Sands China sees leisure as savior

Feb 16, 2015 5:12 PM

While Beijing focuses on pushing Macau’s casino industry into an “interim development period,” Sands China, the majority-owned gaming division of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), has been promoting its leisure destination appeal.

Currently, Sands China and Hong Kong-based Planet J are pioneering its family entertainment features in a new concept that will be part of its Sands Cotai Central development on Macau’s Cotai Strip that is expected to be ready by the summer of 2016.

The company has described Planet J as “a truly new revolutionary model, breaking out from entertainment offered by conventional theme parks.”

Meanwhile, the company’s Venetian Macao is featuring a “Seasons of Prosperity” fiesta in the resort’s outdoor area to welcome residents and visitors coming to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Featured are events such as a Chinese New Year-themed mini model exhibition, a 3D light and sound spectacular, and the “Creative Creatures – Art and the Chinese Zodiac” goat sculpture exhibition.

A current highlight, that will continue through March 1, is a Chinese New Year-themed all-day exhibition with detailed mini models depicting scenes in both Macau and Hong Kong from the 1960s to 1980s, showing how the event was celebrated and the rituals that were observed during that period.

An added surprise, notes the property, is the appearance each afternoon of the “God of Fortune” at the lagoon area.

These attractions, noted government officials, are needed to offset the recent loss of VIP gamblers and the eight months of decline in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR).

This GGR “adjustment is still within expectations,” Li Gang, director of the Central People’s Government Liaison Office for Macau, was quoted as saying last week. And, Li said, “It is a very good base for the stable development of the gaming industry in the future.”

Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.

Contact Ray at [email protected].