Wynn Planning Third Casino, Vegas Headquarters Shift In Macau

Wynn Resorts Raised $1.87 Billion In Hong Kong IPO Last Year

The newly opened Encore Macau

The newly opened Encore Macau

Today, at the opening of Wynn Resort’s second Macau casino, Encore Macau, American gaming mogul Steve Wynn spelled out his company’s plans for the former Portuguese colony that now accounts for a reported 60% of Wynn Resorts revenue. According to Wynn himself, the company’s China strategy, following last year’s IPO in Hong Kong (which raised $1.87 billion) centers on a strong commitment to the market, rather than the pursuit of quick profits. As Wynn likes to say, Wynn Resorts is now, for all intents and purposes, “a Chinese company.”

Today, in an interview with CNBC, Wynn said that he is thinking of moving the company headquarters from Las Vegas to Macau, a move that underpins the wider Eastward shift in the gaming industry. Three years ago, Macau surpassed Las Vegas to become the world’s largest gambling center, and there are signs that the city is re-emerging from the global financial crisis — which hit Macau harder than many had expected — through a stronger emphasis on tourism, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events), and high-end retail.

Although the global financial crisis saw plans for the development of Macau’s Cotai Strip — the city’s answer to the Las Vegas Strip — screech to a halt, at the opening of the Encore Macau, Steve Wynn indicated that his company is ready to give the strip another shot. From MarketWatch:

[Wynn] told reporters this week he plans to start construction next year on a hotel and casino on Cotai, an area of land adjoining two outlying Macanese island that’s already home to a casino operated by the Las Vegas Sands Corp. that ranks as the largest in the world.

Wynn said the luxury hotel and casino complex should be completed before the end of 2013 and feature about 450 gambling tables.

He had previous expressed interest in building a casino in Cotai but until Tuesday hadn’t make pubic any development plans.

Although it seems counterintuitive that the Macau government would encourage more casino construction while indicating that it wants to encourage more — and potentially more lucrative — multi-night tourism and MICE revenue in the city diversify away from gaming alone, it seems the city is trying to strike more of a balance by taking measures designed to keep Macau’s economy from overheating. From the AP:

So robust was Macau‘s turnaround that the local government, under a new chief executive, said last month it would seek to limit the industry’s growth by withholding approval of new projects and capping the number of gambling tables over the next few years.

Wynn said his project wouldn’t likely open during the government’s efforts to keep the local industry and economy from overheating, and he believed his project would be allowed to proceed.

“No one like myself would be allowed to start a project unless they (Macau officials) wanted it finished,” he said.

“If the goal is to stop our development, we would have been stopped or we will be stopped with plenty of time. There won’t be any games. They don’t do that here.”

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Hotels & Accommodation, Travel