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All Articles for Category: Macau Casinos and Hotels

Happy Memorial Day to all y'all out there. I've got a little bit of hot info for those of you taking the day off to relax.

Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts and recent Cotai land grantee went on the record with Macau Business magazine to talk in detail about the project and also a little bit about Las Vegas. Some tidbits:

- The property will cost about $3.5 billion to build.
- Construction starts in June.
- The land is setup for a single hotel - future expansion will be limited to smaller additions.
- The project includes a 300 meter (almost 1000 feet) long lake. It will be bigger than Bellagio's lake and feature more advanced water fountains that cost about $90 million to build.
- The hotel is in an 'X' shape with maximum 45 meter distances to guest rooms.
- Like Encore Macau, it's all petite suites and larger.
- It will include villas with outdoor pools like we've seen in Las Vegas.
- 2,000 rooms.
- Around 40 retail shops.
- No 'Alex' - he's sold on the idea that people like 'fun' dining and don't want to sit for ages and have Michelin Star food.
- The property will open at once. "We don't do phases"

When it comes to Las Vegas:

- He talks about Climax as if it's still happening in Vegas, though he does not say where. This is a pretty recent interview that seems to have been given after we had heard that the Climax club planned for the Alex space was scuttled due to soundproofing problems.
- Apparently a new show is being developed for Las Vegas that could also work at the Cotai property. New show? Interesting. Displacing Le Reve? Something permanent for the Encore Theater? Miss Spectacular re-born?

Anyway, lots of info here and while some of it was already public, nice to have a single source.

May 1, 2012

Wynn Cotai is a Go.

Posted by Hunter

Go go Cotai.

Here's what it's going to look like.

That is all.

April 25, 2012

Skate To Where the Puck Will Be

Posted by Hunter

This article on the future development of MGM's Cotai project is a great view into what's wrong with a lot of modern casino design. Grant Bowie runs the operations for the company there:

We are searching globally for what are the world's best practices and, more importantly, what are the world's biggest consumer trends in global tourism and leisure destinations.


... we don't want to make the decision of what it is going to look like yet, and specifically how we interact with the consumer, because in the 18 to 24 months that it takes us to get to that point in the design cycle, in high likelihood trends may have already changed.

Sure sounds like this will be a place built by focus groups.

Needless to say, I prefer the 'auteur-in-chief' approach that Wynn Design & Development uses for their projects. They may not always suit everyone's taste but at least they express someone's vision, not some conglomeration of 'trends in global tourism and leisure destinations'.

February 23, 2012

Vegas Gang #74 - February 23rd, 2012

Posted by Hunter

Episode #74 is up!

Listen here:

This time on the show:

- Wynn vs. Okada
- Echelon
- MGM Results and CityCenter's Flaws
- Dr. Dave's Banging Week

** Sure Bets **

Chuck - Delancy Street Foundation Moving Team
Dr. Dave - KISS $500 VIP Ticket to Golf
Hunter - Ollo Clip

September 29, 2011

Vegas Gang #67 - September 29th, 2011

Posted by Hunter

Episode #67 is up!

Listen here:

This time on the show:

- An Interview with Roger Thomas, Executive Vice President of Design, Wynn Design & Development.

DON'T MISS: Vegas Internet Mafia Family Picnic

** Sure Bets **

- South Florida Casino Expansion
- Tassels, Fringe, Trim and Imperial Orange
- Super B Burrito @ Eastern & Pebble
- BrainToniq

September 19, 2011

Wynn Cotai "Not Yet Approved"

Posted by Hunter

So that whole press release from Wynn Macau that strongly implied (if not straight up said) that their Cotai project was moving forward? Yeah, I guess someone forgot to tell the government.

Today in the Macau Daily Times, Secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam Pak Yuen unceremoniously bursts that balloon. His quote?

"Companies may release their news, and the news should correspond to reality. Anyhow these news release won't affect the process"

Despite the fact that local officials seem to be back-pedaling on Wynn's go-go attitude, the piece also goes on to say that it's likely the project will be approved (it was filed before the 2008 cut-off) - it's just a matter of when.

Must be fun doing business in China, huh? If this happened in the US, my guess is that The Steve would be bellowing from the mountaintops about the 'unstable business climate'.

Personally, I can't wait for Cotai construction to start - if it's as magnificent as the principals have been hinting, it will certainly be something to see.

September 11, 2011

LVRJ: Wynn Cotai Moving Forward

Posted by Hunter

The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that Wynn Resort's Cotai project in Macau is moving forward. The project has been described by Steve Wynn as the 'best thing I've ever done'.

The second Macau hotel for Wynn Resorts has been long on the drawing board. Designs have supposedly been completed for many months - several quarterly calls have been punctuated by the company expressing their ability to start whenever they had their land concession and project approved.

It appears that has finally occurred.

According to Wynn's Macau subsidiary's financial disclosures, this will mean a $50MM payment will be made for the land in the next 15 days. The RJ sites a $193.43MM payment but from their story it's not clear how they arrived at that figure - perhaps some combination of the relinquishment in the linked disclosure and additional fees? [UPDATE: see the release linked below]

This is a major step forward for Wynn Resorts who have been waiting to proceed on this site for some time.

UPDATE: The Wynn Macau release is here:

July 21, 2011

MGM Cotai Designs Complete ; Wynn Still Waits

Posted by Hunter

According to the Macau Daily Times, MGM Paradise have completed the designs for their Cotai property.

This property, along with the potential future development from Wynn Resorts await government approval.

As noted by David McKee, it's not clear that American developers would be so patient if their grand plans were being so slowly mulled by Clark County personnel.

As long as Macau prints money, expect no criticism from the 'so blessed' American participants. Remember: China good / Obama bad.

April 13, 2011

MGM Resorts Takes Majority Share of Macau Operation

Posted by Hunter

An IPO for MGM's Macau has been long rumored and we finally have details on how the deal will be structured - MGM's stake will actually increase by 1% to give them a 51% majority control position.

MGM's sometimes controversial partner, Ms. Pansy Ho, will have her stake reduced to 29% while the remaining 20% is sold to the public. In a related transaction, Ho will purchase $300 million in MGM notes.

Bloomberg has the details and MGM has their official press release.

I actually spent the morning reading the Wynn Macau annual report and while there are few zingers (Cotai still hasn't been approved by the government despite Steve basically saying 'any day now' during the last conference call), the one inescapable fact is how much money they are making over there. It's staggering.

MGM historically hasn't been as successful in Macau as Wynn but that's been on an uptick and being able consolidate the affiliated company on their books should help their financial picture.

Here's Jeff Simpson's take on the morning's news:

MGM Resorts made an important announcement about its Macau joint venture this morning, a deal that I think will be a big plus for the Strip's biggest operator. In a deal with partner Pansy Ho, the JV will sell 21 percent of its ownership shares in an initial public offering -- all supplied from Ho's current 50 percent stake in MGM China. 18 percent of MGM China's shares will be sold through the proposed IPO and another 3 percent will be made available as an over-allotment -- all 21 percent will come from Ho's half-stake in the JV. MGM Resorts will buy an additional one percent of MGM China shares, that coming from the over-allotment. The proceeds of the IPO and of MGM Resorts purchase of the additional 1 percent stake in MGM China go to Ho. Ho, in turn, has agreed to buy $300 million of MGM Resorts senior debt. The deal and the IPO, if approved by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, will result in:

* MGM Resorts upping its stake in the MGM China joint venture from a 50 percent stake to a 51 percent stake.

* Public shareholders will own 20 percent of the JV.

* Ho's stake in the JV will drop from 50 percent to 29 percent.

This is a great deal for MGM Resorts as it allows them to take control of their Macau JV without diluting its ownership stake because of the IPO. MGM Resorts also is spared having to dig deep to buy out the stake Ho is selling into the IPO. The deal also conveniently allows Ho, who now has a significantly increased stake in and probable operational control of her father's market-leading casino company, SJM, to dilute her MGM China stake and reduce conflict-of-interest concerns.

The challenge for MGM Resorts will be to continue its slow improvement in Macau operations, increasing its market share while Ho's allegiance and contacts will likely increasingly favor SJM.

In a separate deal, the Michael Jackson estate and Cirque du Soleil announced a long-rumored joint-venture to produce two Jackson-themed shows, one of which will tour and the other of which will take up residency in a Strip showroom of an MGM Resorts hotel [ed: most assume this will probably be Mandalay Bay or, less likely, Monte Carlo]. I imagine the Las Vegas show will be a success and will be a plus for all three entities (MGM, CdS and the Jackson estate), the glut of CdS shows notwithstanding.

This time on the show:

Mr. DeRuyter Butler, Executive Vice President of Architecture @ Wynn Design & Development is our special guest.

We discuss Cotai, Fontainebleau, his role at Wynn D&D as well as CityCenter and challenges of working in China. Plus, we find out that Sheldon has been giving us all the middle finger since 1999.

This is a 'don't miss' interview.

If you love casino design, construction and all the thinking behind it, check it out.

Check out the show:

Feel free to leave your comments below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to

January 24, 2011

Ho Passes Reins to Macau Casino Empire

Posted by Hunter

This seems inevitable.

Stanley Ho, at one time the singular Macau casino kingpin, has transferred control of STDM/SJM to entities controlled by his family.

Ho's grip seems to have lessened in recent years as the businessman had ailed in hospital for some time after a fall.

These ownership shifts are interesting, partly because we don't know what changes might be in store but also because one of his daughters, Pansy, is MGM Resorts' business parter in the MGM Grand Macau project. That relationship got the company into some hot water with New Jersey regulators due to her complicated relationship with her father.

A surprising headline - it seems that Macau decided not to grant a land concessions for two parcels to Las Vegas Sands. This was land that the company was expecting to be granted to develop an integrated resort. This PDF from 'Top Builders Group' shows some renderings of proposed LVS buildings for that site.

The company can appeal the decision but has a very limited time window to do do.

This is interesting. We've of course seen rumblings from the Chinese government indicating that they want to slow development of new resorts in Macau but this is a significant development.

In September, SJM indicated that it wanted to take over the parcels for its own development.

October 27, 2010

Let The Bummer Years Begin

Posted by Hunter

The Fontainebleau is about to open.

A re-invigorated Plaza project has broken ground and Boyd is halfway through putting up a gorgeous red-gold glass curtain wall on Echelon Place. Jim Murren is a semi-successful investment banker in Connecticut, the Marnell's own the recently joined Rio/Palms complex and Nevada's recently elected junior senator is attending the groundbreaking of a monorail extension that will bridge McCarran Airport, The Strip and Fremont Street.

Can we fast forward to 2017? I'm sure that's what some Las Vegas casino operators would wish for. It's hard to blame them.

