In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Stephanie Raquel, Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen shares his thoughts on how Macau can keep its vitality going despite the challenges it is facing right now.
Go big or go home.
That’s Grant Govertsen’s advice to casino operators in Macau.
Thanks to Beijing’s new policies, the city state is currently experiencing a downturn. But that maybe all for the best, according to the Union Gaming analyst, since Macau’s customers now are different from the customers 10 years ago.
“The customer is changing, and it’s changing a lot quicker than the casinos expected that to initially happened, but obviously, it’s much more mass market focused customers rather than VIP,” Govertsen told CalvinAyre.com.
The key, he said, is to find an offering “above and beyond casino gaming” that will keep the customers coming to the city state.
“Obviously, they do enjoy that, but there has to be other catches to get them to come to Macau, to get them to bring their wife and the children, etc., to make Macau more of a, not necessarily Vegas-like destination, but kind of the same concept where they’re coming for more than gambling,” Govertsen said.
It will take the city state “some number of years and a lot of experimentation” to get to that place, just like Las Vegas, which has evolved from a gambling town into an entertainment destination.
“[Las Vegas’s] majority of revenues came from gambling, that’s why people went to Las Vegas more than any other reason. And as they went and kind of pioneered this integrated resort or this entertainment resort concept, you saw that fundamental shift begin to occur and so now Vegas is known much more for entertainment and having fun and for beverage than it is for gambling,” the analyst noted.
But just having dozens of world class night clubs also won’t cut it.
“It’s going to be imperative on Macau to figure out how they do something at a larger scale that will really bring the people in, but again, it comes down to what does the customer want and I don’t think, quite frankly, the casinos here know what the answer is yet and I’m not sure the customers know exactly what they want as well,” Govertsen said.