Scientific Game

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number 19 - James Murren

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 14:44
Share
Visit us


19 James Murren

CHAIRPERSON AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
MGM China Holdings

POWER SCORE
1,165

LAST YEAR
12

CLAIMS TO FAME
• Chairman of the world’s second largest casino company
• Credited with keeping MGM Resorts afloat during the GFC

If the strong domestic results achieved by MGM China’s parent company, MGM Resorts, in 3Q17 provided a welcome distraction for Chairman and CEO Jim Murren from the seemingly never-ending delays in construction of MGM Cotai in Macau, the deadly Mandalay Bay shooting on 1 October provided an unpleasant reality check.

The tragic event has cast a dark pall over Las Vegas as 2017 draws to a close and for MGM Resorts there remains uncertainty over potential litigation from families of the deceased.

Yet, tragedy aside, there is much for Murren and MGM Resorts to look forward to in 2018 as the company continues its impressive resurgence following the difficulties it faced during the Global Financial Crisis.

Murren himself played a major part in limiting the damage at the height of the crisis and was instrumental in negotiating the deal with Pansy Ho that would see MGM Resorts become majority stakeholder in MGM China in 2011. That piece of business proved to be a shrewd one with Macau essentially keeping MGM Resorts afloat during those more difficult times for the US market.

It’s worth noting too ahead of the upcoming January 2018 launch of MGM Cotai that Murren added another 4.95% of the pie last year, taking MGM Resorts’ stake to 56% – a healthy chunk should Cotai perform well as expected.

No doubt all eyes will be on the early results from MGM Cotai’s VIP segment, with the company having announced that it would open with only in-house VIP, adding junkets at a later date. The exclusive Mansion product will also be delayed until mid-2018 although in the company’s recent 3Q17 earnings call Murren was quick to express his high expectations of the product.

“We believe it will have a significant competitive advantage in the VIP business,” he said. “We’ve spent a long time developing, designing, creating, programming a property that would be unique to Macau and certainly unique to the hospitality market.

“We’ve worked hard to deliver on a promise that we’ve made to the government to create an entertainment destination that’s unparalleled. And I think when you see [it] you’ll feel that we delivered on that promise of entertainment, of food and beverage, of retail, that’s uniquely Chinese, uniquely Macanese, and embodies the idea of MGM as an entertainment company.”

To return to the full list of 2017 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.

What's new

Inside Asian Gaming takes a look back at the biggest stories of the past week

Inside Asian Gaming takes a look back at the biggest stories of the past week Inside Asian Gaming takes a look back at the biggest stories of the past week Friday, 23 February 2018 06:55

TGG to deploy content on Solaire Resort & Casino’s gaming floor

TGG to deploy content on Solaire Resort & Casino’s gaming floor Hong Kong’s TGG Interactive has announced a deal with Manila’s Solaire Resort & Casino to integrate the Philippines casino operator to its Asian VIP and middle-class focused digital gaming content library on the casino floor. In a press release, TGG said that the successful deployment at So... Friday, 23 February 2018 05:20

Saipan gaming commissioner accuses Macau casinos of not reporting real VIP volumes

Saipan gaming commissioner accuses Macau casinos of not reporting real VIP volumes The Executive Director of the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC), the gaming regulatory body of the Northern Mariana Islands, has attributed the comparatively enormous VIP rolling chip volumes running through Imperial Pacific International’s (IPI) Saipan casino to Macau operators failing to repo... Friday, 23 February 2018 05:06

Macau’s Chinese New Year visitation grows 6.5%

Macau’s Chinese New Year visitation grows 6.5% Macau’s visitor arrivals surged by 6.5% year-on-year to more than 960,000 during Chinese New Year, including around 710,000 from mainland China, according to preliminary statistics released by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO). The figures cover the seven days of Spring Festival Golden W... Friday, 23 February 2018 04:27

Current Issue

Design For Profit

Design For Profit Architect Paul Steelman provides his insights into designing the most expensive privately funded buildings on earth and making and breaking trends. By Muhammad Cohen | Editor-at-Large EMINENT casino architect Paul Steelman helped create the Asian gaming boom with the groundbreaking design of Sands... Monday, 29 January 2018 15:11

Climbing the mountain

Climbing the mountain   ASX-listed Silver Heritage Group finally launched hotel and casino operations at its new Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa in late 2017, having survived the 2015 earthquake, a fuel blockade on the Nepal-India border and an AU$19 million (US$14.4 million) funding shortage as a result of the delays. ... Monday, 29 January 2018 15:07

Can sportsbooks survive a 1% tax on handle?

Can sportsbooks survive a 1% tax on handle?   The big news coming out of the United States this year is the likely striking down of the federal ban on sports betting. But with many states licking their lips in anticipation of added tax dollars, the sports betting industry may well have another crippling fight on its hands. THE US Supreme C... Monday, 29 January 2018 15:05

Herman Ng:Macau Pioneer

Herman Ng:Macau Pioneer Inside Asian Gaming discovers a bit more about Herman Ng, CEO and Executive Director of Macau-based slot machine services firm Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE). Ben Blaschke: Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your background? Herman Ng: I grew up in Macau and then when I was 16 ... Monday, 29 January 2018 14:52