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Crown Bounced From VIP Top Slot

Crown Macau has dropped from its AMAX fueled yet temporary stranglehold on the top VIP slot.

Melco Crown has slumped to fifth place after it lost patrons to its rivals Wynn Resorts and Galaxy. The VIP casino only managed to hold on to 8 per cent of the Macau market, well down from the 18 per cent it had in April, losing its perch as the third most successful casino operator.

Again... visa restrictions? Economy? or something else... high rollers didn't like to play/stay at Crown and jumped ship to the less edgy, yet cool comfortable environs at Wynn?

Perhaps some of our insiders can shine a little light...

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Comments & Discussion:

I have been mulling this over, and frankly the only observation I can offer is their new (and not alone).

Most of the established stable players have been gobbled up by the others. The Crown's unprecedented opening of credit indicates to me they could not get enough stable junket action as the others. So when the economy starts to get choppy, these fair-weather gamblers leave.

One could say the same about the MGM Grand. Performance has been nowhere near what was expected, and they're playing management musical chairs in response. I think whatever the Crown has caught, the MGM has it as well.

I am not really a big believer in the "visa restriction" theory. I would make a difference of a few percentage points, but not much. ITS CHINA GUYS! This is a country where you can put plastic chemicals into baby formula and pay a local "public safety" official to look the other way. You expect me to believe that he a guy who can afford to plop US$500 a hand on a mini B/C cannot slip the same $500 into the hands some some local "public safety" official and get that visa stamp?

That said, some of the locals are worried, and there is a bit of pressure to build up non-Chinese regional business.

I have to agree with Dramman, I think the visa restrictions is just an excuse that the casinos are trotting out to cover the fact that Macau isn't a "field of dreams" and the if you build it they will come theory isn't quite true.
Just because you fly or ship a high roller in doesn't mean he is going to stay in your property.
The players on the junket lists aren't exclusive to one property and neither are the junkets.
I don't think there is any loyalty from the junkets towards the casino operators - why would there be, as long as you lose and they get their cut, why would they care which property you lose it in.
A bit of gossip - word on the street is that MGM are about to lay off a heap of their imported staff.

From what I understand, around August - September, AMAX and Crown began experimenting with lower commission rates to see how their sub-junkets would react in a commission cap environment. At the same time, MGM and StarWorld RAISED their commission rates during the month in an effort to 'buy' junkets right before the commission caps were in place.

Thus, the figure you see here may only be a temporary shift in market share due to Crown lowering commission and MGM StarWorld raising their commissions in the same months.

The big question is whether these subjunkets will return to Crown once the commission caps are in place (apparently they should be effective starting this month...but no news yet...).

In addition, Crown had a very low hold rate, apparently below 2%, so this also caused their market share to fall.

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