Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Hotels

Macau Casino Companies Pledge Over $13 Billion Investment on Non-Gaming Activities

1 year ago

Six casino companies have agreed to invest a total of $15 billion in Macau over ten years, with more than 90 percent of the money pledged to non-gaming activities.

In line with the easing of Covid quarantine rules for inbound arrivals, Macau has renewed the casino licenses of six companies — MGM China, Galaxy Entertainment, Sands China, Melco Resorts, Wynn Macau and SJM Holdings — for the next 10 years.

Genting Group lost the bid even as reports earlier had stated that the Malaysian goup was a strong contender for a new license promising the biggest shakeup in Macau in over two decades.

As the new contracts come into effect on January 1, the casino firms have promised to spend almost $13.5 billion on “exploring overseas customer markets and developing non-gaming projects,” the government said.

The investment on gaming projects would only be around $1.2 billion.  

Macau has been looking to diversify its tourism offerings for some time, looking to position itself as not just a hub for the gaming industry.

In recent years, almost 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product has come from the gaming sector.

However, the casino closures as a result of China’s zero-Covid policy dealt a blow to operators who had been losing millions of dollars a month since March 2020.

Doing away with its institutional quarantine, Macau announced last week that inbound arrivals would have to quarantine at home for five days while restricting outbound travel movements for another three days.

Earlier, travelers had to institutionally quarantine for five days in addition to three days of home quarantine.

Hotels

Wynn Resorts Confirms It’s Opening First Casino in UAE

2 years ago

Integrated resort operator Wynn Resorts confirmed that it would be operating a casino at its resort in Ras Al Khaimah.

The casino at Wynn Marjan would be “somewhat larger than” the operator’s flagship U.S. gaming venue – Wynn Las Vegas, CEO Craig Billings said during the earnings call on Wednesday.

Announced earlier this year, the 1000-room Wynn Marjan set to open in 2026 in Ras Al Khaimah in United Arab Emirates will feature the first casino in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

The United Arab Emirates adheres to strict Islamic laws, where activities like gambling are not permitted. It was not immediately clear during that time that Wynn Marjan would feature a casino.

“When you think about a market like that where you for some period of time, will be the only operator, you certainly don’t want to underbuild the casino, but you want to maintain that sense of energy,” Billings added.

Currently focused on the United Arab Emirates project and on getting that right, Billing said the projects presents a tremendous, very high return opportunity for Wynn. “That’s really the focus of our design and development efforts at the moment.”

Calling the region a “tremendous non-gaming leisure and luxury market,” Billings said Wynn Resorts strongly believes in the non-gaming elements of the market.

Wynn is in the late stages of programming for the resort and Billings said that the operator would share renderings, programming and plans more publicly in early 2023.

“Given that it’s a man-made island without any existing development, it’s an incredibly flexible location on which to plan,” he said.

In an interview with Skift earlier this year, Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority had acknowledged that the Wynn Resorts announcement is big for the emirate.

He said it would not just fuel the growth of tourism and hospitality sectors, but would also help to create employment opportunities.