24 October 2016
Steve Wynn said the Macau government approved fewer gaming tables for Wynn Palace than the company wanted. Photo: Bloomberg
Steve Wynn said the Macau government approved fewer gaming tables for Wynn Palace than the company wanted. Photo: Bloomberg

Wynn says new Macau resort definitely for adults

Macau is trying to reinvent itself into a family-friendly playground for tourists in the wake of declining casino revenues.

But gaming mogul Steve Wynn, who will open another mega resort in the former Portuguese enclave on Aug. 22, wants to make it clear that his new gambling and entertainment mecca is “for adults”.

“There are better places for kids than Macau and Las Vegas,” Wynn told Bloomberg in an interview in Macau.

“All of these convention, meeting space, entertainment are pitched at 21-year-olds or above.”

At US$4.2 billion, Wynn Palace is the billionaire’s most expensive project to date, featuring air-conditioned gondolas circling a lake with a US$100 million water fountain show synchronized to music, Bloomberg reports.

The spa offers a US$450 facial using gold-leaf and crushed diamonds.

About US$200 million in art and Chinese antiques, including a quartet of rare 18th century Qing Dynasty vases, are displayed throughout the property.

Officials in Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal, have sought to push operators to build resorts that offer more entertainment options aside from gambling.

Gambling revenue in the city plunged for the 26th straight month in July following China’s crackdown on corruption that has scared off high-stakes VIP gamblers.

But the 74-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts Ltd. insists on playing the game the way he knows best, which is to serve up luxury to guests.

Wynn Macau Ltd. (01128.HK) shares have risen about 38 percent this year, while parent Wynn Resorts has gained about 50 percent, surging ahead of benchmark indexes amid anticipation of a looming recovery for Macau.

Unlike Wynn, casino companies from Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (06883.HK) to Sheldon Adelson’s Sands China Ltd. (01928.HK) have rushed to emphasize how their projects are geared to attract recreational gamblers and their families.

The operators are seeking diversification and more so-called mass-market guests as the number of high rollers who splash out millions of dollars on each gambling visit have declined.

The Macau government approved 100 new gaming tables for Wynn Palace at its debut, with another 50 to be allocated in the next two years, fewer than the company wanted, according to Wynn.

To make up the difference, Wynn Macau will transfer 250 tables from its existing casino resort.

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