Wynn bows to wisdom of the Orient

Nov 4, 2008 5:09 PM

Gaming Insider by Phil Hevener |

Steve Wynn spoke like the guys from Beijing were hanging on his every word, soaking up all the implications, every nuance.

And maybe they were.

So Steve was speaking very carefully as he discussed the recent restrictions on travel to Macau from the Chinese mainland and their dampening impact on business. Here’s a bit of what Wynn had to say during a recent telephone conference with gaming analysts.

"We are very fortunate, privileged and grateful to be invited into the People’s Republic of China," he said. "It was the greatest break that any company ever could have had in this industry. We have benefited beyond words by the opportunity to be there."

Which brought him to his stress on the importance of listening. The most recent message, according to Wynn, was that Macau development needed to slow down.

"The cost of living is escalating too rapidly … The regular citizens are finding it difficult to pay for increasing rents and apartments. There is a squeeze on the cost of living."

So the decision was made to take it easy, slow things down for a while.

"We listen to that," Wynn said, "because that is what you are supposed to do in China, listen … We conform and we slow down. We don’t get excited about it. That is part of the game. That is the business there. You are part of a bigger picture. You are part of a program that involves more than just your business week to week."

His implication being that when the central government is ready to step on the gas again so far as Macau development goes, the Wynn organization will be quick to respond.

Because, as Wynn put it, they have discovered the importance in China of listening.