12 Grant Bowie
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
MGM China Holdings Ltd
POWER SCORE: 1,466
POSITION LAST YEAR: 13
CLAIMS TO FAME
Most senior Westerner working in Macau’s casinos
Strong track record in the mass market sector
Oversaw opening of Wynn Macau in 2006
After the frustrations of 2017, which saw the launch of the company’s new US$3.4 billion Macau integrated resort MGM COTAI pushed back to the new year due to damage from Typhoon Hato, 2018 has proved a welcome change for MGM China’s long-serving CEO and Executive Director Grant Bowie.
The eventual opening of MGM COTAI on 13 February no doubt came as much as a relief as it did an exciting new dawn for the company. However, the crux of the matter is that MGM now boasts a much-needed presence in Macau’s new gaming center, located as it is in the heart of Cotai in an IR cluster that also includes Wynn Palace and Melco Resorts’ City of Dreams.
In truth, ramp of MGM COTAI has been slower than the company would have preferred – due largely to the lack of external VIP operations upon launch. Bowie stated recently that MGM is working actively to rectify that situation, with five junkets – Suncity Group, Tak Chun Group, Guangdong Group, Meg-Star International and David Group – set to be up and running by early 2019.
MGM has also been busy putting the finishing touches on its exclusive The Mansion product – a private enclave within the property for VIP guests housing 27 villas ranging in size from 215 to 570 square meters each – and a high-end gaming area called the President’s Club targeted at its own premium mass customers.
Despite the absence of full VIP operations, MGM China was at least able to claw back some Macau market share on the back of its greatly expanded mass market facilities. The company booked a 32% increase in revenue in 2Q18 – the first full quarter to include MGM COTAI – to HK$4.4 billion, followed by a 37% increase in the third quarter to HK$4.8 billion.
It has been rumored that the opening of MGM COTAI and those remaining facilities yet to come online may well prove to be the last hurrah for Bowie before he gallops off into the sunset to take a well-earned break. If true, he will do so having played a significant role in Macau’s development. Long considered the highest-ranking Westerner in Macau’s casino industry, he spent five years as President of Wynn Macau – overseeing Wynn’s opening in September 2006 before eventually joining MGM China in 2008, shortly after the launch of MGM’s first local IR.
It’s a track record many could only dream of.
For the full list of 2018 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.