Everyone is waiting to see how Melco Crown's $2.1bn property, City of Dreams, is doing.  The preliminary revenue figures will be an important indication.  After the first two weeks of June, the marketshares are as follows, according to industry "insiders": SJM Holdings had around 31 % of the market; Las Vegas Sands had 27 %; Wynn Resorts had 14.5 %; Galaxy Entertainment had 13.3 %; Melco Crown had 9.9 %; and MGM Grand Paradise had 4.1 %. 

Melco Crown had around an 11% share last month.  The other big movers were LVS (up from 21% last month) and MGM (down from 8% last month).  Considering that the property has only been open for two weeks, it is worth considering the impact of luck and the volatility that may be factored into revenue figures over such a short period. 



Destination-Macau strikes a more negative note than the SCMP on the second week of revenue figures for CoD.  They suggest a total for June of MOP 100 and state that it would be a "disastrous" first month for the project if that was the case. 

Criticisms of the property cited in the article include design, details of finishing, poor service, and a lack of effective marketing.  The most likely reason, suggests,, is that the property is opening "at a difficult time and in a difficult market".  Also, the author sees brand loyalty as a new but pertinent factor in Macau gaming and sees it as being increasingly difficult to break as the market matures.  In addition, the market is simply not growing.  The swine flu and central government restrictions have exacerbated what is usually a weak month anyway.



The number of additional visitors attracted to the Venetian by the recent Indian Film Academy awards turned out to be nowhere near the tens of thousands that had been conjectured by the organizers. Although overall retail sales were apparently up by about 15 per cent, retailers in Grand Canal Shoppes said it had made no difference to their business. Moreover, F&B managers were dismayed to discover that even the in-house official invitees took most of their meals in Venetian function rooms.

However, for Macau as a whole, Indian visitors are up nearly 30% y-o-y for the first half of '09.  If the TV reruns help to bolster this growth, then the ROI from the Venetian for the rest of Macau will look a lot better.



Macau reported its first confirmed case of the swine flu yesterday, with a Filipino man who arrived at the airport from Manila.  Health officials are confident that the man's positive test is not an issue for the community as he was stopped and tested in the airport.

Lei Chin-ion, director of the Health Bureau, said Macau had mounted a strong defence against the spread of the A (H1N1) virus from other regions.

But he said he could not rule out the possibility of people carrying the virus but not showing symptoms having entered the city.  Mr Lei also said that it is unnecessary to shut down casinos that have good hygiene standards, even if they had been visited by people confirmed as carrying the H1N1 virus.

An Indian man who had stayed at the Venetian casino resort last week for a film festival returned to Honk Kong on Sunday and tested positive for swine flu on Tuesday.  The authorities have asked casinos and hotel to ban people with a fever and carry out regular cleaning and disinfections.



The Portuguese national airline, TAP, says it is planning to sell its entire (15%) stake in Air Macau.  The Portuguese may end up being diluted out of the business by Air China, the dominant shareholder that is about to inject nearly half a billion patacas into Air Macau to keep it going.

It will be interesting to see if other significant shareholders, like EVA Airways from Taiwan and Stanley Ho's STDM, will match Air China's move or will step aside and allow the Chinese company to take it all. 

Also, Viva Macau is planning to fly to Mumbai later this year. Once the International Indian Film academy awards are broadcast there, demand from India is expected to grow further from the 30% y-o-y jump in visitation seen in 1H'09.



The Cirque of the Sun opened the Zaia show in the new $150m theatre at the Venetian.  The attendance numbers have been disappointing.  This article applauds the organizations humility in vowing not to begin another permanent show on Cotai.  The company has realized that Chinese customers are different to those where most of Cirque's permanent shows are based, in Las Vegas.  As Cirque adopts the style of the shows, and the number of them they perform, to suit the Chinese audience, the attendance should pick up.  They have learned from the mistaken "build it and they will come" approach that they assumed initially.



The Mandarin Oriental is set to become the "Grand Lapa" on August 1. Lapa is Portuguese for "cave" and has been used in naming some famous neighborhoods throughout cities in the former colonial empire, such as Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paolo.

The hotel is now owned by Stanley Ho's STDM and Pansy Ho's Shun Tak.  Most of its customers come through junket operator Jimei.  Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will continue to manage the hotel for the next two years.

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