Paris Coming to Macau Next Year

Sands China followed up a strong third-quarter performance with news that its $2.7 billion Parisian Macao on Cotai could open, in part, before the end of 2015. Good news for Sands, which dominates Macau’s mass market, and for Macau, which is mired in an epic revenue slump.

Macau casino giant Sands China says it is looking for a soft opening next November for its new Parisian Macao on the Cotai Strip, with a full unveiling in March 2016.

The news was announced with the release of the company’s earnings for the third quarter, which saw the territory’s mass-market leader overcome flat revenue growth year on year to post a 4.3 percent increase in net income to US$644.6 million on the strength of its cash table play. EBITDA was up 3.3 percent to $811.6 million on revenues of $2.33 billion.

Company officials said the $2.7 billion Parisian, whose plans call for a half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, will find Hong Kong-listed Sands China strongly positioned to continue to leverage its strength in the mass market.

Macau has struggled through four straight months of year-on-year revenue declines as China’s economy slows and the ruling Communist Party pursues an intensive campaign to root out graft and corruption and rein in capital flight. September gaming revenue was down 11.7 percent against the same month in 2013, pacing a third-quarter drop of 7 percent on a 19 percent decline in VIP revenue, which came in shy of 60 percent of the total market for the first time in the post-monopoly era.

“As I have said in the past, all things in life are cyclical,” noted Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, who also heads parent company Las Vegas Sands. “We have experienced cyclicality in Macau in the past, and we believe that the current softness in the environment in Macau today is also cyclical, and that it is only a matter of time before the cycle reverses itself.”

He added, “The important point is that our strategy hasn’t changed. Our business will continue to be anchored around the mass market and the secular growth of Chinese tourism.”

He said also that he would soon be traveling to Japan and South Korea in line with LVS’ pursuit of expansion in those countries and in Vietnam, provided they open their domestic markets.

“Financially, we have the wherewithal to pursue developments in all three of these jurisdictions concurrently, if the opportunity to do so arises,” he said.

Articles by Author: Rich Geller

Rich Geller has been writing, editing and translating articles and promotional material about and for the international gaming industry since 1990. His articles have appeared in American and British trade and consumer publications, as well as online. He has worked on projects with international casino operators as a writer and translator. An early supporter of poker in Europe, in 2000 Geller became a founding director of the World Headsup Poker Organisation, which company created the first successful heads-up poker tournament format and was first to incorporate the now ubiquitous “peek” camera in its televised tournaments. He has worked with the Casino Connection International family of publications since becoming involved with Poker BIZ magazine in 2005, and assisted with the first and second World Poker Congress.