The Macau SAR made MOP265.60 billion (USD33.20 billion) gaming revenue in 2017 from its 40 casinos especially from the growing importance of the entertainment hub in the Cotai Strip in Taipa. Its share of the local gaming market climbs to 61.40% as of the 4th quarter of 2017 which includes 64.20% of mass market revenue. More and more visitors gravitate towards its expanding array of mega-resorts. The Cotai Strip is home to many integrated resorts such as the Galaxy Macau, MGM Cotai, Melco’s City of Dreams and Studio City, Wynn Palace and Sands China’s quartet of the Venetian, Sands Cotai Central, Parisian Macao and The Plaza.
The Cotai Strip also holds 58.30% of the 4 and 5 star guestrooms in Macau, up from 47% in the 1st quarter of 2017 but slightly down from 59.70% 12 months ago. The growing overnight visitation bodes well for Macau’s future, with overnight visitors representing 53.70% of all visitors in the fourth quarter of last year. Overnight visitation has historically shown a correlation with healthy mass market gaming numbers.
Competition in the local gaming industry is getting tougher as gaming operators are upgrading their facilities and new infrastructure is taking shape, so the winning formula is to strike the right balance between high-end and mass-market customers.
In the second half of this year, Sands will be converting 600 hotel rooms at the Parisian into 300 premium suites and Melco will be enhancing its House of Magic show at Studio City, while SJM will open Grand Lisboa Palace with Versace and Karl Lagerfeld hotels in 2019. Galaxy will open its Phase 3 and 4 in the near future with hotels, MICE facilities and gaming space, Melco will open Countdown Tower, rebranded from Hard Rock Hotel, and Sands will have an additional 295 suites at Four Seasons and another 350 suites at St Regis. In 2020, Sands plans to open The Londoner, a rebrand of Sands Cotai Central.
Moreover, infrastructure projects such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and Macau’s light rail transit (LRT) will be operational. The delta bridge will better connect Macau with its main source of visitors from the mainland and Hong Kong, which is also expected to extend visitors’ length of stay. With these enhancements, many gaming operators should find the beautiful balance between the high-end revenue-generating business as well as the mass market, put in the most valuable player and find that great mix between the two businesses to maximize the efficiency across each of the business areas.
Stephen Hung, the high-profile prime mover behind The 13 hotel in Coloane has resigned as joint chairman and executive director of The 13 Holdings Limited. The company, Pride Wisdom Group Limited entered into a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) in relation to the sale of the entire issued share capital of Circle Swing Limited to Rally Praise Limited, a company wholly owned by Tom Lau Ko-yuen. Mr Lau is now the deputy chairman and executive director of The 13 Holdings.