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Consultant forecasts new Sands China CEO to focus on cost-cutting, enhancing customer retention

February 7, 2024 Macau Casino & Hotel

Gaming analyst Sudhir Kalé believes that in his new role as CEO and President of Sands China, Grant Chum will be more involved and focus on increasing customer retention and cost reduction.

Chum’s expanded responsibilities, which include overseeing operations in Macau and Singapore, represent a comprehensive strategic approach to both markets.

Chum’s tenure is different from Wilfred Wong’s, his predecessor, who, according to Kalé, was less involved in day-to-day operations and lacked industry experience. Former government employee of Hong Kong and delegate to the National People’s Congress in Beijing, Wong placed more importance on relationships with other parties—particularly the Chinese Communist Party—than on working directly with the casino industry.

Kalé suggests that Chum’s increased responsibilities might indicate that he will eventually play a bigger part in the company, perhaps even taking on a leadership position at the regional level.

Looking forward, Kalé sees two key factors influencing Sands China’s Macau trajectory: an ongoing emphasis on cost-cutting strategies that were effective during the pandemic, as well as a focus on customer retention via superior experiences in comparison to competitors.

He stresses the need of offering excellent customer service, particularly in light of the hotels in Macau having similar physical characteristics. Even if resources like the Londoner have made progress, sustained success depends on consistently delivering excellent customer service.

The Sands China management change is in line with Las Vegas Sands’ stellar fourth-quarter 2023 results, which highlight the company’s strong performance in both its Macau and Singaporean operations. According to Kalé, the business has excelled forecasts, particularly in the mass market segment, which has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

Although the government is placing more emphasis on spending that isn’t related to gaming, Kalé stresses the long-term importance of industries like mass and premium mass. Due to regulatory restrictions, he acknowledges the need of non-gaming investments but issues a warning that some of them could not be profitable.

In addition, Kalé notes that past market predictions—such as the expansion of slot machines—have not materialized, underscoring the continued significance of table games in the sector.

Original story by: Asia Gaming Brief

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