Things look a bit sour for Las Vegas - August numbers notwithstanding, let's be honest - some of the city's best boom-time customers don't have any more money to spend on bottle service and $500 dinners at SW. Sure, the biggest players haven't lost enough to kill their gambling habit but that mid-tier backbone - successful young people, boomers and a smaller segment of folks truly blowing the rent on a weekend in Vegas - they're still pretty fucked up from this recession.

Well, at least it's not as bad as it is in Atlantic City where the top operator doesn't even want to own the other half of their property. In my mind, AC is toast.

As someone that has spent the last ten years as mostly excited about Las Vegas and now sells a product that is inexorably linked to the city, I have to say that things look very tough for the next few years.

A CB Richard Ellis study publicized today really laid out the bad news. The market won't be able to handle the massive increase in supply for some time. Thanks a lot CityCenter. At least we don't have any more rooms coming online anytime soon... Oh, crap... Thanks a lot Cosmo.

The Cosmopolitan will be the last property for awhile, and that's almost certainly a good thing. In a way, they may end up with an advantage - they can be the 'newest property on The Strip' for five years or more. That title worked great for The Aladdin. Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

Some of the issues mentioned in the report are structural - air traffic is more difficult than ever in the era of shoe-bombers and naked body scanners. Asian baccarat is slated to increase but that alone is not a market savior. The formerly solid underbelly of Las Vegas tourism - that combination of California drive-ins along with southern and midwestern vacationers... well, they're hurting... and that's not going to change anytime soon (damn that Obama-Reid-Pelosi-Boehner-Palin-McCain cabal!)

It's easy for Wynn to charge $200+/night for a weekend night when the town is half full but when Luxor, Excalibur, Monte Carlo and Treasure Island are all offering rooms in the sub-$50 range (sans the ridiculous resort fees), those rates are harder to justify... and how anyone could feel good about a $150/night room at Aria or Vdara mystifies me. Just say no.

But it's not the Wynns of the world I'm worried about. Aside from maybe Las Vegas Sands, they're probably best positioned to ride this turbulence out. As a lover of the history of Las Vegas, it makes me a little sad to see how little of their revenue now comes from the 'Gambling Capital of the World'. In quarterly earnings today, LVS reported that barely 15% of their revenue comes from their two Strip casinos. With Singapore on the rise, LVS is again a gaming company to watch, even if their numbers don't yet match Chairman Adelson's bluster.

Why am I writing this? I dunno. For whatever reason, a few stories today sucked me in and I felt compelled.

See you Saturday.

We're doing a Vegas Gang episode on Thursday so I guess I should just say thank you and leave it at that. This is great material.

Instead, I'm going to once again report on difficulty for MGM Resorts International - profits are still a Mirage - they just can't Wynn (get it?!? I'm so clever).

When a company does an early release of their financials and it includes several bullet points and a few paragraphs of figures, always read it in reverse. The most interesting stuff is always hidden behind a smokescreen of PR-speak.

The part of the company not infected with the virus that is CityCenter continues to deflate - down 13% for wholly owned operations (it was -16% last quarter). CityCenter may be a debacle but MGM needs the other places to keep the lights on.

As for Borgata, they did get an offer but it's below the amount they've been carrying on their books for the asset so they'll be taking a write-down this quarter to align their books with... well, reality. Will BOYD also have to do a write-down? I'd say probably.

When the Borgata thing is eventually settled, they'll not only get the cash from the sale but also their share of operations put into trust since the Pansy Ho debacle. That'll be one fat quarter when it hits but that's like when the drug dealer comes to your house and opens up his briefcase. He's not moving in, don't get too excited.

Say what you want about Borgata - and Atlantic City is certainly in trouble - but it is the top property there and has been helping to fill Jimbo's bank account every month. MGM may not have had much choice when it came to selling but that cash-flow is going to leave a hole of at least some size once the post-sale hangover wears off.

Interestingly enough, the day after we get news of improved Strip numbers (up 21%) for August, MGM reports taking an almost 10% hit in casino revenue for the quarter. How is that supposed to jive? This story cites baccarat as a bright spot but MGM's bac volume was down 6%. Does that mean that September cratered? Or were all these gains elsewhere? MGM still controls a huge percentage of the high-end bac play so this seems a bit odd.

As I previously wrote in my series on CityCenter, MGM is now going back to the markets for capital - they have loans of over a billion dollars due next year that they need to pay off. It will be interesting to see how much this influx of supply will impact prices on the open market. Much to the Swami's chagrin, stock was down 6% in after hours trading.

There is some good news, something else that I hinted at in my previous series - Aria is starting to swing over to the profitable side of the fence. It's had good volumes but this time around it got the hold percentages it needed to post a number in the black. ADR and REVPAR for Aria are both improving.

So I guess everything's fine...

Harrah's Entertainment - Net Income: -$274 million (loss) Revenue: $2.2 billion More Info

MGM Resorts International - Net Income: -$883.5 million (loss) Revenue: $1.53 billion More Info

Boyd Gaming - Net Income: $3.4 million Revenue: $578.4 million More Info

Wynn Resorts - Net Income: $52.4 million Revenue: $1.0 billion More Info

Las Vegas Sands - Net Income: -$4.7 million (loss) Revenue: $1.59 billion More Info

This thread will be updated as other companies report.

April 20, 2010

Wynn Cotai to Break Ground Next Year

Posted by Hunter

The WSJ is reporting that Wynn Resorts will break ground on a new Cotai property in Macau next year and open in 2013.

The 52 acre property will include a single hotel with about 450 gaming tables.

Wynn Resorts is opening Encore Macau this week.

April 20, 2010

MGM Mirage to Become MGM Resorts Intl.

Posted by Hunter

Personally, not a fan.

Which property is their top performer again? Oh, right.

March 16, 2010

Macau To Regulate Building Of New Casinos

Posted by detroit1051

Macau's new Chief Executive, Fernando Chui, gave his first policy address March 16. He had been expected to announce stringent plans to slow the overheated gaming market in the Chinese region and announce steps to diversify Macau's economy. Gaming revenues increased almost 70% in the first two months of this year compared to 2009. Gambling accounts for about three-quarters of government revenue for Macau However, his comments appear to have resulted in a sigh of relief by major casino operators who already have a presence in Macau such as Wynn and Las Vegas Sands.

Reuters reports that Chui intends to limit the building of new casinos. This could help current operators' profits by protecting the market from oversupply of new casinos. Wall Street will give its opinion when the NYSE opens this morning.

To read Reuters:
Macau government to regulate the building of casinos

Wall Street Journal initial story (subscription may be requred):
Macau Gambling Industry Awaits Chui's Speech

Update: RJ's Howard Stutz weighs in.
Macau Curtailing New Casino Construction

Update #2: The market liked WYNN and LVS today. Wynn +4.48% and LVS +7.33%.

Las Vegas Sands - Net Income: -$113.9 million (loss) Revenue: $1.28 billion LV Sun

MGM Mirage - Net Income: -$434 million (loss) Revenue: $1.45 billion LV Sun

Harrah's Entertainment - Net Income: $295.6 million Revenue: $2.09 billion LV Sun

Wynn Resorts - Net Income: -$5.2 million (loss) Revenue: $809.3 million More Info

Boyd Gaming - Net Income: -$1.0 million (loss) Revenue: $384.9 million More Info

This thread will be updated as other companies report.

February 25, 2010

Vegas Gang #44 - February 25th, 2010

Posted by Hunter

This time on the show:

* MGM's Aria - 2 Months In
* MGM Mirage Exits Atlantic City / Wynn Enters Philadelphia Market
* Greenspun / Station Casinos Relationship Disintegrates
* Lake Las Vegas Shuts Down
* President Obama's Remarks and Visit
* Harrah's Interested in The Palms?

Check out the show:

Feel free to leave comments below. Trivia questions can be sent to - we might use yours on the show.

December 31, 2009

Vegas Gang #42 - December 31st, 2009

Posted by Hunter

This time on the show:

* CityCenter Opens
* 2009 Recap/2010 Look Forward
* Gary Jacobs and MGM Mirage

Have a Happy New Year. We love you.

I'm trying something a little different this quarter - a single thread to cover all gaming companies reporting.

I will update this thread as other companies report.

Wynn Resorts - Net Income: $34.2 million Revenue: $773.1 million
* Wynn Las Vegas / Encore Las Vegas: ADR: $210 Occupancy: 83.9%
* Wynn Macau: ADR: $263 Occupancy: 89.2%

Boyd Gaming - Net Income: $6.3 million Revenue: $398.2 million
The Echelon project will remain mothballed for three to five years.

Harrah's Entertainment - Net Income: -$1.05 billion (loss) Revenue: $2.28 billion
Harrah's is privately held.

Las Vegas Sands - Net Income: -$123 million (loss) Revenue: $1.14 billion

MGM Mirage - Net Income: -$750.4 million (loss) Revenue: $1.533 billion LV Sun

Station Casinos - Net Income: -$455.4 million (loss) Revenue: $255.7 million. Station is privately held.

September 26, 2009

Vegas Gang #37 - September 24th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

New episode is up:

We discuss:

* Planet Hollywood + Harrah's?
* Fontainebleau + Penn Nat'l?
* Stanley Ho's SJM
* Niche Marketing @ Monte Carlo
* Gaming Figures
* Aria

Do you have questions for MGM Mirage's Alan Feldman? He'll be our guest at Vegas Podcast-a-palooza in October. Leave your question in a comment and we'll consider them for the show.

September 17, 2009

SJM's Stanley Ho Dead? [Probably Not]

Posted by Hunter

MacauTripping is reporting that Dr. Stanley Ho, Macanese gaming pioneer and leader of SJM may have died. Reports are as yet unconfirmed but if it is true would no doubt have a major impact on the gaming industry in that region.

From what I have read, the path of succession for SJM is not clear - who will take over the company? Ho had many children, including those that are in relationships with foreign companies like MGM Mirage and PBL. Could Pansy Ho take over SJM? Can't imagine New Jersey regulators would love that, given their concern over alleged SJM activities in the past.

Update: So, it appears that Dr. Ho is alive and well - this rumor is unfounded as far as we can tell.

August 3, 2009

MGM Mirage Reports Second Quarter 2009 Results

Posted by Hunter

This morning, Nevada based MGM Mirage released their second quarter results:

A loss of $212 million for the quarter, along with lower revenues as well. Despite taking a big hit this quarter, some analysts believe MGM Mirage has turned their balance sheet around and should start to see some upside in the coming quarters. They miraculously were able to navigate a very difficult set of conditions this Spring without resorting to an asset fire sale.

Their massive City Center project opens in phases starting in October.

July 30, 2009

Las Vegas Sands Posts Second Quarter Loss

Posted by Hunter

Las Vegas Sands, operator of The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas and several casinos in Macau, posted a loss of $171 million for the second quarter of 2009.

