These clients (as well as the casino operators) are thus inclined to maximise time spent at the gaming tables by minimising time spent on the ground commuting.”
Pac On ferry terminal – located near Macau’s airport on Taipa Island and designed principally to bring mass market tourists direct to the nearby Cotai resorts – will only begin operations by mid-2016 at the earliest, the director of the government’s Marine and Water Bureau, Susana Wong Soi Man, confirmed on September 8.
The terminal is already more than five years late and more than five times over its original budget. It was originally scheduled to be operational by 2009.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau