IAG June 2014 - page 8

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asiangaming
June2014
8
to changeperceptions a little bit too. And
people are going togo, “Hey, that’s a little
moremainstream than I thought it was.”And
KelvinTan’s done a fantastic job forMelco
Crown. So I think the junkets are going to
treat it a littlemore seriously. And if they like
the experience then that helps everyonedown
here. You know, these guys are all trying to
diversify internationally now. SunCity’s in
something like 15 countries in 22 locations
now. They’re always looking for opportunities
abroad.
What of thedoubtsout thereabout
Manila’sviabilityasaVIPdestination?
What concerns the big junket operators,
some of them, naturally, is safety.We’re
covering initiatives on that not only
in terms of our site but as part of the
Entertainment City conglomerate of IRs.
There are a number of initiatives that are
under discussionwith Solaire andCity of
Dreams. But we’re looking to be a one-
stop shop. That’s sort of our solution to
that issue.Wewill pick uppeople, we’ll
take them through the VIP line at the
airport, pick themup in a limousine, we’ll
bring them down to our resort. There’s no
reason to go anywhere else but our resort
while they stay with us.We’ll have a full
entertainment offering, awide array of food
and beverage offerings.We’re going to have
a fantastic spa facility. Retail, whenPhase 2
opens, it’s going to be over 70,000 square
meters. Sowe thinkwe’ve got everything
that peoplewill need.
Areyou lookingat commission-based
compensationonVIPor revenue share?
In terms of junket commission rates, with
our tax structurewe can certainly bemore
than competitivewithMacau.We’dprobably
prefer revenue share. Reduces the volatility
of the business. But we’re looking at all
options. That’s somethingwe’re going to
have conversations about aswell.We’ll be
competitivewith theprograms, we’ll offer
commission, we’ll offer revenue share,
HongKongdollars. And I don’t knowwhat
the competition’s done, but City of Dreams
certainly has a fantastic reputation, and I
think that’s going tohelpwhen they open.
But I think our portfolioof restaurants,
suites, the roomoffering is amazing, the
retail, the entertainment, thenightclub,
the beach club, the spa—really, I’mquietly
confident that our offering is going to
surpass everything else that is going tobe
in themarket. And I think ultimatelywhen
peoplehave started coming intoManila
they’re going to look at our property and, you
know, I’ll let themdecidewhere they prefer
to stay. Locals are going tobe a key element
of our businessmodel too.Not just for the
revenue but for creating the excitement and
the throbwithin the casino that everyone
likes, even thehigh rollers. They don’t want
toplay in an empty, dull casino, theywant
tobe somewherewhere’s there’s action and
things are goingon. I think our casino’s
going toprovide a littlemore atmosphere
than theothers. And I think that the locals
will gravitate toward that.
The strategy then isasmuchabout
transforming imagesorperceptionsof
Manilaasanythingelse,whichhasbeen
thegoal ofEntertainmentCity from the
start.
It is. Absolutely. Imean, your perception of
Manila from two years ago,my perception
two years ago, I wouldn’t have gone there.
And I went there in January last year, had
a look, I’m like, “Hey, this isn’t that bad at
all.” All the vendors and stuffused to go,
“Oh, God, I hate that place!” They used
to have to stay inChinatown because the
PAGCOR officeswere there, and they never
really went down toMakati, Greenbelt, Fort
Bonifacio. It’s a nice place, it really is. I
thinkmore andmore people are discovering
“He’sgot1,000hotel rooms
inPhase1, aphenomenal
portfolio, startsat60 square
meters, thenyougoup into100
squaremeters, thenyou’re into
200, 300, 450, 500, 600-square-
meter suites in the tower.Then
you’vegot thevillas,whichare
over1,000 squaremeters.An
incredibleportfolioof rooms.”
ThedomedMeguBeachClubatManilaBayResorts—Noonehasdoneanything like it, saysMattHurst.
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