It could take five years for Macau’s latest gaming industry challenger, Taiwan, to see its first casino. There was much fanfare over the weekend when the Matsu island chain of Taiwan approved governmental casino plans by a 57-43 vote. This did little to impress prominent Macau analyst Grant Govertsen, from Union Gaming Group, who told Las Vegas Review Journal he thinks it’ll be half a decade before a casino is built.
“We would not expect integrated resort construction to begin until sometime in 2014,” Govertsen said. “Given the typical integrated resort build cycle of three years, we think 2017 is the earliest any integrated resort in Taiwan will open.”
The scramble amongst U.S. based casino business interests is likely to have already begun with Las Vegas Sands Corp and MGM Resorts International having, in the past, expressed an interest in markets beyond Macau. Govertsen thinks there will be just two resorts built in Taiwan and it looks like being a catfight to see who gets to build one.
Macau’s travel industry, meanwhile, isn’t worried about the impact the casino could have. Speaking to government-owned TV station TDM, Andy Wu Keng Kuong, head of the Macau Travel Industry Council stated: “Gaming companies in Macau have more advantages than newly established companies.”
If Taiwan does start to take Asian market share from Macau, the enclave has the perfect riposte to throw back at them – Spiderman. Well not exactly but creator Stan Lee, who was also responsible for the Hulk and X-Men as well, is devising a new rock opera that will be based in Macau. The 89-year-old will open “Yin Yang: The Battle of Tao” in a Macau theatre next year and he told the Sunday Morning Post: “It’s a different type of rock opera. It’s very big and the great difference between this is… I cannot explain this to you other than to say the audience itself is part of the story.”