A decision to close the Taboo cabaret – a show hosted at Club Cubic at City of Dreams Macau – would have “very little impact” on the non-gaming earnings of the local casino industry in general and venue operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd in particular, brokerage Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd told GGRAsia.
Japanese brokerage Nomura additionally told us that notwithstanding Taboo’s closure, non-gaming shows could still be successful in Macau – with the right content.
“Given that it [Taboo] was not a major non-gaming amenity or overly popular to begin with, the closure poses very little impact,” Union Gaming’s analyst Grant Govertsen remarked to GGRAsia, “It certainly will not have an impact on Melco Crown’s bottom line.”
Melco Crown told local newspaper Macau Business Daily in a report published on Wednesday that it had decided on a “temporary closure” of Taboo. The burlesque-style revue created specially for Melco Crown by Italian-Belgian director Franco Dragone, had its premiere at Club Cubic in April 2013. The final Macau performance will be on March 31, the official website of the show announced.
GGRAsia asked Melco Crown why it had decided to close the show, and when it might resume, but had not received a reply by the time this story went online.
“Given the very short average length of stay for Macau’s visitors we suspect that the vast majority prefer to stick with something that is within their knowledge or comfort zone,” Mr Govertsen told us, “Hence a cabaret show would get the short end of the stick.”
Taboo joins a list of discontinued non-gaming attractions in Macau. It includes Zaia from Canadian theatre company Cirque de Soleil, a show that ran from 2008 to 2012 at the Venetian Macao; and Tryst nightclub, which closed in April 2007 after only four months of operation at Wynn Macau.
“With the closure of Taboo, I guess it does mean that there hasn’t been strong demand for cabaret in Macau,” Nomura analyst Richard Huang told us.
“But I wouldn’t say there is no demand for non-gaming in Macau, as I can easily think of multiple hugely successful examples like the House of Dancing Water show, the multiple concerts that [the] Venetian [Macao] hosts every year, the pool deck at Galaxy [Macau] and the Batman [virtual ride] at Studio City,” he stated.
“I think it just means that Chinese and Americans have very different taste when it comes to non-gaming entertainment, so replicating things from [Las] Vegas might not work,” Mr Huang added.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China