Looking at the details, they had two large one-time charges and without those, they'd have swung to a $22 million profit. Those charges include a non-cash impairment related to the shopping complex at The Palazzo, worth substantially less than originally thought.

LVS, which is building a new property in Singapore, believes it can realize $500 million in annualized efficiencies through cost cutting. They're not all that specific about what they want to do but that's a big number... I'm sure you intrepid readers could suggest a few things they could cut back on, no?

July 30, 2009

Wynn Resorts Posts Second Quarter Income Plunge

Posted by Hunter

Las Vegas based Wynn Resorts reported their second quarter results this morning. Net revenues were below many analysts expectations but EBITDA was stronger than expected.

The press release is here:

Occupancy in Las Vegas is off almost 10 points from the year ago quarter and ADR is down to just over $200 as many recent visitors can attest to. REVPAR in Las Vegas was off over 35% to $188, though over 2,000 additional rooms are included in the figures for this quarter.

The stock has been trading up $5/share as of this writing.

Update: Fixed the poorly worded headline.

July 27, 2009

Wynn's Roger Thomas Honored - Video Interview

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Mike E over at for catching this one - a multi-part video interview set with design genius Roger Thomas, Executive VP of Design at Wynn Design and Development as he was honored this past February in Las Vegas.

Thomas was responsible for many major Wynn designs at properties including Wynn Las Vegas, Encore Las Vegas, Wynn Macau, Bellagio, Treasure Island, Beau Rivage, The Mirage, Golden Nugget and more.

Roger Thomas - Chapter 1
Roger Thomas - Chapter 2
Roger Thomas - Chapter 3
Roger Thomas - Chapter 4
Roger Thomas - Chapter 5
Roger Thomas - Chapter 6

July 21, 2009

Potential Hong Kong IPO for Wynn Resorts

Posted by Hunter

There's a story circulating that indicates Wynn Resorts may offer some shares of its Macanese operations on the Hong Kong stock market. The move could raise up to $2 billion.

The RJ has more:

A Union Gaming analysis indicates that Wynn Resorts' balance sheet is strong and that the cash is not required to meet existing obligations. If this is true, does that mean WYNN is playing it safe or about to embark on a new project?

Of course, Las Vegas Sands has floated a similar idea several times and never pulled the trigger.

MacauTripping got a great tip to some renderings done for Wynn Design and Development by Mike Hong and Associates. Along with renderings for Encore in Macau (SW Steakhouse?), there's also concept work for unbuilt resorts in Singapore and Monaco.

Enjoy them while you can - they may be pulled down at some point.

July 10, 2009

Vegas Gang #34 - July 9th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

Episode #34 of the Vegas Gang is up:

Rich Moriarty from Union Gaming is our guest.

We discuss:

* Harrah's and Station LBOs
* May 2009 Gaming Figures
* Las Vegas Sands Re-Starting in Macau
* City Center: Crystals Retail Information

and more...

Update: I mis-spoke during the show, indicating that Station filed Ch. 11. That's not the case, though they are still in negotiations with their lenders. I apologize for the mistake.

Feel free to leave your comments below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to

June 20, 2009

Vegas Gang #33 - June 18th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

Happy to be back after a little bit of a break. Lots to talk about, as always.

We discuss:

* MGM Mirage Expands to Egypt
* Tropicana Atlantic City Sells to Ichan
* Fontainebleau Files Chapter 11
* City of Dreams Opens on Cotai

Also, check out and Vegas Mate 2.

Feel free to leave your comments below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to

May 28, 2009

Cotai's City of Dreams Opens Monday

Posted by Hunter

The WSJ has an article about City of Dreams, set to open Monday on Macau's Cotai Strip.

At $2.4 billion, it's a very ambitious project and I know a lot of Macau-o-philes that are eagerly awaiting the doors being thrown open. Other than The Venetian, it's the second *major* project to open on Cotai.

May 21, 2009

Vegas Gang #32 - May 21st, 2009

Posted by Hunter

Happy to be back after a little bit of a break. Lots to talk about, as always.

We discuss:

* MGM Mirage Pulls a Rabbit Out of its Hat
* Fontainebleau May Not Be Totally Screwed (we'll see)
* UNLV Center for Gaming Research Trends
* MGM Mirage Selling Properties

Feel free to leave your comments below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to

The results of the long-running New Jersey investigation into the suitability of Pansy Ho as a business partner for MGM Mirage has resulted in the department of enforcement recommending against.

MGM Mirage partnered with Ho on MGM Grand Macau and owns a 50% interest of one New Jersey property, the Borgata.

What happens next is unclear - maybe nothing. The Sun has more:

May 6, 2009

Las Vegas Sands Reports Q1 2009

Posted by Hunter

Las Vegas Sands reported their first quarter results and as many could have guessed, they lost a little money this time around - looks like $87 million.

Details here:

May 5, 2009

Wynn Resorts Posts First Quarter Loss

Posted by Hunter

Wynn Resorts posted their first quarter numbers today:

Looks like Macau, sometimes the lifeboat for earnings, wasn't able to pull it off this time.

May 4, 2009

MGM Mirage Reports First Quarter 2009 Results

Posted by Hunter

A very tough quarter for the Las Vegas based operator - 20% reduction in net revenue. To their credit, they don't sugar coat it - things are tough in gaming and these results reflect that.

If they hadn't had some of the TI sale figures in this quarter, things would have looked even worse.

REVPAR took a big hit - looks like they had to significantly drop rates to stabilize occupancy.

April 27, 2009

Open Topic Discussion - April 27th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

Here's an open topic thread for y'all, primed with a report that LVS may be looking to sell Sands Macau and then operate it for for prospective buyer.

March 26, 2009

Vegas Gang #29 - March 26th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

We're back with another episode! It can be downloaded here.

This time around we discuss:

* Casino Photography Rules
* MGM Mirage vs. Dubai World
* Tropicana / Chapter 11
* Las Vegas Sands in Macau

Feel free to leave your comments below.

March 14, 2009

WSJ: MGM Mirage Facing Breakup

Posted by Hunter

An article in the Wall Street Journal today discusses the possibility of more asset sales at MGM Mirage - perhaps enough that it may look more like a breakup of the company than just shedding a few hotel rooms.

(if that doesn't work, you can probably access through Google here)

While MGM Mirage shareholders might not love the idea of the best assets being sold off at potential fire-sale prices, maybe this would be good for The Strip and Las Vegas.

As others have said, when ARIA opens, will Bellagio suffer? If it had a different set of owners, they could compete head-on, full bore.

One thing is for sure - MGM Mirage has bet the farm on City Center.

February 13, 2009

Vegas Gang #26 - February 12th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

We're back with another episode! It can be downloaded here.

This time around we discuss:

* Atlantic City
* Las Vegas Economic Woes
* Tropicana Re-Brands as Value Property (!)
* City Center's Harmon is Stunted

Also, be sure to check out the new podcast from the UNLV Center for Gaming Research. You can subscribe to that here:

February 11, 2009

UPDATED: Las Vegas Sands Reports Q4 2008

Posted by Hunter

The Q4 2008 numbers are in for LVS - the first major operator to report their results.

Looks like an operating loss of $34.4 million, down from income of $133.6 million in the same quarter last year (GAAP). Adjusted, it's a $17.1 million loss vs. a previous year Q4 income of $71.1 million.

In Las Vegas, occupancy was 93.7% for the quarter - better than I expected (though not broken out by property). In Macau, occupancy was at 90%. While not providing figures, the company admits that the Four Seasons Cotai has been slower to ramp-up than they would have liked.

The company believes it can save $250 million a year through a new efficiency program (read: likely layoffs, hour reductions, etc...).

They have gotten their average borrowing rate down to around 3%, which is pretty good considering it used to be almost twice that.

We will no doubt be discussing tomorrow on our next episode of the Vegas Gang.

Updated: Management said that they don't see any market segment where they could really raise room rates other than perhaps in the group segment.

They are working to try to combat the recent national sentiment that seems to be pointing at Vegas based business trips as some sort of 'boondoggle'.

February 10, 2009

Macau Updates: Wynn Cotai and More...

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Drambuie Man, y'all get to see some updated photos of what's going on in Macau, specifically Cotai.

Chuck is going to be posting these over at, starting with the Wynn Cotai site.

More to come over the next few days...

Updated: Chuck posted a few more of the photo sets:
City of Dreams
Encore at Wynn Macau

January 28, 2009

LVSUN: Las Vegas Sands Directors Sued

Posted by Hunter

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the board of directors of Las Vegas Sands, owners of The Venetian and The Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip as well as several casinos around the globe have been sued for mishandling the company.

Apparently this is not the first time this has happened and suits like this not are uncommon when a company sees a dramatic drop in their share price.

January 19, 2009

Macanese Group Organizes Against Las Vegas Sands

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Chuck S. Monster and this link from MacauTripping:

It seems a local group in Macau is none too happy with the attention on Las Vegas Sands problems. As he said, fascinating stuff. I love how these guys are peeved about a perceived preference for Singapore.

What I'd love to see now is a lawsuit between Las Vegas Sands and protesters that want to picket outside Venetian and Sands Macau. That would be serendipitous.

November 26, 2008

UPDATED: Jim Murren Takes Reigns at MGM Mirage

Posted by Hunter

It's official - Jim Murren has been moved into the CEO and Chairman slot at MGM Mirage.

No one needs to repeat that this is a very tough time for business on The Strip and Murren will not have an easy time of it.

Now, does this mean anyone ends up leaving MGM? Does Bobby Baldwin stay? Who gets the now-vacant COO job?

Update: Lanni has declined even a seat on the board. Odd.

November 26, 2008

Global Gaming Expo 2008: Alive and Kicking

Posted by Hunter

Matthew Farley, author of "Good Food, Good Whiskey, and a Good Gamble: Outdated Nostaligia or Still Effective Today?" was kind enough to write up and share his thoughts after attending G2E in Las Vegas.

This dovetails nicely with yesterday's Vegas Gang coverage of the event.

Thanks to Matthew for sharing his insights - I'm sure you'll all enjoy this.

Click through for more...

November 13, 2008

UPDATED: MGM Mirage CEO to Retire at Month End

Posted by Hunter

Terry Lanni, MGM Mirage's chairman and CEO, is planning to retire at the end of the month.

Jim Murren, COO, is being recommended for the job.

Whoa... Didn't see this coming. End of the month? That's not much time for a transition. Is he sick? Hopefully not [ED: a memo to employees says it is not health related].

I can't imagine majority shareholder Kerkorian would toss him during such a tumultuous time. They've worked together for ages... It must be something else... The timing is just so strange.

