Macau Location Falling Behind Competition; Relaunch Designed To Give MGM Grand Macau A “Chinese” Makeover
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today about the MGM Grand Macau‘s plans to “relaunch” their brand in order to appeal to mainland gamers. According to analysts, the MGM Grand Macau has fallen behind its Macau rivals as a result of failing to meet the expectations — or suit the tastes — of Chinese patrons, something MGM Grand Paradise Ltd. President Grant Bowie told the paper he plans to address by transforming the MGM Grand Macau into “a Chinese brand.”
“MGM Macau is a brilliant property.” However, “I don’t think it’s clicked with mainland Chinese players. I don’t think they have the right product for the local player,” said Anil Daswani, global head of gaming for Citigroup.
Chinese gamblers focus mainly on getting the best deals from casinos and usually shun other luxury amenities and services during their stay.
MGM Grand Macau isn’t alone in trying to crack the code of what makes hard-core Chinese gamblers tick beyond Baccarat. In many of the Macau casino resorts, the bars, restaurants and spas are still empty.
[E]ven as Macau casinos rebound on booming demand, MGM Grand Macau is shunning the mass market dominated by Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings Ltd. and Sands China Ltd.
“We want to create the maximum amount of revenue with the least amount of people,” Bowie said. He didn’t provide a revenue target.
As such, the casino plans to target upwardly mobile Chinese.
Although Grant Bowie’s turnaround plans for the MGM Grand Macau are vague, this article brings up an interesting question: is Bowie taking the right strategy by focusing his efforts exclusively on appealing to upper-middle-class Chinese? We’ve covered the difficulties faced by casinos and resorts in Macau as they try to get the notoriously ephemeral Chinese visitor to stick around longer and spend his or her money on more than gambling, and the only common consensus we can seem to find among all Macau casino operators is that there is no silver bullet to help Macau move beyond gaming and become a more rounded entertainment destination.