IAG September 2014 - page 8

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asiangaming
September2014
8
campaign he’s launched to secure a federal law to ban the sector. A
prominent contingent of corporate LasVegaswouldn’t be sad to see
him go for the same reason. But he’s left them all disappointed. “As
thesupposedMarkTwainquotegoes, the rumorsofmydemisehave
beengreatly exaggerated,”he said inMay. “I amasbullishabout this
company as I’ve ever been, and I have no plans of slowing down or
passing theCEO titleor job toanyone.…Wehave takenan important
leadershipposition in thegamingandhospitality industry, and I plan
on spending year after year buildingon that success.”
He’s 81 now and as driven and combative as ever.
On an earnings call lastOctober, he stated that everyone agrees
on LVS’ front-runner status in Japan. Not long after, he hosted a
presentation forHiroyuki Hosoda, a prominentmember of Japan’s
governing Liberal Democratic Party, which at the time was putting
the finishing touches on the legalization bill it would introduce in
the Diet in December. The presentation (
Reuters
described it as
“spirited”) included a flurry of slides and a scale model of what
the company would erect on Tokyo Bay. At the end, according to
Reuters
’ account, which came from aperson it cited as familiarwith
the event, the lawmaker quietlymentioned that Tokyo’s is a unique
culture and that planting aMarina Bay Sands-style mega-complex
theremight not work.
It was a gentle nudge, one that perhaps speaks to a certain
concern over the bluster and the go-it-alone attitude. As
Reuters
source put it, “Many lawmakers in the casino group want Japanese
companies tohave theopportunity to invest. Theywant tomakesure
somemoney stays in Japan.”
Mr Adelson hasn’t gone out of hisway to dispel these concerns.
He said at the CLSA news conference in February that while he was
“willing toembrace Japanesepartners,”hewondershowmany share
his appetite and capacity for risk. (Interestingly, he tossed out the
nameof Softbank founder andCEOMasayoshi Sonassomeonehe’d
be interested in tying upwith. The Internet and telecommunications
giant hadno comment.)
But toseehimassomekindof bull inachinashop, asmanyhave,
is tomiss theelaborate theater he’d conjured that day. It’sa thing that
dancesveryclose to theessenceof theman. Forget the“$10billion”. It
wasn’t a real number. Itwasbetter. Itwasamagicnumber.
Hewassaying thatLasVegasSandshasmore thanwherewithal—
it has thewillingness—togambleonTokyoat a level theotherscan’t,
or won’t, to gift an iconic citywith an iconworthy of it. Hewas, after
all, in Tokyo, talking to the heirs of the largest metropolitan area in
theworld, thepeoplewhoflourish in theenduringallureof it and the
enormity of its wealth. He had the spotlight and it was no time for
demurring. Thiswas one epic ego to another.Heady stuff.
That’s SheldonAdelson.
Thistimenextyear,
GalaxyEntertainmentGroupwill likely stand
at the topof the casino revenue-share league table inMacau.
AsofQ22014, itactuallystoodthirdamongthecity’ssixoperators,
with a 20.8% share of gaming revenue, behindSands China’s 22.1%
share. Infirst placewasSJMwitha24.8%share, though that figure is
inflatedby revenueearnedat 14 third-party-ownedcasinos towhich it
lends its license in exchange for aportionof the takings.
FrancisLui
DeputyChairman
GalaxyEntertainmentGroup
Capacity isoneof themajordeterminantsofMacaumarketshare.
Following theMay 2011 opening of itsGalaxyMacaumegaresort on
Cotai, GEG moved ahead of Sands before the latter reclaimed its
position a year later with the opening of Sands Cotai Central. But
comemid-2015, GEG is set to not only once again overtake Sands,
but probably alsounseat SJM,with theunveilingof Phase2ofGalaxy
Macau, which is set to kick off themuch-anticipated “secondwave”
of Cotai resort development. From there, the company, holder of
the biggest land bank on Cotai at 2million squaremeters, is set to
continue adding capacity.
“They’re the best-positioned for long-term growth and are
focused on becoming the dominant player in Macau,” observes
UnionGamingResearchMacau’sGrantGovertsen.
Although Macau’s gaming industry appears to be taking a
breather right now, particularly in the VIP segment, few would bet
against themassmarket’s inexorable riseover the coming years and
decades, especially following the impetus to renewed visitor growth
promisedbyCotai’s secondwave.
“If youbelieve in theChina consumer story youhave tobelieve in
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