Update: MGM Mirage press release here:

We're discussing this on the Vegas Gang, which will be out later today.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal is reporting there are some questions about his MBA from USC as the school could not verify the degree.

November 10, 2008

Las Vegas Sands Will Raise $2.14 Billion

Posted by Hunter

After posting fairly dismal third quarter results today, Las Vegas Sands indicated that it should have deals in place by the end of the week that will give it access to over $2 billion in new capital.

The company recently informed investors that it was in danger of breaching debt covenants due to leverage issues.

The company is suspending part of its ongoing Cotai Strip development in Macau to focus on its two other projects: Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and Bethlehem, PA casino project. The St. Regis condo project on the Las Vegas Strip will also be suspended.

October 31, 2008

UPDATE: Wynn Resorts Third Quarter Call

Posted by Hunter

Just got off the Q3 2008 call for Wynn Resorts. Final quarterly numbers are here:

Wynn Resorts Q3 Results

On the call, the company discussed it's cash position (strong), it's future outlook and plans.

Encore is scheduled to open December 22nd, though it's still not 100% clear the first date that the public will be able to book a room. We should get that information in the coming weeks.

When asked about development on Cotai, Steve Wynn stated that they were waiting to see evidence that the current supply in Macau had been absorbed properly and at that time they'd proceed on that front. With The Venetian and Four Seasons on Cotai, the market does seem to be struggling somewhat to support the new properties, with the visa restrictions contributing to that.

It sounds like Wynn Resorts is in no hurry there - they plan to build what they describe as the world's most amazing resort and one would assume anything that fits that description will stand the test of time.

On the topic of purchasing perhaps distressed gaming assets, that pretty much was shot down - Wynn likes to build, not buy.

Overall, quite a bit of confidence from the principals.

Updated: As of this morning, Encore is accepting reservations from opening night (December 22nd). Yours truly will be there that first night, reporting all the details... We'll have photos, blog updates and live twittering.

October 30, 2008

Vegas Gang #20 - October 30th, 2008

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Gang #20 is online:

This time around we cover:

* Trippies 2008
* Gaming Stocks Slide
* Bellagio Turns 10 To Little Fanfare
* How MGM Mirage and Harrah's Market

Feel free to leave any comments below.

October 29, 2008

MGM Mirage Reports Third Quarter Results

Posted by Hunter

MGM Mirage announced their 3rd quarter results for 2008:


Profits are way down from the year ago quarter. MGM Grand Macau is doing a bit better and Bellagio had an unexpected uptick but generally, they're feeling the pinch as you can see in the figures.

September 26, 2008

Macau Trip Report - September 2008

Posted by Hunter

George (Drambuieman) is back with another great report on Macau. Some info on CotaiJet, Ponte 16 and more.

Click through to read and be sure to check out the photos:

September 21, 2008

Vegas Gang #17 - September 18th, 2008

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Gang #17 is online here:

This time around we cover:

* Economic Update
* Kansas Update
* Strip Clubs in Strip Resorts?
* Mega-Resort Designs of the Future?
* ARIA Update

Feel free to leave your comments below.

August 28, 2008

Four Seasons Macao Opens on Cotai Strip

Posted by Hunter

The next step for Las Vegas Sands' 'Cotai Strip' is the Four Seaons, opening next to the Venetian Macao (or Macau for any non LVS folks). Well, the opening has arrived:

This also includes the Cirque show, 'Zaia', opening at The Venetian Macau. Cotai Strip development may slow as credit markets tighten but things are now rolling with the inventory of rooms starting to build.

August 21, 2008

Macau August 2008 Report - Grand Waldo

Posted by Hunter

George is back with another trip report from Macau, this time to the Grand Waldo.

Continue reading after the jump for all your SAR goodness.

Photos are posted here:

August 5, 2008

MGM Mirage Q2 Profit - Down 69%

Posted by Hunter

Here's a story from the Sun on today's reporting from MGM Mirage on their second quarter:

Some properties, such as Bellagio, didn't do as poorly as some might have guessed. Executives seemed bullish on the future.

Despite a softening Las Vegas market, Wynn Resorts pulled through with some strong company-wide numbers.

According to the Company: "Net revenues for the second quarter of 2008 were $825.2 million, compared to $687.5 million in the second quarter of 2007. The revenue increase was driven primarily by a 50.3% increase in revenues at Wynn Macau."

I'll have to listen to the conference call later - if there's anything good in there, I'll update the post.

Update: Listening to the call now - as Jeff indicates below, classic Wynn on display in the call. Lots of fun to listen to as he takes jabs at various parties - and he has the numbers to back him.

July 12, 2008

Vegas Gang #12 - July 11th, 2008

Posted by Hunter

The show is up:

This time we feature:

* Wynn Hires Tim and Tim / Wynn Early Financials
* Nevada and Illinois Post Bad Numbers
* Tropicana E.Coli Outbreak
* Don Barden / Pittsburgh
* MGM Mirage / Wynn Resorts Market Cap

Comments welcome below.

Don't forget the Podcast-a-palooza:

Just saw this fly across the wire - Wynn Resorts has announced preliminary 2nd Quarter results:

Operating income at Wynn Las Vegas is expected to be $18-22 million, down from $63.4 million last year. Wow, big drop. Looks like they are blaming it on lower hold percentages, lower ADR, and lower occupancy.

On the other end, Wynn Macau did much better than last year it seems with operating income almost doubling to $100 million or so.

The company also announced they will be buying back more shares.

June 23, 2008

The New Yorker Profiles Sheldon Adelson

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to fellow Vegas Gang member Jeff Simpson for this link... Looks like the New Yorker has done a profile on everyone's favorite casino overlord, Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands. Check it out below. Also, props to Jeff for the mention!

Thanks again to George "Dram Man" Geddes for providing a trip report based around his recent trip to Macau.

The photos, previously published, are here:

Thanks George! Continue after the jump...

June 17, 2008

Massive Macau Photo Update

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to occasional contributor George "Dram Man" Geddes, we have a load of new Macau photos to share.

As usual, all the recent photos can be seen here:

Thanks to George for sharing - enjoy!

June 13, 2008

Vegas Gang #10 - Economic Woes to Bankrupt LVS?

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Gang #10 is up -

This episode focuses on the CityCenter walkout and the economy vs. Las Vegas. We cover a few stories on the specifics, including an entry suggesting that LVS is heading for Chapter 11. That may be an extreme outcome but its an interesting discussion point.

Also, a little bit on the iPhone and its impact on Las Vegas.

Enjoy the show and feel free to post your comments here.

UPDATE: Stiffs and George's has a story about Palazzo's underwhelming performance:

May 30, 2008

Vegas Gang #9 - "Wynn + Harrah's = Good Times?"

Posted by Hunter

The latest episode is live - check out our discussions here:

Comments welcome below...

Looks like Richard Suen, the Chinese businessman that supposedly helped Las Vegas Sands setup their contacts in Macau will get a pay day after all.

A Las Vegas jury awarded him $43 million in damages. The company will appeal.

Yes, we're back (and better than ever?).

Anyway, the episode is posted here:

Comment away!

May 2, 2008

Encore at Wynn Macau Continues to Grow

Posted by Hunter

Yes, the property formerly known as 'Wynn Diamond Suites' has been renamed 'Encore at Wynn Macau'.

Thanks to VegasTripping for the tip and also a photo of construction:

Encore at Wynn Macau
Encore at Wynn Macau Construction Photo

March 24, 2008

Donate To Support

Posted by Hunter

My friend Chuck at has opened a fund raising drive for another trip to Macau in 2009. Chuck is responsible for some of the best English language content on Macau including reviews, a trip report, and many photos. Of course, tripping from SoCal to China is pricey and he's letting the public vote with their dollars.

I think it's a worthy cause and I put a couple of bucks in myself - I want to see the content continue and while I'm thinking about my own trip, I got a lot more than my $20 donation in value out of his writing so far - I consider it well worth it and encourage you to donate if you are able.

We're back with roundtable #2 - this time around the topics include Crown investing in Harrah's/Station, MGM Grand Detroit, Pure being raided by the IRS, Cuba as the next Macau and more.

The participants include:

Jeff Simpson - and

David McKee -

Dave Schwartz -

Chuck Monster -

Direct Download:

February 21, 2008

MGM Mirage Project Jumps: CityCenter Sale, RevPAR Up

Posted by Hunter

Some info on MGM Mirage's quarterly results, announced today:

February 12, 2008

Las Vegas Sands To Replace Sands Expo Center

Posted by detroit1051

Las Vegas Sands hosted an Investors Day on February 11 in Las Vegas. Management presented detailed information on the company's operations in Las Vegas and Macau as well as on other projects being built or planned both in this country and overseas.

One important announcement was the plan to build a New Sands Expo at the corner of Koval and Sands. Once the facility opens at the end of 2010, the land that the existing Sands Expo Center sits on could be used for another resort or other purposes. The site is 20 acres and is part of the Venetian/Palazzo complex.

The Investors Presentation is available as a webcast and as a slide presentation. The slides of the New Sands Expo and of the 20 acres for future development are very interesting.

Investors Day Slides=Part I
Investors Day-Part II
Webcast Replay Links

February 6, 2008

Adelson: No New Licensees in Macau

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to David McKee's blog for pointing out this article from Macau with some quotes from LVS boss Sheldon Adelson.

The Macau Daily News says in their piece that according to Adelson, the number of concessions will NOT be expanded in 2009 and in fact may *shrink* as some of Ho's more ghetto places get hit.

Interesting. Sorry Harrah's.

January 17, 2008

Open Topic Discussion: January 17, 2008

Posted by detroit1051

Sheldon Adelson: He is driven. Interesting article in the NY Times.
"...the Venetian is now the Strip�s second most profitable casino hotel, behind only the Bellagio, said Robert A. LaFleur, an industry analyst with the Susquehanna Financial Group, and that is with only a third of its revenue coming from its gambling floor."

When 3rd Place on the Rich List Just Isn�t Enough

December 26, 2007

MGM Grand Macau Rings In $6.6M In First Two Days

Posted by Hunter

According to, the MGM Grand Macau opened to a smashing success - over $6.6 million in drop in the first few days of operations. This points to a very high volume of play in that time.

December 20, 2007

Wynn Macau Expansion Opens December 24th

Posted by Hunter

This was in the news yesterday and I just assumed most people saw it so I didn't post it but maybe I was wrong... Anyway, Wynn Macau is set to open it's casino expansion on Monday, December 24th. This includes more tables, slots, and their new dramatic entry feature (I hope we hear more about this soon). Following in January are more retails shops including Hugo Boss and Ferrari.

December 18, 2007

MGM Grand Macau Opens

Posted by Hunter

Well, today is the big day for MGM Mirage with their first entry into Macau with the MGM Grand Macau. The property is a 50/50 joint venture with Pansy Ho, daughter of longtime operator Stanley Ho.

