Inside Asian Gaming

INSIDE ASIAN GAMING | Oct 2007 6 Cover Story I nside Asian Gaming has never heard any- thing but kind words about Galaxy Enter- tainment Group’s flagship StarWorld Ho- tel & Casino from Macau residents. We put it down to the humility of GEG’s management. Other operators claimed their upcom- ing properties would transform the city’s tourism and gaming landscape, or provide unparalleled six-star luxury. It came as little surprise that when they inevitably failed to meet expectations or experienced teething troubles, analysts and the general public jumped at the opportunity to remind them of the folly of their boasts and bring them down a peg or three. GEG, meanwhile, eschewed hyperbole and sought to provide “affordable luxury” and leverage its “local experience” to cre- ate a product catering to Asian and Chinese tastes—providing all the essentials, with nary a superfluous facility in sight. So while the high-end eateries at Sands Macao were scaled back and Wynn Macau’s trendy Tryst nightclub was shut down, Star- World’s high-end Chinese restaurants are credited with driving its successful VIP gam- ing business and its laid-back 16th floor Temptations lounge and Whiskey Bar con- tinue drawing crowds of regulars. GEG Deputy Chairman Francis Lui points out that with 95% of visitor arrivals to Macau hailing from Asia, Galaxy has a distinct edge “as a company owned and operated by Chi- nese,” giving it a better understanding “of the specific tastes of Asians for hotel, enter- tainment and dining.” StarWorld may be tailored to meet locals’ needs, but even expatriates claim to find the property more comfortable and inviting than other brash new casino hotels popping up around the city. It’s hard to point to any one thing that makes StarWorld more welcoming than competing properties. As Francis Lui ex- Demand Driven Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertaiment Group (GEG) will celebrate the successful first anniversary of its flagship StarWorld Hotel & Casino later this month, having proven it can create a brand that can compete with the leading lights of Vegas. GEG Deputy Chairman Francis Lui attributes his company’s success to its understanding of Chinese culture and background in real estate development and hotel management. He tells Inside Asian Gaming that rather than following the “supply-creates-demand” philosophy of other bullish developers in Macau, GEG will take its cues from the market in developing the ambitious Cotai Mega Resort Galaxy Entertainment Group Deputy Chairman Francis Lui in the StarWorld lobby