Macau Government Responds to Criticism from Steve Wynn

Published on Tuesday 20th October 2015, 9:53 am
Posted in: Casino Business , Casino New Openings

Casino Business

The government of Macau has responded to criticism from Wynn Resorts owner Steve Wynn, who lashed out earlier this week against what he believes are unfair practices in the region. “In my 45 years of experience, I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Wynn to reporters during a conference call.

Wynn Resorts posted a 37.9 percent decrease in net revenue from their business in Macau, earning just $996.3 million in the third quarter of the year as opposed to $1.3 billion in 2014. A new Wynn Resorts property is scheduled to open in Macau in spring 2016, but government officials have not informed the company about how many gaming tables the new business will be allowed to have. Competing casinos in Macau have faced similar problems, with the Melco Crown Studio City casino granted just 200 gaming tables three weeks before it opened for business.

Wynn responded, saying that “We cannot train people and maintain service levels in the non-casino and casino areas, when we don’t the time to train our people. So the notion of finding out how many tables you’re going to get three weeks before you’re opening is outrageous and ridiculous.”

A statement on the Macau government’s official website made it clear that their existing policies on gambling and labour practices needed to be respected by operators, adding that the laws in place are “widely” supported by residents of the special administrative region. The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Leong Vai Tac, said in the statement that “the Government expressed regrets over an opinion from a casino operator - reported by news media outside Macao [sic] - relating to the city’s gaming policy.” However, the Secretary also maintained that the strict guideline for no more than three percent year-on-year growth in the gaming industry would still need to be followed, and that the government hoped that operators would heed their advice to “provide additional non-gaming elements in new projects” to create a diversified economy for Macau.

The casino industry in Macau has been in serious decline for the past 16 months as Beijing cracks down on corruption across China. Previously, high rollers from throughout the country visited Macau on a regular basis to play at the many casinos on offer, but President Xi Jinping’s efforts to eliminate graft and corruption among high-ranking officials seems to have scared off many of Macau’s VIPs.

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