In this new regular feature in IAG to celebrate 16 years covering the Asian gaming and leisure industry, we look back at our cover story from exactly 10 years ago, titled “Destination Achieved,” to rediscover what was making the news in June 2011!
The June 2011 edition of Inside Asian Gaming marked a significant moment in Macau gaming history, featuring Galaxy Macau and its Vice Chairman Francis Lui on the cover just weeks after the integrated resort opened its doors for the first time on 15 May 2011.
It seems laughable now given the enormous success Galaxy Macau has enjoyed over the past decade, but 10 years ago the question everyone was asking was whether this US$1.9 billion development – representing an enormous investment for its time –could succeed without cannibalizing the market.
The early signs were promising. Galaxy said at the time that around 20,000 people walked the floor in the first 90 minutes of operations alone, while Macau-wide GGR was tracking 13% higher in May than April. For the record, April GGR of MOP$20.5 billion (US$2.56 billion) had been a record at the time.
Nevertheless, the IAG team may have under-estimated the pulling power of Galaxy Macau, suggesting at the time that it might have trouble matching its neighbour, The Venetian Macao, as a destination of choice for visitors.
“The stickiness of The Venetian Macao as a first stop on Cotai probably resides in the fact that it’s a photo opportunity entirely independent of its gaming offering,” we wrote.
“After the initial opening rush, Galaxy Macau needs to establish itself as a first gambling stop on Cotai. The shopping offer by itself won’t be a crucial draw. There are also important logistical reasons why it will be a challenge to make Galaxy Macau a ‘second stop’ on Cotai for Venetian customers.
“Galaxy Macau may be just a little too far away from The Venetian to be a comfortable walk in a muggy Macau summer.”
A lengthy walk it is, but attracting customers has never been a problem for the powerhouse that Galaxy Macau has well and truly proven itself to be.