IAG OCTOBER 2016 web - page 8

inside
asiangaming
October2016
8
Cover Story
By
MuhammadCohen
|Editor at large
MuhammadCohen
alsoblogs forForbeson
gaming throughoutAsia
andwrote
HongKongOn
Air
, anovel set during
the1997handover
aboutTVnews, love,
betrayal, highfinance
and cheap lingerie.
W
ith Parisian Macao as bookend to its Venetian
Macao, SandsChinahascreatedacompelling tale
of two cities at Cotai’s core. Yet, for Sands China
and for Macau, Parisian’s 13 September launch
was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
With its half-scale Eiffel Tower, The Parisian gives a French twist to
Macau’sgovernment-driven transition fromapredominantlygaming
to a leisure and tourism destination at a time of depressed revenue
amid President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign andmainland
China’s slowing economic growth. TheParisian completes the string
of integrated resorts on Cotai’s main north-south boulevard, filling
the final lot granted toSandsChina– the trailblazer for development
of the once desolate landfill and in diversifying Macau’s appeal
beyond gambling. The recent revolution has seen the percentage of
non-gaming revenue rise into the high teens at some Sands Cotai
resorts as gaming revenuehas fallen.
Ahead of the US$2.9 billion Parisian’s debut, Macau’s gaming
revenue grew inAugust for the first time in 27months, but the gain
was just 1.1% – perhaps more an indicator of house luck than a
harbinger of recovery. That rise followed theopeningofWynnPalace,
developedbyWynnMacau andheadedby SteveWynn, the longtime
rival of Sands China (and Las Vegas Sands) Chairman and CEO
SheldonAdelson.
After Macau’s first two Cotai openings since 2012 – Galaxy
Phase 2 and Studio City – failed to reverse the revenue slump,
the uptick was a reminder that new supply once drove Macau’s
growth. The flip side is that Cotai has added 8,269 hotels room in
French
Revelation
CompletingSheldonAdelson’s
Cotai portfolio, ParisianMacao
advances thenewmassmarket
tourismparadigmwith“affordable
luxury” andan instantly
recognized landmark.
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