Personally, I think this property looks very interesting and it is certainly on my list of places to stay when I visit Macau sometime next year. I see the Wynn Macau/MGM Macau combo (they are right next door to each other) as the true epicenter of Macau luxury, despite Las Vegas Sands' grand Cotai experiment, at least for now.

November 7, 2007

Wynn Macau Photo Walk Through

Posted by Hunter

Chuck at has posted a photo walkthrough of Wynn Macau with shots from his recent trip. A must see for Wynn fans.

October 30, 2007

Wynn Resorts Reports Q3 2007 Results

Posted by Hunter

Wynn Resorts just reported as the market closed - the conference call is about to start and I'll update this with any interesting info.

Quarterly revenue was $653.4 million, up from $318.1 million last year - all because of Macau. Adjusted property EBITDA was $186 million.

Adjusted net income: $73.4 million, compared to a $1.3 million loss last year. GAAP net income was $44 million and that figure from last year was skewed by the sale of the Macau sub-concession.

Lots of interesting details in the press release:

ADR at Wynn Las Vegas: $282, up from $271 a year ago. Occupancy was 96.6%.

ADR at Wynn Macau: $245 and occupancy was 91.9%.

October 30, 2007

MGM Mirage Posts Third Quarter Results

Posted by Hunter

MGM Mirage posted their 2007 Q3 results - the company's net revenues are up 6% to $1.9 billion.

Details are here:

Some discussion on the call surrounded City Center and Dubai, Bellagio's baccarat room being closed, and the ongoing construction at former Mandalay properties.

Occupancy was up 1% to 97% and ADR hit $147, up from $140. REVPAR hit $143 from $135 a year ago.

An interesting item - gambling revenues, excluding Beau Rivage, are actually down 3% from a year ago.

October 21, 2007

The RJ Goes to Macau

Posted by Hunter

Looks like the RJ has a front page piece on Macau gaming, specifically US based operators there. It's an interesting piece and it comes with a fairly cheesy map and some photos. Worth checking out - even some photos of the analysts that get quoted in every gaming article in the paper.

October 18, 2007

Macau Quarterly Gaming Revenues Rise Again

Posted by Hunter

Sorry I'm only getting to post this now... Looks like Macau quarterlies are once again blowing through estimates:

A 46% increase? Nice. This quarter had a little bit of Venetian Macau action but we'll really get a feel for that next time around, plus of course in the LVS and WYNN quarterlies.

October 10, 2007

Inside The MGM MIRAGE Brain Trust: Jim Murren

Posted by Hunter

In Business Las Vegas did a fascinating interview with MGM Mirage President and COO Jim Murren last week. It is a highly recommended read that gives great perspective into the thinking that has driven recent deals with Kerzner, Dubai World and others.

It's clear that Terry Lanni and Jim Murren 'get it' when it comes to the biz side of the gaming industry - they are re-defining the standard practices that have been common knowledge in the industry. Business as usual? Not anymore.

From partnering with interesting companies to big ambitious projects like City Center in Las Vegas, they are bringing techniques that have worked well in the general hospitality industry to gaming and it seems to be paying off in spades.

Personally, I'd love to do an interview with Murren but MGM MIRAGE sometimes looks down on Internet media, even those of us with larger numbers than some print publications. I'm hoping one of these days these companies will wake up to that. They're not as bad as some companies but they could do better in this department.

October 4, 2007

Las Vegas Sands Macau Concession Payola?

Posted by Hunter

Very interesting article in the RJ about a case involving Las Vegas Sands, sealed documents and their Macau sub-concession.

Was anyone aware of these allegations? This could prove to be very bad for Sands.

October 2, 2007

MacauTripping Launches

Posted by Hunter

My good friend Chuck from has launched his new Macau site,

This is a great addition to the Macau Web scene and a place I'll use for info constantly - at least until goes live.

Good work Chuck!

September 30, 2007

Open Topic Discussion: October 1, 2007

Posted by detroit1051

Liz Benston had an interesting column on Macau in the 9/30 LV Sun:
Catching up to Las Vegas

Some quick notes on what's in the paper's today...

The RJ has an article on Aliante Station which is being built in North Las Vegas by the soon-to-be-private Station Casinos, Inc. North Las Vegas is a bit of a future growth market for them but this is set to be another nicely put together project, even if it is very 'Station-esque'.

Inside Gaming has an interesting note on 'Macau' vs 'Macao', which the eagle eyed will have noticed are both used by US operators in Macau (Wynn Resorts likes 'Macau', Las Vegas Sands uses 'Macao' - sounds like the LVS folks are clinging to the past).

I'm still looking for some sort of concrete occupancy numbers for The Venetian Macau - anyone seen anything published other than 'things are going well'? If so, post links in the comments.

Lastly, has been following up on the trip blog with great posts daily. Its quickly becoming my fave stop for Macau info and getting me excited for a trip myself. I did go out and grab and there's no way I could get all the info I need without heading over there myself. We'll see I guess.

Well, that was a great conversation... We had an in-depth talk with Chuck from who just recently has gotten back from Macau.

We went over everything from specific hotel talk on topics like Wynn Macau, Venetian Macau, Galaxy Starworld, MGM Grand Macau, Casino Lisboa and more. We also talked about the business - folks like Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, SJM, Melco and others.

Cotai, gaming industry topics, casino design and more. It was a great discussion and I'm hoping we can do another segment soon.

Fresh back from Macau, where he chronicled his trip, Charles from will be a guest for a special Q&A version of the podcast.

We'll be doing this on TalkShoe but here's how this will work - you guys submit some questions here on the site, I'll ask them in the first 30 minutes or so. The second half of the show will be open for general discussion. We'll see how that goes.

So... TONIGHT at 6pm PT

Update: Ok, the Talkshoe link is here:

If you're planning on joining us, I strongly recommend you go to the Web site ahead of time to sign up for an account and download the software. Strictly speaking, the software isn't required (only a telephone is really required) but having it gives you extra features.

If you really can't download the software, you can call in using this number: 724-444-7444 with the TalkCast ID of 44621. Without the software you might not be able to ask any questions as we won't be able to identify you in the system.

September 20, 2007

Quickies: Wynn on The Strip, Leach on Nightclubs

Posted by Hunter

A couple of quick hits today:

Steve Wynn is the guest on this week's, The Strip Podcast. He talks about Macau, nightclubs, and more. According to Wynn, Tryst is the top netting nightclub in town and Tao is fiddling with their numbers a bit. The interview is interesting and features a fun example of Wynn's office at work. Steve's thesis on why spending is up is sort of interesting.

Second up, thanks to Detroit, this link to an article from Robin Leach - will the nightclub boom continue.

September 16, 2007

Worst Las Vegas Podcast #17 - September 15th, 2007

Posted by Hunter

Our second time using and it was a lot of fun. Regular readers like Detroit1051, Mike E, Brian Fey, mike_ch and BarbaryKevin were all in on the action.

We covered a broad range of issues, from Cotai, Harrah's, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Palazzo, Encore, IGT and a lot more.

During the show we talked about Chuck's Macau diary. That link is here:

September 16, 2007

Harrah's Making Moves on Cotai

Posted by Hunter

Harrah's is making moves on the Cotai Strip in Macau by purchasing a golf course that makes them the second largest land holder in the area after Las Vegas Sands.

Based on one Web site's analysis, they paid about $22 million an acre - not too shabby.

Harrah's is still without a concession that gives them the necessary license required to operate a facility in Macau but of course, money talks and Harrah's wants in.

September 7, 2007

VegasTripping Goes to Macau And Trippies 2007!

Posted by Hunter

My good friend Chuck at is heading to Macau next week. Despite being very jealous, I'm happy to send you guys over to his site to get the regular updates he'll be posting - I know that I'm looking forward to some very thorough reporting from the field, HST style.

If you want to follow the mayhem as it unfolds, here's the best link for the action:

Second up, their annual 'Best Of' list, the Trippies, are now open for nominations. Feel free to nominate us - the parent Web site,, this blog and even our podcast, which we're bringing back into a more regular schedule with live call-in shows (next Sunday the 16th!).

August 27, 2007

UPDATED: Venetian Macau Opens - Reader Review

Posted by Hunter

I'm just back from a little vacation and I'm beat but this is something I need to report - Las Vegas Sands have opened their second property in Macau, The Venetian Macau - the first hotel to open on the Cotai Strip.

Some links:

Update: Read the comments for a review from reader Chris B.

August 21, 2007

MGM Mirage Shuffles Upper Management

Posted by Hunter

MGM Mirage made a few changes in the executive suite which they announced today.

First off, the extremely capable Jim Murren has been promoted to President and COO of the company (from President, CFO, and Treasurer). Murren came from Wall Street and is probably the most responsible for MGM Mirage being a model for other gaming companies to follow, especially when talking about reporting. Murren will also oversee all properties except for those that are part of the 'City Center Campus'.

Bobby Baldwin has been moved into a new position - Chief Design and Construction Officer. He'll oversee all new construction and capital improvements in the US. He also will oversee the 'City Center Campus', which includes City Center, Monte Carlo and Bellagio.

Lastly, Dan D'Arrigo has been promoted to EVP and CFO.

All of these positions report to Terri Lanni, the company's Chairman and CEO. Additionally, John Redmond, who had been running the properties formerly in the MGM family, including MGM Grand and NYNY has resigned as planned.

The press release is here:

Unrelated, Harrah's has scheduled an announcement for tomorrow regarding entertainment changes at their resorts in Las Vegas.

August 13, 2007

Wynn Talks Cotai, Encore and More in Interview

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to for pointing us to this interesting interview with Steve Wynn.

He talks about their upcoming Cotai property - he wants to make it the best in the world it seems... Also, some talk on Encore (the casino will look like Macau's, which is pretty much what we all expected) and Las Vegas Sands.

Great interview:

Update: I thought I had a photo of the Wynn Macau casino in my gallery but I looked and couldn't find one. I know I've seen it though - I remember really liking it with the columns and drapes - much more low-key than WLV. Anyone have a link?

August 2, 2007

MGM Mirage Quarterly Profit Up On Property Sales

Posted by Hunter

MGM Mirage had a big quarter but a large portion of the ground they gained were from one time events - property sales in Primm and elsewhere.

Still, income from continuing operations was also up - the company is healthy and I still consider it to be one of the best run in gaming - a model for the industry in that regard.

Revenues hit $2.11 billion and earnings were at $360 million with those property sales factored in. Incoming from continuing operations was $182 million, up from about $140 million in the year ago quarter.

REVPar on the Strip jumped 7%. I hope to have property specific info soon.

