Casino and hotel giants MGM has opened their latest property in the gambling capital of Macau in China. The resort has been in the works for a few years, but is now open to the public. We take a look at the new MGM Macau.
MGM Cotai takes on Chinese New Year
MGM Resorts International’s second property in the Chinese territory of Macau opened on the eve of the Chinese New Year 2018. The MGM Cotai planned its opening to coincide with the important national holiday as a strategy to get customers in the door in Macau’s ever more competitive market. The integrated casino resort provided accommodation for visitors to the popular Chinese tourist destination at a time when many hotels were in high demand, and many of Cotai’s properties saw a full roster of bookings and increased rates. MGM Chief Executive Officer James Murren said, “It’s a perfect time to open right at the eve of the year of the dog [the Chinese zodiac animal that marks this year]. I believe we have created a resort that exactly targets the market that’s the fastest growing today — the upper-end mass market.” The MGM Cotai in Macau made headlines a few years ago thanks to its extravagant design, which was intended to mimic a typical Chinese jewelry box. The copper, silver and gold colours of the facade are highly decorative and shimmer with the reflections of the surrounding buildings and water. Construction on the property started in 2015 and it was slated to open in 2017, but opened in February 2018.
From gambling paradise to family haven
MGM is opening just in time, it would appear. The new integrated casino resort in Cotai is arriving in a Macau that faces an uncertain future, given that China could possibly grant a gambling licence to the nearby island of Hainan. Not only that, but gambling tourism is spreading across Asia, so Macau is not just the only destination in the region for people looking to take advantage of its specific offerings. Margaret Huang, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said, “It will be difficult for MGM to beat other competitors’ new resorts ramp-up. Macau will always face regulatory risk from any changes from China. Operators will also face greater pressure from more new resorts and additional Asian gambling destinations.” Another potential challenge facing new, gambling-focused properties in Macau is the effort to rebrand the destination as a family-friendly vacation spot to try and offer more than just the gambling scene that the territory is known for. However, with the opening of this new hotel it is hoped there will come a renewed and bolstered interest in gambling too. Grant Bowie, CEO of MGM China Holdings Ltd. seemed confident on the issue, saying, “We live in a world with many business distractions. Any business needs to have the resilience and capacity. The Macau market can overcome any of these challenges that present themselves.”
Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway by MGM Resorts International: