Posts Tagged ‘Sands China’

Macau casino moguls lose big again

January 20, 2016

Forbes’ Hong Kong rich list for 2016 shows that Macau casino owners’ net worth fell billions due to the global gaming capital’s slump.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Macau casino revenue lowest since 2010

January 6, 2016

A dismal 2015 ended with Macau casino revenue down 34.3% from 2014, with December marking the global gaming capital’s 19th consecutive month of year on year declines. Last year’s $28.9 billion in gaming revenue – still well over four times the casino win of the Vegas Strip – was Macau’s lowest since 2010.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Macau goes French, 2016 hot for Manila, India

January 5, 2016

Sands China’s Parisian Macao being a big hit tops predictions for Asian gaming in 2016. A move up for Manila, Indians as a target market, Asian operators moving into Europe and Disney Shanghai as a travel disruptor are other stories to watch as this year unfolds.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

License expiration looms for Macau casinos

September 8, 2015

Along with falling revenue and billions invested in property expansion, license expiration threatens Macau casinos. In this game, authorities in Beijing and Macau hold all the cards.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

World first Planet J theme park landing in Macau

February 18, 2015

Coming soon to Sands Cotai Central: Planet J, a groundbreaking live-action-role-play theme park, combining physical and virtual challenges. It will supplement Macau’s family entertainment menu as the global gaming capital tries broaden its tourist appeal.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Despite casino slump, Macau shopping not dropping

December 9, 2014

Las Vegas Sands subsidiary Sands China’s big bet on Macau retailing keeps paying off, even as casino revenue slumps. Rival gaming operators hope to catch up when the new wave of resorts begins opening next year, but they’ve got a long way to go.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Macau casinos take record fall in October

November 7, 2014

With mainland China’s enduring anti-corruption drive spooking high rollers and mass market players facing a smoking ban in the same old casinos, Macau gaming revenue fell 23.2% in October from a year earlier, the largest drop on record. Third quarter casino company earnings held up, but gaming revenue appears heading its first down year since the industry was opened to competition in 2002.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Venetian Macao places Sheldon Adelson atop Asian Gaming 50 again this year

September 29, 2014

Venetian Macao is overwhelming, not necessarily in a good way. Check in and they expect you to drag your own bags to your room, most easily reached through the casino. Due to the resort’s huge size – it’s bigger than the Pentagon – getting anywhere is a pain, frequently starting with the walk from the elevator to your room. Rooms are generously sized and furnished, but there’s a step between the sleeping and sitting area that’s a broken toe or ankle waiting to happen. Despite those issues and many others, Venetian Macao is the main reason that Sheldon Adelson tops the Asian Gaming 50 from Inside Asian Gaming magazine again this year.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Sands Cotai opens in falling Macau tide

September 24, 2012

The world’s biggest Sheraton hotel opened at Sands Cotai Central last week, part of the Macau resort’s second phase that includes a South Pacific themed casino and dozens more retail shops. I covered the phase one opening in April, including an up close and personal encounter with Sheldon Adelson, the chairman of Sands China and its parent company, Las Vegas Sands.

I’ll be writing more about Sands Cotai Central (SCC) for Asia Times and about Macau casino trends for Macau Business magazine in the weeks ahead.

Until then, consider that SCC has opened into the teeth of a rare run of slowing casino revenue growth in Macau. The situation resembles conditions facing the 2009 opening of City of Dreams, SCC’s neighbor on the east side of Cotai’s main boulevard, across the Venetian Macao.

In 2009, the main problem was restricted visas for mainland travelers. In the three years since, Macau has become even more dependent on mainland visitors, and now it’s seeing slowing growth in step with China’s decelerating economy. For better or worse, analysts see Macau resorts becoming more closely tied to the mainland economy in the years ahead. Rather than spreading their bets, it seems Macau’s casinos have doubled down on the mainland.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Macau bribe tale winds toward Beijing, Vegas

July 18, 2012

Last month, just after the great and good of the casino industry gathered for Global Gaming Expo Asia in Macau, the Wall Street Journal showcased the world casino capital’s shady side. The newspaper reported that Macau lawyer and legislator Leonel Alves passed along a $300 million bribe request to casino operator Sands China from a “high ranking” Beijing official.

I wrote that the report raises more questions than it answers. Among other things, I suggested the Beijing angle on the bribe could be camouflage for local graft; Alves, who’s been all over the place in his explanations, said in a recent radio interview that there was a Macau developer involved. My Asia Times article also suggested potential legal troubles for Sands China and parent company Las Vegas Sands stemming from the incident, even though it’s clear that the proposed bribe was not paid.

Answers are emerging thanks to a ProPublica investigation of Alves and his relationship with Sands China. The probe leads straight to Sands China chairman, Las Vegas Sands founder and my press conference pal, Sheldon Adelson, a key Republican and Likud Party benefactor. Stay tuned.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com, follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.


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