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August 1, 2007

Las Vegas Sands Profit Falls in Q2 ; Revenues Up

Posted by Hunter

Las Vegas Sands reported their second quarter results today and the story is that net income is down this quarter, mostly due to higher costs.

Net income was $34.4 million from $109.3 million a year ago. Big drop... Well, they are about to open the Venetian Macau so they clearly have a reason to be spending money this quarter. Revenues were up to $612.9 million from $517 million so unless they get spend happy next time around, this is likely no huge deal.

Update: Looking at some of the numbers, at The Venetian in Las Vegas the ADR (average daily rate) was up $266, almost 10%. Other metrics like the drop were also up - fundamentals look solid.

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July 9, 2007 Macau Cotai Strip Update

Posted by Hunter

Welcome to the first in a new series. Thanks to our friends at, we will have some regular news and updates from Las Vegas Sands' replica of the Las Vegas Strip in China.

Continue after the jump for the posting with all the latest Cotai Strip news.

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May 7, 2007

Wynn Resorts Swings to Profit for Q12007

Posted by Hunter

Well, they finally got out of the red... Wynn Resorts announced Q1 2007 net income of $58.4 million, compared to a loss of $11.4 million for 2006. Adjusted net income was $72.6 million, on strong results from Wynn Macau and Wynn Las Vegas.

Revenue for the quarter was $635.3 million, up from $277.2 million from a year ago.

The conference call starts in 20 minutes and I will be updating based on anything from that call.

The press release covers all of the interesting details - I will break them down shortly.

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May 5, 2007

Macau Casino Update: April 2007

Posted by Hunter

A big thank you to Drambuie Man for sending in a new report and photos from Macau.

I asked for some more photos of Wynn Macau and the Venetian and we got some good coverage. I can't wait to get out there and see this stuff myself.

The report is after the jump...

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Las Vegas Sands reported their Q1 2007 results today and while net revenues were up, net income was down due to expenses on upcoming resort properties.

This is getting kinda repetitive - LVS seems to post solid numbers every quarter. They're like Microsoft - making tons of money and totally boring at the same time.

Revenue: $628.2 million
Net Income: $114.60 million
EPS: $0.32

The ADR at the Venetian was up and occupancy was over 98%. Not too shabby.

Macau casino revenue was up. They don't really have any room product to report in Macau yet.

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April 30, 2007

New Macau Photos Available - Construction Updates!

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Brian and everyone else that submitted this to me.

Just a quick post to direct people to some new photos posted at SkyScraper City that cover all the recent construction activity in Macau. Great to see these projects moving along, especially the hotel at the Sands - Sheldy quietly hedging his Cotai bet.

Also, Drambuie Man is back in Macau and will be sharing more photos when he returns - thanks again!

April 29, 2007

Wynn Macau Closes Tryst Nightclub

Posted by Hunter

An interesting tidbit in today's RJ indicates that Wynn Macau has closed it's Tryst nightclub. A sister to the popular venue in Las Vegas, Tryst Macau was smaller and had been deemed as an experiment of sorts.

Well - I guess the experiment failed as the space is being converted into private gaming.

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April 16, 2007

Venetian Macau Interior Construction Shots

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Brian Fey who pointed out this link that includes some interior shots of Venetian Macau, opening in just a few short months.

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April 7, 2007

Worst Las Vegas Podcast #15 - April 6, 2007

Posted by Hunter

We're back after a few weeks off and this time I'm joined in the studio by two friends, Carter and Kevin.

Discussion includes Harrah's buyout, Macau updates, CityCenter and more, plus some oh so witty banter and a call from Mike E.


Here's the link to all the most recent photos:

A reminder - feel free to call in and leave us a message about anything Las Vegas or Web site related. The call in number is: 702-508-4232.

Direct RSS:

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Thanks to Drambuie_Man, we have a major set of new Macau photos that highlight the construction of the MGM Grand Macau, Venetian Macau and others. He was also kind enough to write up his report, which you will find after the jump.

The photos are located here:

Huge thanks go out to Drambuie_Man for taking and sharing these photos with us. He attached some notes to the photos which I have distilled and included here after the jump. I highly suggest that you give these a read along with the photos to get a better sense of context.

Here goes...

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Drambuie_Man is heading to Macau and has offered to take questions in advance for those of us that haven't been or can't get to the other side of the world on a regular basis. I'm lucky to have several folks in the area that have been very generous with their time and this is another example of that.

His comments are after the jump and feel free to litter the comments with requests. Also, if you are in Macau or nearby and want to hang out, email me at and I'll make mutual contact.

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From the Macau Daily Blog (via Brian Fey - thanks!), it looks like all the construction activity in Macau has caused costs to sky-rocket.

The article cites Las Vegas Sands' Cotai projects and Adelson's discussion of how costs are rising.

Update: Thanks again to Brian for posting this video of Cotai development:

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This time around I spent most of the episode talking about Wynn Resorts, Ltd., 4th Quarter earnings report. There's also some stuff on MGM Mirage and others.

Update: For some reason that I can't explain, this episode sounds somewhat tinny. Sorry about that.

A reminder - feel free to call in and leave us a message about anything Las Vegas or Web site related. The call in number is: 702-508-4232.

Direct RSS:

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March 1, 2007

LVS Issues Cotai Progress Report

Posted by detroit1051

LVS held a press event on Cotai Strip to publicize progress on the hotels. Starwood and Shangri-La Hotels participated. Starwood's 4,000 room Sheraton and 400 room St. Regis will open in 2008 and 2009 along with 1,800 rooms in two properties operated by Shangri-La.
"We are quickly establishing the critical mass needed to reposition Macao as a destination for shoppers, diners, entertainment-seekers and those looking for a wonderful place to hold their business meeting or convention," said William Weidner, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp."
Las Vegas Sands, World-Renowned Hotel Brands Celebrate Progress on Cotai Strip

In today's Wall Street Journal, William Weidner said that he "...expects gambling revenue at its planned Venetian casino resort to account for about 50% to 60% of the project's total revenue,". Venetian Macau will open in July or August. That is sooner than I expected.
The story is at:
Las Vegas Sands Sees 50%-60% Venetian Macao Rev From Gambling

February 27, 2007

Wynn Resorts: 4th Quarter 2006 Loss

Posted by Hunter

Wynn Resorts announced their numbers today for Q4 2006 (and FY2006).

Despite opening Wynn Macau, the supposed cash generator for the company, they had a loss for the quarter of $55 million.

What does this mean for the company if they can't make a profit with Macau open? How serious is this and what will the company do to stop the bleeding? It is important to note that a large portion of the loss was related to debenture holders.

Despite operating at a loss, some of the numbers look good, including holds and net revenues.

The extensive press release is here:

Also interesting is the occupancy rate for Wynn Macau, which was just north of 80%. I watch the occupancy rates as a very interesting indicator of how the Macau market is rising to the challenge of conversion to a 'resort destination' city away from a day trip market.

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February 21, 2007

Wynn Macau: No Credit Offered to Customers

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to some friendly and reliable sources, I got a look at the play/comp requirements for Wynn Macau.

First off, I didn't realize that Wynn Macau is not extending credit - big players have to deposit front money and from what I saw, I got the impression this was for ALL players as the top levels were talking about deposits in excess of $500k USD. Does anyone know if Sands Macau gives credit?

To get comped a Sky End Suite (these are at the end of the tower - no comparable product at WLV but Encore will have them), you need to deposit $500,000 and have an average bet of $10,000. This qualifies you for a helicopter from Hong Kong as well. This suite's casino rate would be $3,000 to $3,400 a night, depending on the day of the week. This compares to a standard room with requires $25k in front money and an average bet of $650 per hand... Plus they throw in some ferry seats - no chopper for you!

It's interesting to see how things are different from Las Vegas... In Vegas, the really big players can have comps (private jet travel, etc...) extended prior to the trip - the big guys are known and the casino is confident in its ability to recoup. Not in Macau - Wynn Macau's comps start when you walk on site and not before. I guess they're still getting to know the regulars.

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MGM Mirage added a few press releases over the past couple of days detailing some upcoming plans.

First off is a new community in Jean, NV - just outside of Las Vegas. Currently they operate the Gold Strike and Nevada Landing. The latter will close and operations will be consolidated into the Gold Strike as a new casino hotel is developed, along with residential, retail and other mixed uses. What makes Jean interesting is the possibility of a new airport there at Ivanpah, serving Las Vegas's freight needs in the near term and international travel over the next ten years or so. With a monorail extension, this area could start to really hum.

Second on MGM Mirage's plate is brief announcement that their Macau partnership with Pansy Ho will build a resort on Cotai in that region. They don't specify the parcel other than to refer to it as a 'prime identified site'.

The other story of the day I thought was interesting is coming out of the Harrah's LBO. It's been revealed that part of the financing will come from Harrah's own assets. I find this fascinating and I am considering taking Wynn Resorts private by borrowing against their properties - can I do that? :-)

More on the Harrah's setup from the always excellent Business Press.

Lastly, a quick mention that high end condos aren't selling quite as fast as some thought.

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Here's the latest podcast and it's a good one. This episode features an interview with Tim and Michelle from Five Hundy By Midnight as well as spots on Las Vegas Sands and the new Tropicana.

A reminder - feel free to call in and leave us a message about anything Las Vegas or Web site related. The call in number is: 702-508-4232.

Direct RSS:

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Well, we all know that MGM Mirage is planning to enter the Macau market with the under-construction MGM Grand Macau. Since MGM is not a concessionaire in Macau, they have to partner with someone that is or has a sub-concession... Well, they hooked up Pansy Ho, daughter of Macau old-timer Stanley Ho.

Stanley's well known to be a least a little on the sketchy side (some would say totally on the sketchy side). The question that's come up is if partnering with Pansy would allow Stanley any undue influence into her operations.

The Nevada gaming regulatory bodies are investigating Pansy's suitability as MGM Mirage is a multiple license holder in the Silver State. Will this be a problem? The licensing is taking longer than many expected - does that mean they've found some items they're not too happy with?

A couple of articles discussing related issues:

and related to Pansy, brother Lawrence and Packer's media conglomerate:,23636,21170997-462,00.html

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February 5, 2007

Las Vegas Sands 2006 Results = Big Profits

Posted by Hunter

Las Vegas Sands (LVS), operators of The Venetian, Sands Macau and constructing the Venetian Macau, Marina Bay Sands and the Palazzo, reported huge numbers for the fourth quarter of 2006 and the year as a whole:

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January 25, 2007

Branson in Macau?

Posted by Hunter

This just looks a little crazy but I thought I should report on it.

This article implies that Richard Branson, British business mogul, is interested in doing a project in Macau:

This seems a little wacky to me. I can't imagine him as an operator but who knows, maybe this will be brilliant. Does he have other hospitality assets?

