Excuse Me While I Call Bullshit on Pansy Ho
MGM Grand Macau's grand opening is only days away and their hype machine has begun to trot out a bunch of stories to the press. These stories include speculation about their plans for Cotai (apparently, they have funding and a site, but no set site plans) and Pansy Ho's assertion that MGM will be the epicenter for VIP action in Macau.
Excuse me while I pull out my seldom used bullshit card.
Ahem. Is this mic on? Uh... Bullshit!
Unless I've misread or misunderstood all of the reports about Crown Macau snagging a massive percentage of the VIP junket business over the past four or five months, Ms. Ho's claim that MGM will be the "centre of activity for high-rolling gamblers" appears to be a bit of an overly optimistic marketing sound bite straight from the Karl Rove school of Molding Public Perception. It will be interesting to see whether or not Ms. Ho has a laminated George W. Bush edition, commemorative Get Out Of Bullshit Free Card stashed somewhere in her purse. (Hint: it's stuck between the Wynn Macau Red Card and Hotel Lisboa room key). As much as I doubt its existence, I take great joy in being proved wrong, so let's do a little lint diving and fish that baby out, I wanna see it.
Yes, there will be VIP high-rollers at MGM Grand Macau. Yes, the MGM Grand Macau will snag a bunch of players from StarWorld, Wynn, Venetian and SJM's joints. Yes, the MGM Grand Macau will be a gorgeous resort. Yes, I'm going to stay there next time I'm in Macau. However, Ms. Ho's hyperbolic assertion that MGM Grand Macau will suddenly trump all comers - recent, later and legacy - and instantly become the 'go-to joint' for high end baccarat play is hopeful at best.
Buried at the bottom of the Bloomberg attributed article that the above quote was culled from further underscores my point.
MGM Grand Macau, located two blocks from the Wynn Macau casino, will rely on junket operators to lure VIP gamblers, defined by the Macau government as those that gamble at least one million patacas per trip, in return for a percentage of the amount they gamble as commissions.
In a different article covering the same press conference, MGM Grand President Bob Moon had a more realistic view about the new MGM Grand Macau. Take it away Bob...
With the tourism sector burgeoning in Macau, MGM Mirage is determined to create with Ms. Ho a brand new experience for tourists coming to see the new Macau
I really like Bob Moon. Everything he's said has been very spot on. The Terry Lanni method of direct realistic hopeful optimism has definitely rubbed off on Mr. Moon.