Sands China says it is committed to develop non-gaming projects in Macau.
The president of Sands China has stated that Macau needs to enhance its non-gaming offerings in order to appeal to a wider range of international visitors.
Wilfred Wong, the president and executive director of Sands China, is advocating for the expansion of Macau’s economy beyond gaming. He has emphasized the need to develop non-gaming projects to attract a larger number of international visitors to the region.
During a business gathering organized by the British Chamber of Commerce in Macau, Wilfred Wong expressed his concerns about the excessive reliance on gaming for the territory’s future development. He highlighted that Macau is the only region in China where casinos are legal, and the gaming industry has expanded rapidly over the past decade. As a result, casino revenues now make up over 80% of the government’s revenue, which is not a sustainable long-term strategy for economic growth.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Macau’s gaming industry, with casino revenues plunging by more than 90% in 2020. In 2022, Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) dropped by 51.4% compared to the previous year, reaching MOP42.19bn (US$5.25bn) for the full year. This figure represents only 14% of the pre-pandemic levels in 2019, and it is the lowest yearly figure since 2004.
The government of Macau has been advocating for economic diversification in response to the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the gaming industry. Wilfred Wong emphasized that the casino operators in Macau are required to invest up to MOP120bn under their new 10-year gaming concessions, with a majority of the investment allocated towards developing non-gaming projects.
As reported by Macao News, Wilfred Wong stated that Sands China is dedicated to supporting the government’s vision of turning Macau into a global tourism and leisure hub. He highlighted the shortage of hotel rooms in Macau, which could hinder the growth of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) tourism, pointing out that Macau has around 40,000 hotel rooms compared to Singapore’s 60,000. However, he expressed his optimism about the future of Macau, saying that he believes that “the worst is over” for the region.
Sands China expands entertainment partnership with Star CM Holdings
Sands China has revealed its plans to expand its existing partnership with Star CM Holdings, a Chinese operator of variety shows, to enhance its range of high-profile entertainment events. The two companies have been working together since 2012, and they have successfully completed more than 20 projects together.
Under the expanded partnership, Sands China and Star CM Holdings will collaborate on producing large-scale entertainment projects that will involve live performances, interactive experience shows, and television and online coverage. These projects will include the latest annual editions of the China Music Awards and Sing! China Macao Concert, as well as Star Street Dance Gala 2023.