Gaming operators have without a doubt taken notice at the significant decline in growth in Atlantic City and the lukewarm revenues in Las Vegas. What is turning heads and drawing attention from operators is the booming Asian market, particularly in Macau and the instant success that Singapore experienced shortly after allowing the casino business in its borders.
Things have gone so well, that places like Macau find themselves in a balancing act to limit table growth.
But with Singapore off limits until 2017, there are other hot spots in Asia that gaming operators will no doubt look for their next place of conquest. One of the main reasons that many of the Asian casinos are doing so well, particularly those in Macau, like the Sands is because of their clientele.
Two words describe most of the clientele: High rollers- with generations of flow to the point where “money ain’t a thang.”
Other Asian countries aren’t blind to the potential. Following the natural and nuclear disasters and the strain it placed on the country’s economy, Japan has proposed legislation that would allow casino gambling in a capacity and structure similar to what Singapore has implemented. The legislation includes things like an entry fee for locals to encourage more foreigner play.
Taiwan has also passed legislation to legalize casinos in the near future and is likely to seek bids from major operators relatively soon, that is, if it can get around the efforts of its opposition.
Areas like South Korea have potential and in Vietnam, already MGM Resorts is in the process of building an integrated resort that will be the centerpiece of a $4.2 billion development on the South China Sea coast.
Even in Thailand, the Government Lottery Office (GLO) has submitted a proposal for the setting up of a casino in Thailand for the government to consider.
If the global economy continues to drag its feet, it’s a growing possibility that more Asian locations will push for legislation to get a piece of the casino business revenues.