Melco Entertainment Makes $2 Billion Bet That Macau’s Tourism, Gambling Industry Will Soon Recover From Global Slump
We have written several times before on the efforts of Macau’s tourism department to draw in guests from neighboring Mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as foreign guests from the periphery of East Asia and elsewhere. But despite the department’s efforts, overall confidence levels have been spotty at best in the last year, with some entertainment companies, like the Las Vegas Sands Corp., dramatically cutting back in Macau. However, this month there has been good news coming out of Macau’s glitzy Cotai Strip (the city’s answer to the Vegas Strip), with the opening of Melco’s “City of Dreams” casino, a $2 billion project that features 516 gambling tables in a 420,000-square-foot casino, Hard Rock and Grand Hyatt hotels along with a multimedia theater and shops run by DFS.
According to the casino’s owners, City of Dreams is designed to be one of the world’s most advanced gaming complexes, offering a sort of all-inclusive departure from many of Macau’s more old-fashioned gaming centers, but still remaining close enough to the city’s traditional tourism draws to appeal to a wide tourist demographic. With the unusually large investment that Melco has made in this project, however, it is clear that the company is not simply trying to pull foreign tourists away from its rivals, it is also trying to crack a market that has frustrated other casinos for years — the Mainland or Hong Kong gambler. While this group obviously comes to Macau often and spends freely, the problem has traditionally been getting these individuals to stay in Macau for more than one or two days. With the huge array of amenities at “City of Dreams,” Melco is showing their ambition to get this demographic to respond.