The odds don’t look good for Steve Wynn, opening Macau’s most expensive casino this week even as gambling revenues continue to sink.
Reuters Eve Johnson looks at why the casino tycoon is taking the risk.
It’s Macau splashiest casino yet. Steve Wynn’s lavish new pleasure palace opening this week in the gambling capital of the world. But is the casino tycoon timing off? Gambling revenues here are scraping along at five-year lows.
Reuter’s Farah Master said: “These projects were planned over five to six years ago when Macau’s growth outlook was very very optimistic. So Wynn actually spent four billion to build this property. Some analysts are saying if he had known the outlook as it is currently today maybe he would have spent far less, maybe around one billion.”
Chalk it all up to Chinese high rollers disappearing from Macau’s VIP tables with Beijing on the hunt for corrupt officials and businessmen. That campaign’s leaving bosses like Wynn scrambling to turn their gambling havens into wider attractions.
“So Wynn is really trying to promote art in his resort. He’s saying that he spent over 150 million US dollars on art including a Jeff Koons sculpture and some very rare Chinese vases. He says he’s going to put together a book for people to see the different types of artworks. So, he’s really trying to push this as a special element.”
Analysts say Wynn Palace is likely to turn a profit. But not at all like what the industry might have expected years ago. Investors won’t give up on Macau anytime soon. It still puts Las Vegas to shame, ranking in five times the gambling revenue. The Wynn Palace is only one in a string of fancy new resorts lined up. Including Sheldon Adelson’s three billion dollar Parisian resort due to open next month. Experts say the next big bump to watch for competition.