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May 24

MacauAccording to some industry experts, casinos in Macau are becoming old news to many gamblers because they feel they’ve “been there and done that”. Ben Cavender, who belongs to China Market Research, feels that the Macau casinos need to offer something new to keep attracting visitors. He believes many Chinese residents may now start heading to other destinations such as the Philippines and Singapore because casinos there are serving up something that is seen as interesting and new.

Cavender said that the Macau casinos are great for VIPs and high rollers however they should offer more non-gaming choices for the middle class visitors. He said there are some new resorts being erected on Cotai and that should be a big help, but at the moment families and those people who don’t want to gamble don’t really have any other activities to enjoy.

Frank Fahrenkopf, who is the outgoing head of the American Gaming Association, said that some people think an increase in competition will negatively impact the existing casinos. But he feels the existing businesses in Macau shouldn’t be too concerned about nearby competition since they can easily adapt and evolve and be more creative in their offerings. Some casinos have taken notice of this and have now started to host professional boxing events. Filipino star Manny Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Brandon Rios in Macau on November 23.

There are others who believe that advanced technology will dictate the future of the gaming industry. Professor I. Nelson Rose is one of these. He told the press that Macau would be in a better position if their casinos followed Singapore’s lead of using (ETG) electronic table games. Rose said some of these games, such as electronic baccarat, can accompany between 60 and 100 players at a time. He added that Singapore utilizes more technology while Macau sees a slower pace to its games. He said casinos will make more money if things are sped up and more bets can be made each hour.

Rose mentioned that Las Vegas Sands uses stadium baccarat at its casinos in Macau and the volume of betting is increased on the tables. In addition, the stadium option is counted as just one table. This is a bonus since there is a limit on the number of tables allowed at Macau casinos. However, at the moment there is a dispute between an electronic game manufacturer called LT Game and the other gaming companies.

LT Game is a part of Paradise Entertainment in Hong Kong. Last year LT Game got a court order to prevent SHFL Entertainment from introducing electronic live-dealer baccarat as the company claimed it owned the patent to the games. In Macau it’s a criminal offense to commit patent infringement. The matter is now in the hands of Macau’s legal system. However, LT Game has admitted they don’t have a monopoly when it comes to electronic multi-gaming. According to SHFL, they believe the dispute will come to a peaceful ending and all parties will be satisfied.

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written by Stefan

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