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January 23, 2007

Macau Overtakes Las Vegas as World Gambling Capital

Posted by Hunter

Ok, well, we all knew this was coming.

Macau, the former Portuguese colony near Hong Kong, has overtaken Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world, at least in terms of gambling revenue.

For 2006, Las Vegas took in $6.5 billion while Macau saw $6.95 billion flow into their coffers.

MarketWatch Story on Macau 2006 Gambling Revenues

Update: Looks like this is a 'probably' vs a certainty at this point. The $6.5B for LV is estimated and is the Las Vegas Strip, not the entire city. We'll see when those numbers are published. Still, if not this year, it will be basically a draw and next year I would say it is certain and will be clear.

Update (Wed): More on this from the RJ, along with some comments from Steve Wynn.

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January 16, 2007

Hotel and Casino Observations from Macau: January 2007

Posted by Hunter

Thanks again to Chris, our friend in Hong Kong, who checks in frequently with new info on progress in Macau. Keep reading after the jump to get the latest on everyone's favorite S.A.R.

Updates on the Sands, Galaxy, Cotai, the condo market and more.

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Howdy folks! As a quick aside, I meant to do a podcast tonight but it didn't happen - sorry!! I'm shooting for the weekend and from then on, probably every 7-10 days. Thank you for being patient. There's clearly a lot to about.

I am planning on being in Las Vegas at the end the month, just for a weekend, to tour and document the progress at CityCenter's preview center - thanks to MGM MIRAGE for any access. From what I'm told, the preview center is amazing - I look forward to sharing with everyone... Expect photos to follow.

Regarding Wynn Macau, their 'Diamond Suites' project, located on the property edge near the future MGM Grand (with its neat/original curtain wall design), is a new hotel tower with the aim to up their room inventory as the company also looks into possibilities on Cotai Originally, Wynn Macau had something akin to a phase '1b', which was supposed to expand the casino floor, add a showroom and a new 'front feature', all to open in early 2007. This front feature is some kind of special effects room that Wynn says will 'blow us all away'.

Given that the public spaces are now going to be more aligned with the 'Diamond Suites' areas, they have been delayed until later this year. The 'Diamond Suites' tower is still 18 to 25 months out, though no specific dates have been announced. Some of the new tables and slots will open for the celebration of Chinese New Year, which is also coming to Las Vegas in a few weeks.

Ok, and last, MGM MIRAGE has new renderings of both CityCenter and MGM Grand Macau in their latest financial presentation. Very interesting shots that really show how the new buildings will interact with each and specifically "NOT" interact with neighbors.

MGM Mirage Financial Presentation 1/2007

I realize this was long winded - sorry. I hope everyone is doing well. Photos will follow in this space.

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December 31, 2006

Biggest Las Vegas / Gaming Stories of 2006?

Posted by Hunter

What did you think was the most interesting/biggest story of 2006 that related to Las Vegas and/or casino gambling?

Was it Harrah's being taken private? Wynn Resorts opening in Macau? The Stardust going dark? The insanity around the Tropicana bidding war? I'm interested to hear your take.

The RJ has a story on that topic today with a few examples but we don't have to limit the discussion to those options.

And, for a little bit of history, these are the posts from December 2005. Funny to think of all that has happened this year.

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Thanks to my friend Chris in Hong Kong, we have a few new shots of development progress for several Macau projects.


Wynn Macau / MGM Grand Macau
Venetian Macau
Grand Lisboa

Thanks Chris! Looks like some of these projects are really coming together and by this time next year, all of the above should be operating (and hopefully I will have reported my personal experience in at least a few of them!)

Happy New Year to all. Another great year of growth on this blog and I hope that 2007 will be even bigger.

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Thanks to reader George, we have an interesting report and photos from a recent trip to Macau. The report is after the jump.

A couple of comments on the report:

* The Sands Macau actually does have a small hotel at the moment and they are planning to expand it to over a hundred rooms in the next few years.

* While the jury is very much still out on Wynn Macau, looking only at the cash volume through that place in the first days we have reported, a lot of money is moving around in that place. Assuming that keeps up and the basic math works, they have potential to make money... Potential.

* Wynn's Tryst - I was under the impression that it was open based on photos from the club and a few reports. Given this report, I'm now not clear as to its status.

* Craps - Too bad no games in Macau. People seem to generally consider it a dying game. Personally, it is by far my favorite. I have seem quotes from Wynn that imply that he believes the same is one of the last generation. Hopefully it is not dying off.

Overall I found the specific comparisons useful for folks like me who are used to Las Vegas/US casinos and who plan to visit Macau sometime in the near future.

I am working on posting the photos that were sent with this story. They will be up soon...

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November 26, 2006

Roll The Bones by David Schwartz - Book Review

Posted by Hunter

Roll The Bones is a new book by Dr. David Schwartz, the director of the Center for Gambling Studies at UNLV. His blog, is a great source for gambling information and news along with the ever-popular casino carpet gallery.

Dave has written several gambling related books in the past, including Suburban Xanadu, a study of the casino resort's evolution (this book features an in-depth look at Martin Stern, Jr., who's work we have mentioned several times in the past here on this site) and Cutting The Wire, a look at the Wire Act and Internet gambling.

You can buy this book here (and it supports this site in a small way): Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

Keep reading after the jump...

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November 16, 2006

Gaming Investment Forum Presentations

Posted by detroit1051

Deutsche Bank/Goldman Sachs sponsored the Gaming Investment Forum on November 13-14 as part of G2E. Many of the presentations are available for rebroadcast and are well worth the time to listen to them.

One very good presentation was made by Galaxy about Macau. It was refreshing to get a different perspective than one gets from WYNN and LVS. Some key points:
* The infrastructure won't be sufficient on Cotai until 2012. Even today, Galaxy provides 130 round trip buses a day to move people to and from its Grand Waldo. When Venetian opens, 50,000 people/day will have to be transported. The government better get moving on the light rail system.
* The Chinese middle market is still ten years in the future.
* Will Cotai get sufficient convention business considering Hong Kong, with its 8 million people and its position as Asia's financial capital, isn't overburdened?
* I liked one comment he made, to the effect that there is a great dichotomy between Macau and Vegas operators on the future market. Maybe, I'd better start saving up to pay off my bet with Hunter.

To listen to any of the presentations, go to the following link which has two pages, one for each of the two days:
Gaming Investment Forum Presentations

November 13, 2006

Wynn Redirects Binion and Pays a Dividend

Posted by Hunter

Huh? This one is strange. Two announcements today... First off, from the press release it sounds to me that Binion didn't care for the day-to-day in Macau... Maybe he didn't like living there or something? Certainly sounds like spin to me and hopefully the dividend isn't a smokescreen to that effect.

You can read both releases here:

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November 1, 2006

Las Vegas Sands Beats 3Q Expectations

Posted by Hunter

Las Vegas Sands, owners of The Venetian and the Sands Macau, as well as the upcoming Palazzo and Venetian Macau, beat Wall Street estimates with their third quarter results.

Total revenues for the quarter were $553.2 million with a net income of $97.3 million. Estimates were clocking the company at about $525 million.

The Macau property was up over 20% and The Venetian in Las Vegas also saw gains in several areas.

MGM MIRAGE has their conference call in the morning.

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October 22, 2006

BOOK: Roll The Bones: The History of Gambling

Posted by Hunter

I got my review copy of Dave Schwartz's new book, "Roll The Bones" today and I've started to read it. Dave is a friend of mine and I feel lucky to call him that. He's the number one gambling historian and author of several books. He works at UNLV as the Director of the Center for Gaming Research. His Web site is located here, which we are now proudly hosting for him:

A full review will follow when I'm done but so far, it's great. Anyone that's seriously interested in gambling should buy this book right now.

The link below is from and not only do you get the book for a great price, but we get a small cut of the proceeds, so you are supporting the site and getting what so far seems like a great book.

Ok, here goes: Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling


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October 21, 2006

Worst Las Vegas Podcast #6: Macau: Cotai vs. Peninsula

Posted by Hunter

This is a shorter podcast this time around.

I play a couple of listener calls and talk about Macau, specifically the relationship between the Cotai Strip and the Peninsula and how that will impact operations for Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands.

Call our listener line, anytime: 702-508-4232

You can leave a message that we will read on the air. Grab the number and put it in your cell phone so you can even phone in from Vegas. Also, if you are a casino employee or otherwise have info, you can use this as an anonymous tip line to feed us the goods.

Ready to listen? If you subscribed in iTunes or another player, it's probably already downloading as it's been on the feed for awhile. If you don't use iTunes or aren't already subscribed, the links are below. If you want to listen right here on the site, click through after the jump where we have an embedded player, no download required.

Direct RSS:

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The latest edition of The Strip Podcast features bits of an interview with Steve Wynn mostly related to Macau and the opening of his first venture there last month. If you haven't listened, it's an interesting companion bit to the Sheldon Adelson piece from a few weeks back.

From the interview and others like it, we know that Steve Wynn believes that while development on the so-called 'Cotai Strip' will at some point down the road bear fruit, he thinks that time is 5-7 years off when the area is more built out. Wynn Resorts purchased land on the Cotai Strip and plans to develop up to three hotels there. Wynn's been clear that he thinks Cotai will be great, just not in the next couple of years.

Adelson's position is a bit different. He's currently constructing the first Cotai property, the Venetian Macau. When it opens in 2007, it will at first sit all by itself out there, though it is designed to be a fully integrated resort and will offer a wide array of facilities, much as the Venetian in Las Vegas does today.

I'm not asking if Cotai is a good idea or not - everyone agrees that Cotai is likely the long-term future of Macau. What I'm asking is if this is the right time or if Cotai will have a slow start until more of the planned hotels are on-line...

Will Adelson have to wait until 2010 or 2012 to reap the benefits and is Las Vegas Sands making a mistake to not massively expand the Sands hotel component along with these other projects?

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October 18, 2006

Time Magazine on Wynn and Adelson

Posted by detroit1051

Time Magazine's Global Business Section for November has a fascinating story about Wynn and Adelson in Macau:
Egos Bigger Than China

October 10, 2006

LA Times on Macau and a New Rendering of City Center

Posted by Hunter

First up, I tracked down this image that is a rendering of CityCenter - looks more recent than most:

City Center Rendering - Oct. 2006

On an unrelated topic, the LA Times ran a story on Macau that is interesting, though not a lot of new ground:,0,319698,full.story?coll=la-home-travel

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Yes, that's two podcasts in a week... I have posted the fourth RateVegas podcast and this episode has an international bent.

I discuss the basics of Macau along with the info about Wynn Macau opening in early September. I also talk about Harrah's pulling out of competition for the second casino site in Singapore as well as our potential nomination for a "Trippie" award.

