Home » Global Business » Asia » CEOs’ Bold Casino Bets Face Stiffening Odds in China

CEOs’ Bold Casino Bets Face Stiffening Odds in China

U.S. casino boss Steven Wynn is poised to unveil his most expensive bet on the Chinese gambling market to date.

On Monday, Wynn Resorts will officially open its $4 billion Wynn Palace on the Chinese territory of Macau.

Boasting 1,706 luxury rooms, the resort also comes with its own “dancing fountain”, gondolas and more than $100 million worth of art, including four rare antique vases.

Las Vegas Sands, headed by U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is due to open a new $3 billion casino in Macau next month, while companies including MGM China and SJM also have new developments in the works.

“In every business there are good years and bad years. For our return on investment I expect we will be fine.”

Their fate could provide a valuable lesson for CEOs who have ever considered raising the stakes when markets have already been running hot for a sustained time period.

Indeed, all this new supply to the world’s biggest gambling hub was conceived when business was booming. But gambling revenues in Macau tumbled two years ago when the Chinese government started cracking down on corruption, and they’ve been stuck in the doldrums ever since. China’s slowing economy hasn’t helped either.

According to Reuters, Wynn declined to comment at a press conference Wednesday on when the new casino might break even, but emphasized that gambling will be only one of its many attractions.

“In every business there are good years and bad years. For our return on investment I expect we will be fine,” Wynn said. “What we are seeing now is a more normalized kind of market.”

Chinese authorities are encouraging operators to build resorts that cater to families or mass-market gamblers rather than high-rollers. One recent development, for instance, has its own Batman ride.

In a separate interview with Bloomberg, however, Wynn said his resort, with up to 60 VIP gambling tables, will still very much cater to adults.

“The last two places that opened did not cause the market to grow, did they? No. Will this one? Good question,” Wynn told Bloomberg. “We’ll get an answer to that in September or October. I’m anxious to see it myself.”

About Ross Kelly

Ross Kelly
Ross Kelly is a London-based business journalist. He has been a staff correspondent or editor at The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance and the Australian Associated Press.