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Casinos not enough to accommodate IR demand in Asia – top casino execs

July 13, 2023 Asia Casino & Hotel

While the Asian gaming market is growing, land-based casinos are not enough to meet demand according to a panel of gaming leaders during the Global Gaming Expo Asia in Macau.

Original story by Kelsey Wilhelm for Asia Gaming Brief

Despite the continuous growth and expanding jurisdictions where casino gaming is becoming legal, the supply of the Asian land-based gaming market is not nearly enough to meet the demand, according to some of the top gaming operators in the region.

“Obviously, there’s not enough casinos in Asia,” notes Ed Bowers, President and CEO of Global Development for MGM Resorts Japan.

Bowers was speaking at a panel on Tuesday at the Global Gaming Expo Asia (G2E), being held in Macau.

When questioned on the potential of the market, Bowers noted that the changing landscape in terms of policy would largely define how much growth is possible – eg if China ever chose to open up to gambling and opened 100 casinos it would largely increase the market.

But the growing expense of setting up something that truly creates an experience – an integrated resort, is becoming more prohibitive to pursue large scale projects.

“What used to cost $1 billion now costs $10 billion […] You have to find locations where you can afford to spend $10 billion and the market is large enough to be able to make a return on investment,” he states.

And this investment implies that casino patrons cannot be limited to foreigners only – as is largely the case in South Korea (except for Kangwon Land) and Vietnam (except for a few exceptions, also expected to expand).

“Because it’s so expensive now, you must have local gaming. You can’t spend this kind of money anymore with local gaming,” he notes.

The growth potential within the region was reiterated by David Sisk, Chief Operating Officer – Macau Resorts for Melco Resorts and Entertainment.

“We’ve only scratched the surface in Southeast Asia. There is growth out there, potential well beyond what we’ve seen,” notes the COO.

Sisk also highlighted that this growth would depend on the markets themselves and the government’s choices on regulations for what attributes IRs would need.

To learn read more about Sisk, Bowers and more Casino executives’ assessment on the region during the panel discussion,  read the original article by Kelsey Wilhelm here

G2E Asia in Macau continues through July 13th.

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