Despite continuing strong performances from casinos in Macau, one casino operator is looking into the future with an eye towards acquiring more assets in hopes of developing its non-gambling businesses.
That’s what Galaxy Entertainment appears to be doing these days after chairman Lu Che-Woo said that the company would improve its facilities for general visitors.
“We will opt for more balanced development, strengthening the attractions for general visitors while enhancing facilities for exhibitions and business travellers,” Lui said, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.
“We won’t just rely on VIP gamblers. I think our rivals are also following this trend.”
Galaxy’s expansion plans already got its feet off the ground last month when the company acquired the Grand Waldo from Get Nice Holdings Ltd. for HK$3.25 billion ($419 million). Though the company has yet to decide on its plans for the new acquisition, it wouldn’t be surprising if it positioned Grand Waldo to focus on the mass gambling market in Macau while Galaxy Macau would be catered to the VIPs and the high-rollers. The latter, itself, is in the midst of an enormous expansion plan with Galaxy already spending most of its HK$3.6 billion on the second-phase expansion of the integrated resort and casino. According to Galaxy, most of the funds went to improving its decor and facilities to “better cater to market demand”.
Gambling expansion is also in the Galaxy’s oven. According to chairman Lui, the company is looking into adding more slot machines for the mass market in light of current trends that saw turnover from high rollers drop by 2 percent at Galaxy Macau and a worrisome 15 percent at Starwood Hotel & Casino.
All that being said, the company does have its eye on making even more acquisitions with “land” being on top of its list. “Land is the most difficult thing to come by,” Lui said. “If we find any good investment opportunity around Galaxy facilities in Cotai, we will expand,” said Francis Lui.
If it did decide to make any purchases, Galaxy Entertainment is confident that it can do so without much problems. After all, the chairman has said that it has HK$16 billion of cash in its hand. If it sees a deal worth making – and worth the price of acquisition – it would do so in full confidence.
For all the clout and revenue gambling churns out regularly in Macau, Galaxy Entertainment nonetheless understands that it’s got to diversify the eggs on its basket in order to give it some business flexibility for the future.