The first of two Playboy clubs opened in Macau this week on the top floor of the Sands Macao. In addition to waitresses with the trademark bunny tails on their arses, the club will feature gambling facilities and sell branded merchandise such as clothes and jewelry. Playboy is set to launch a second club in Macau in 2012, although this one will be a stand-alone 30k sq. foot mansion on the Cotai Strip.
Although Playboy is erecting clubs in more traditional markets such as London (the site of the original Playboy club in 1966), China is the company’s fastest-growing market, with some 300 licensed stores hawking men’s apparel and other Playboy-branded goods already operating in the country. The company is so bullish on China, it hopes to double its sales over the coming three years. Accordingly, Playboy’s club in Macau is doing its best to avoid being seen as foisting Western tastes on the locals, putting an emphasis on stocking the bar with local intoxicants (products, not people) and planning events around traditional Chinese festivals.
Timing is everything, so Playboy must be hoping a little added luck will come its way in 2011, what with it being the Chinese Year of the Rabbit and all. Similarly, backers of horse racing in mainland China are hoping the authorities will bow to reason and let them offer proper racetrack wagering by 2014, the Year of the Horse. Guess that means Calvin Ayre will have to wait until 2018 (the Year of the Dog) for the Bodog Brand’s Asian-facing licensee Bodog88 to be crowned the region’s dominant online gaming firm. Oh, well… it’s a serious prize, so we assume it’ll be worth waiting for.