On top of all of that, we now have a listener line where you guys can call in to get a message read on the air. The number is: 702-508-4232. Go ahead and call us anytime, from the field in Las Vegas or otherwise.

To listen to the podcast, we have a few options:

Direct RSS:

Click on after the jump to listen to the podcast right here on the Web site.

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Steve Friess of popular Las Vegas podcast, The Strip, had published his interview with Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson. Adelson discusses Macau in detail and comments on the Venetian Macau and even Wynn Macau.

The rivalry between Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson continues to blossom and has almost reached the level of high comedy. At a certain point you have to wonder if they don't, in a way, see the rivalry as good for business, as a way to get people interested in their properties.

Anyway, it's a very interesting podcast that also includes a Wynn snippet on the tip changes at Wynn Las Vegas.

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September 11, 2006

Harrah's Name Change ; Wynn Macau Opening Video

Posted by Hunter

Two things this morning:

Today in the RJ, Norm! speculates that Harrah's may be changing its corporate name to Caesars and the long rumors Bally's/Horseshoe switch may be in the works:

Also, thanks to a reader for the following video of the opening of Wynn Macau:

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September 6, 2006

Wynn Macau: Photos and a Little Geography

Posted by Hunter

Thanks go out to Chris in Hong Kong for sending his photos of the Wynn Macau opening and shedding a little light on the layout of the place, as no property map is currently available.

First off, some additional interior photos:

More today from the Las Vegas media:

LV Sun -
Review Journal -

Keep reading after the jump.

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September 5, 2006

Wynn Macau Madness / Adelson Fires Back

Posted by Hunter

With Wynn Macau opening today/tomorrow (time zones and all that), there's a flurry of activity discussing the event.

Thanks to Brian for submitting some of these.

And of course, Sheldon Adelson can't resist calling Wynn's Macau resort a 'joke and a half':

UPDATE: Brian wrote in with some GREAT photos:

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August 29, 2006

Wynn Macau Photos

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to reader John for pointing out that Steve Friess, of popular Las Vegas podcast, The Strip, has posted some photos of Wynn Macau, opening next week.

Also, an article on Steve's trip:


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August 27, 2006

Steve Friess On Wynn Macau

Posted by detroit1051

Steve Friess has written an article in the current Newsweek magazine about Steve Wynn and Macau.

To read the article:

A Vegas-Size Bet On China

Las Vegas Sands reported their quarterly financials and I'm sure that Steve Wynn is reading them and licking his lips. Why? Revenues from the Sands Macau continue to pump cash into the company and Wynn's Macau property opens in early September.

Here's a link to Sands info:

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A press release this morning indicates that famous casino operator Jack Binion is going to run Wynn's International division. Interesting stuff:

Also, an RJ article about Wynn Macau, opening in 40 days:

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June 28, 2006

LVS Presentation

Posted by detroit1051

I just listened to the replay of a presentation Wm. Weidner, Las Vegas Sands COO, gave today at the Bank of America Gaming Conference in Las Vegas. It is well worth the 36 minutes. Weidner always impresses me, and I like his rapidfire way of talking. The presentation is accompanied by 55 slides which help put things in perspective. Macau and China are mindboggling. We've never seen anything like it, and LVS is going to continue to be the leader in Asia. China's future is unbelievable as is LVS'. Wow!!!

To listen to the replay:
Las Vegas Sands Presentation at Bank of America Gaming Conference

June 5, 2006

Video on Macau Development

Posted by Hunter

Here's a cool video that outlines some of the gambling operations in Macau.

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May 24, 2006

Fountains of Bellagio @ Wynn Macau

Posted by Hunter

Based on this picture, it looks like Steve Wynn may be bringing his 'Fountains of Bellagio' concept to Macau.


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May 4, 2006

Las Vegas Sands Announces Quarterly Results

Posted by Hunter

Just days after competitors MGM MIRAGE and Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, operators of the Venetian in Las Vegas and the Sands Macau in Macau, China have announced their results.

Quarterly revenue is up to $503MM, based largely on the Macau property with net income of $134MM.

For details, see this release:

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Looks like Cirque is going to do a show on Cotai for Las Vegas Sands:

I'm sure that doesn't thrill MGM MIRAGE.

In other news, an interesting article on the W Las Vegas project going up on Harmon:

Lastly, Pinnacle, the original Aztar/Tropicana suitor, announced some great earnings:

Wynn earnings coming today... We'll see how they did this last quarter...

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April 23, 2006 Photo Gallery Macau Photos Updated

Posted by Hunter

Thanks again to Chris from Hong Kong for providing updated photos of construction in Macau for our gallery.

The link is here:

You'll see Wynn Macau, basically completed, along with the MGM Grand and Galaxy Starworld. Enjoy.

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April 9, 2006

MacauCasinoWorld Publishes New Photos

Posted by Hunter

Thank to, we have some new photos of the progress of various properties in Macau.

These photos show various resorts such as Wynn Macau, MGM Grand and The Venetian Macau, all of which are showing fantastic progress.

Check 'em out: Macau Photos

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April 5, 2006

Macau Ain't No Vegas?

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Mike E. for pointing us to an interesting thread at LVTalk, a Las Vegas message board.

The thread is about a recent trip to Macau and some impressions from a Vegas visitor. Interesting stuff.

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March 19, 2006

Interview with Wynn Macau GM in Business Week

Posted by Hunter

Interesting interview and remarks from Grant Bowie, Wynn's GM in Macau:

March 5, 2006

Wynn To Sell Macau Sub-Concession for $1B?

Posted by Hunter

According to the LV Sun, Wynn has struck a deal to sell a sub-concession in Macau to an Australian company for $1 billion dollars.

Update: Looks like it is official, though a little less at $900MM.

The press release:

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February 22, 2006

Some New Macau Photos

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to reader Karl who has sent some new Macau photos.

I posted them on my photo site:


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February 19, 2006

MGM MIRAGE May Develop Three Sites in Macau

Posted by Hunter

According to this article, MGM MIRAGE may develop up to three sites in Macau. The first site, the MGM Grand Macau, is under construction now. Who knows, we may see a 'Mirage Macau' or 'Bellagio Macau'.

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February 1, 2006

Macau Casino Site and Blog

Posted by Hunter

I got a link suggestion over at for a site dedicated to Macau casinos. There's also a blog on the site that features Macau news.

An interesting perspective that complements the great stuff we get from Chris in Hong Kong.

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January 23, 2006

Photos: Macau, Wynn Changes, The Mirage and More!

Posted by Hunter

Howdy folks, back from Las Vegas with a photo update. I'll follow this with a written opinion piece as soon as I can.

Before we get to Vegas though, let's look at Macau. Our man on the scene Chris has written in with some fresh photos of Wynn Macau, The Venetian, Galaxy Starworld, Grand Emperor and more. Thanks again to Chris for keeping us westerners up to date.

The Macau photos are located here, the new ones are on that second page and the third as well. Enjoy.

On the Vegas side of things, the pictures include the updated Corsa Cucina at Wynn Las Vegas, Kokomo's, STACK and Fin at The Mirage, and some great shots from MIX at the top of THEHotel. Some of the shots, especially of STACK, didn't come out very well. I included them because unfortunately that was the best I have and I know you guys wanted to see what it looks like.

Generally, some really exciting changes at The Mirage and even Wynn. I'll save the bulk of this for my other post but we did eat at STACK and loved it, plus we spent an evening at Tryst, Wynn's re-born nightclub, formerly known as La Bete. The changes at The Mirage have dramatically altered the customer profile, even in this short amount of time. Anyway, more on that when I write my report. For now, enjoy the photos:

Update (Monday Eve.): I've been working on my other article but I found that I'm writing more than I thought so it's going a bit slow. Looking like it will be published tomorrow morning instead of tonight. Enjoy the pictures in the meantime.

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January 23, 2006

Photos: Macau, Wynn Changes, The Mirage and More!

Posted by Hunter

Howdy folks, back from Las Vegas with a photo update. I'll follow this with a written opinion piece as soon as I can.

Before we get to Vegas though, let's look at Macau. Our man on the scene Chris has written in with some fresh photos of Wynn Macau, The Venetian, Galaxy Starworld, Grand Emperor and more. Thanks again to Chris for keeping us westerners up to date.

The Macau photos are located here, the new ones are on that second page and the third as well. Enjoy.

On the Vegas side of things, the pictures include the updated Corsa Cucina at Wynn Las Vegas, Kokomo's, STACK and Fin at The Mirage, and some great shots from MIX at the top of THEHotel. Some of the shots, especially of STACK, didn't come out very well. I included them because unfortunately that was the best I have and I know you guys wanted to see what it looks like.

Generally, some really exciting changes at The Mirage and even Wynn. I'll save the bulk of this for my other post but we did eat at STACK and loved it, plus we spent an evening at Tryst, Wynn's re-born nightclub, formerly known as La Bete. The changes at The Mirage have dramatically altered the customer profile, even in this short amount of time. Anyway, more on that when I write my report. For now, enjoy the photos:

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December 26, 2005

Casino Patron/Developer Packer Dies

Posted by Hunter

Kerry Packer, Australia's richest man and a frequent customer of Las Vegas casinos has died. Famous for supposedly paying off a cocktail waitress' mortgage with a tip, Packer was also developing Macau casinos with partners in the SAR.

Details: Australia's Packer Dies

This could have an impact on MGM MIRAGE's cash flow. Packer was a consistent contributor to their bottom line at Bellagio.

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December 11, 2005

Updated Macau Photos Posted

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Chris from Hong Kong, we have updated the Macau photos on our photo site. Those shots are located here:

Thanks again to Chris for these great shots.

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December 7, 2005

Wynn Details Macau Concession Plans

Posted by Hunter

In a move that will surely please investors, Wynn has discussed plans to possibly offer sub-concessions or joint ventures in Macau:

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November 5, 2005

Updated Macau Photos Posted

Posted by Hunter

Thanks again to Chris, we have some new Macau photos posted here:


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October 23, 2005

Macau Update

Posted by Hunter

We've got some more information on developments in Macau, the former Portuguese colony that allows Las Vegas style gambling in China near Hong Kong.

Thanks to reader Chris, we have some great first hand info as well as pictures. For those that missed them last time, we posted a bunch of his shots here: Some great shots!

This time around we have a couple more photos from Chris and they will be in the Macau group on the above site very soon.

Below, find some more comments from Chris regarding Macau developments (after the jump)...

Thanks again to Chris - he's providing us with a unique insight into Macau development that otherwise we just wouldn't have. Thank you Chris and keep it coming!

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October 9, 2005

Macau Construction Photos

Posted by Hunter

Courtesy of reader Chris, we have a bunch of construction photos from Macau to share.

The photos are located here: Macau Photos on


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