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Studio City Casino Opens As Macau Gaming Revenues Decline

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Courtesy Studio City Macau

Macau's latest casino to open is the $3.2 billion Studio City. The resort was built by Melco Crown Entertainment.

As gambling revenues continue their decline in Macau, casino boss Lawrence Ho has done something almost unimaginable – he’s opened a new casino-resort.

Not only did he open the Hollywood-inspired Studio City hotel during a downturn, the casino doesn’t even have a V.I.P. gambling room.

So is Lawrence Ho a brilliant gaming executive, taking advantage of a down market?

Or, is there a real possibility that Studio City will struggle to make money without attracting high rollers and the billions they spend?

Kate O'Keeffe with the Wall Street Journal told KNPR's State of Nevada that the new resort has several non-gaming elements, much like casinos in Las Vegas now feature.

"What Lawrence Ho told me at the opening was even though a lot of these non-gaming amenities don't necessarily make any money they are still a positive because they can differentiate the property and provide a competitive advantage," O'Keefe said. 

Standing out in a crowded market is even more important now as the Macau market suffers through what O'Keeffe calls an unprecedented downturn.

"He did joke about the fact that his opening at the worse possible time, but then he remembered that he had also opened another property in 2009," O'Keeffe said of her conversation with Ho, "He was kind of laughing at his terrible timing." 

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KNPR's State of Nevada
Sep 09, 2015

Can Macau Be More Like Las Vegas?

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Kate O’Keeffe, reporter, Wall Street Journal.

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