IAG AUGUST 2016 - page 11

August2016
inside
asiangaming
11
island with visa free access for mainland Chinese. Outside Korea’s
capital Seoul, US tribal operator Mohegan Sun plans a theme park
centerpiece to itsUS$1.6billion Inspire resort at thenation’sgateway
Incheon airport.
TRIBALFUSION
“Inour industry youoften see a small gesture in resorts that provide
limitedentertainment outlets for families.However, atMoheganSun
we have always leveraged entertainment as a draw,” Mohegan Sun
SeniorVicePresident forBusinessDevelopment, JGaryLuderitz,says.
The Experience Park Incheon, Korea (EPIK) includes a Paramount
Studios theme park, indoor rainforest with rock climbing and zip
lines plus a “next generation” Virtual Science Center alongside the
largest indoor arena inSouthKorea.
“Korea is unique in that we have a foreigner-only gaming license
andaccordinglywewill leverageEPIKasadraw formass international
tourism, transit passengers through Incheon Airport, residents of
neighboringSeoul andotherpartsof SouthKorea,”Mr Luderitzsays.
ThePlatinumLtdManagingDirectorMaryMendozanotes these
major entertainment investments are happening in markets where
gaming is restricted in the localmarket. InSouthKorea, citizens can
only gamble at remote Kangwon Land casino. Malaysian Muslims
arebarred fromgambling at ResortsWorldGentingbut arewelcome
to enjoy the rides, shopping mall and other attractions. Singapore
residents don’t have to pay theUS$70 casino entry tax for Universal
Studios orMarinaBay Sands’ rooftopobservationdeck.
“All these components target different market segments,” Ms
Mendoza says. “They offer something for everybody” even if they
can’t gamble. The Macau based consultant, a former marketing
executive forSandsChinaandmore recentlyBestSunshine inSaipan,
suggestsMacauoperators “dowhat the regulatorwants,”noting the
local FiveYearPlancalls fornon-gaming revenue to risebymore than
a third to9%by2020. “It’s time todiversify tourismproductsandget
amorehealthymix of revenue,” she says.
LONGONQUICKIES
Thebest alternative forMacau, rather than fully-fledged themeparks,
may be shorter duration family entertainment attractions – 15 to 20
minute “diversions” asMelco Crown Chairman and CEO Lawrence
Ho calls Studio City’s Batman ride and Golden Reel wheel, or two
hour attractions such as TheHouseofMagic.
There’s nomodeling technique to quantify which type of family
entertainment works best, CLSA’s Aaron Fischer says. He believes
Macau’s land shortage inflates theopportunity cost for themeparks,
but there’s “not a huge downside” to smaller scale attractions. “The
amount of spaceandcost isquitenominal,”hesays. “It’ssomething
Universal Studios
at
ResortsWorldSentosa
attracted4.2millionvisitors in2015
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