Casino gi­ant Wynn’s new­est Ma­cau re­sort de­layed

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

HONG KONG: Ho­tel and casino gi­ant Wynn said the open­ing of its new $4.1 bil­lion ho­tel in Ma­cau will be de­layed by three months as gam­ing rev­enue in the gam­bling en­clave suf­fers a drawn-out de­cline.

Rev­enues dropped for the 17th con­sec­u­tive month in Oc­to­ber, by 28.4 per­cent from a year ago, as China suf­fers a painful growth slow­down and Beijing em­barks on a cor­rup­tion crack­down that has ham­mered Ma­cau’s key VIP sec­tor.

In a state­ment Thurs­day, Wynn said its con­trac­tor for con­struc­tion works at the Wynn Palace-a flo­ral-themed 1,700-room re­sort fea­tur­ing a lake with gon­do­las-no­ti­fied them of the de­lay.

“Wynn Palace will not be ready to open by the pro­jected early com­ple­tion date of March 25, 2016. The re­vised open­ing date for Wynn Palace is cur­rently June 25, 2016,” Wynn said in its state­ment with­out stat­ing a rea­son. Wynn Ma­cau’s shares in Hong Kong closed 1.32 per­cent lower yes­ter­day at HK$10.48 ($1.35) per share.

Casino op­er­a­tors in Ma­cau-the only place in China where gam­bling is al­lowed-are try­ing to lure mass mar­ket visi­tors to make up for the drop in high-roller gam­blers who make up the bulk of the city’s gam­ing in­come. This has led to a slew of megapro­jects on for­mer swamp land on the coastal Co­tai strip. The lat­est launch was of the Stu­dio City ho­tel and casino re­sort in Oc­to­ber fea­tur­ing the world’s first fig­ure-of-eight roller­coast­erthat was fronted by Robert De Niro, Martin Scors­ese, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.

“We be­lieve that some of the new Co­tai projects face risks of de­lays amid a chal­leng­ing op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment,” Daiwa Cap­i­tal Mar­kets said in a memo Thurs­day, fol­low­ing Wynn’s an­nounce­ment. Gam­ing an­a­lyst Aaron Fis­cher said op­er­a­tors would be hop­ing for quick re­turns once they do open their re­sort doors. “Op­er­a­tors are keen to get their prop­er­ties open as soon as pos­si­ble to start gen­er­at­ing a re­turn on that in­vest­ment,” said Fis­cher, head of con­sumer and gam­ing re­search at bro­ker­age CLSA.

He added they may also do some “fine-tun­ing” to try to en­sure greater growth over the medium term. “That might in­clude switch­ing out some of the VIP ca­pac­ity and maybe con­vert­ing it to mass-mar­ket gam­ing ar­eas or maybe con­vert­ing some of that VIP space to restau­rants or other non-gam­ing en­ter­tain­ment,” he said. Wynn Re­sorts founder bil­lion­aire Steve Wynn has pre­vi­ously said the sit­u­a­tion in Ma­cau was “un­cer­tain”. “There’s no ques­tion that un­cer­tainty is the plagu­ing word of the day in Ma­cau,” he said in April. Ma­cau over­took Las Vegas as the world’s casino cap­i­tal in terms of rev­enue af­ter the sec­tor was opened up to for­eign com­pe­ti­tion in 2002 and still leads its US coun­ter­part, de­spite the down­turn. — AFP

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