New casinos to open: Macau, Vietnam, South Korea

Macau: Eight casinos by 2017

There are eight additional casinos slated to be in operation by 2017. This expansion onto the Cotai strip is expected to more than double gambling revenues. The new casino projects are designed to lure a different class of gambler. Traditionally, Macau casinos competed fiercely for high-stakes players, but now operators appear to be turning their heads towards the “mass premium player”. Sands China is adding a new hotel-casino-entertainment complex called the Parisian, set to open late this year. The $2.7 billion development will feature a somewhat truncated version of the Eiffel Tower that houses a 200-seat restaurant and an observation deck. Wynn Resorts is pouring $4 billion onto the strip in the form of the 1,700-room Wynn Palace, while MGM Resorts is building the $2.9 billion MGM Cotai. Both are slated to open their doors in 2016. Anybody who might have placed Stanley Ho’s SJM out of the game, might do well by taking a look at the plans for Lisboa Palace, a $3.9 billion complex expected to open in 2017. Not only will it include 700 gambling tables, but also a Palazzo Versace hotel as well as a hotel designed by Karl Lagerfeld, chief designer for the Chanel and Fendi fashion houses. One particularly bright spot to emerge from the trend towards diversification is retail, and here too Sands China has jumped in with both feet. In 2013, the sector grew by 21%, bringing total retail revenue to $6.2 billion. And, of that heap of dollars, about one in every three were spent at Sands China malls. This new quickly growing source of revenue is embraced not only by Sands, but most casino operators who are clamoring to follow suit.


The Parisian will have a half-scale Eiffet Tower

Vietnam: Prime Minister gives his approval for a casino on Phu Quoc Island

Vietnam’s Politburo agreed to open an entertainment complex, featuring a casino on Phu Quoc as part of plan to turn the island into a special economic zone. Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam and welcomed over 700,000 tourists in 2014. The new international airport, which was officially opened in 2012, is capable of handling 2.6 million visitors and is expected to boost the development of the island for the next 15 or 20 years.

South Korea: 2 more licenses for casino resorts in 2015

South Korea plans to approve two more casino resorts and the building of around 5,000 new hotel rooms this year, hoping to boost tourism investment by around $7.9 billion. Over $900m are supposed to be invested in each of the two casino-included resort complexes. Few days ago, the government already approved foreigner-only casinos on domestic cruise ships over 20k tons.



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