MGM Cotai opened its doors yesterday, with casino floor traffic above expectations following the grand opening ceremony.
The opening night ceremony was an all business affair. Officiating guests included Macau chief executive Mr. Chui Sai on, along with key Macau government officials and executives from MGM Resorts.
The low key event, was followed by a strong flow of visitors keen to see what the Lion would bring just a head of CNY. The non-gaming offerings were also a draw, with food & beverage outlets at two-thirds capacity most of the night. Janice Wong’s pastry shop was a success among visitors.
Punters were also drawn to the premium gaming areas and gaming tables.
MGM Cotai is the latest addition to the MGM portfolio in China. Designed as the “jewelry box” of Cotai, it plans to offer approximately 1,400 hotel rooms and suites, meeting space, high end spa, retail offerings and food and beverage outlets and a casino.
On Wednesday, analyst Chelsea Tam said the opening marks the reverse of the recent market share loss trend for MGM Cotai, and an increase in competitiveness of Cotai East versus the Macau Peninsula.
“MGM Cotai will expand narrow-moat MGM China’s gaming tables by 29 percent and hotel room count by 238 percent at its full capacity, giving the group more complementary room inventory to attract high-end customers,” said Tam.
MGM Cotai was launched at 70 percent capacity and no junkets. Table allocation was below expectations. The stand alone VIP Villas area will come online at a later date which will allow the property a second wind down the line.
In terms of ramp up, Tam said that MGM Cotai’s ramp up speed should be “decent” as the adjacent opening of Wynn Palace in 2016 ramped up strongly.
It’s promixity to the established City of Dreams will benefit the property as it has a similar premium mass focus.
“Given Wynn Palace and MGM Cotai are new properties and City of Dreams is undergoing renovation, we expect City of Dreams to lose some traffic and revenue opportunities to these two new properties in the near term. Given the recovery of the gaming market and the decent accessibility, we expect MGM to see faster ramp up compared with the initial launch of Wynn Palace,” said Tam.