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  1. #1
    MichaelCorfman's Avatar
    MichaelCorfman is offline GPWA Executive Director
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    Smile AiG - Growth in the Asian Market

    Well, it's taken me nearly two weeks to recover from my trip to Macau at the end of February to attend the Asian iGaming Congress and Expo. I've been to the other side of the worlds a few times (Japan, Korea, Australia), but never to China before. Let's just say I have a new perspective.

    The trip itself was pretty amazing. After a short plane ride from Boston to Newark, New Jersey, I boarded a non-stop flight to Hong Kong. We're talking about 16 hours in a single plane flight - A sunset, followed by a sunrise, followed by another sunset in a single flight. Definitely a first for me. And then there was the flight path - further north than I've ever been before.

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    Sunrise in the far North - Frozen Sea Ice

    Then, after landing, a wait of a couple hours before catching the hour ferry ride to Macau from the Hong Kong airport. Thus a bus ride to the Venitian Macau - my home for the next few days. The Venetian Casino-Hotel complex is HUGE - bigger than the Venetian in Vegas. It has 546,000 square feet of gaming space features 6,000 gaming machines and 870 table games. The property has eighteen restaurants, two bars, a hotel with 3,000 rooms, and a shopping mall with hundreds of stores.

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    The Ferry from Hong Kong arrives in Macau near the Sands - The Macau Venetian at Night

    Macau is growing by leaps and bounds. Last year the gaming revenue in Macau surpassed the Las Vegas strip. The level of construction in Macau is substantial. Below you can see a view of a dozen cranes involved in construction next to the Venetian and the nearby Grand Waldo Hotel at night.

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    Construction of new Casinos near the Macau Venetian - The nearby Grand Waldo Hotel

    The conference itself had 400 attendees - double the number there were last year. The Asian gaming market is huge, and there are a lot of folks who are very excited about the future of online gaming in this part of the world. One thing I can say - it will be very interesting to see how the marketplace evolves.

    On one hand the games are different, and the way money is handled poses a huge challenge. And the politics are very complicated, and not so friendly to outsiders. On the other hand, the potential market is huge and there is a well established culture of luck and fate, and betting is a part of the culture, although not the traditional casino games most common in the American and European marketplaces.

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    AiG congress session - Lunch sponsored by the World Mahjong Tour - The exhibit hall

    These are just a few of the pictures I took at the conference. There was a party, and the rooms inside the Venetian are very nice (they better be at over USD $300 per night for a standard room). To see the pictures above in a photo album where you can zoom in to see the details, and many of the other pictures I took, just follow the link to see my AiG photos on facebook.

    Of course, I spread the word about the GPWA while I was there, and a many of the attendees left with a copy of the GPWA Times magazine. As part of our relationship with Clarion Gaming, the GPWA was an official association sponsor of the event.

    Michael
    GPWA Executive Director, Casino City CEO, Friend to the Village Idiot

    Resources for Affiliates: iGamingDirectory.com, iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com, GamingMeets.com

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to MichaelCorfman For This Useful Post:

    ChrisSanderson (12 March 2008), GamTrak (12 March 2008), ntaus (13 March 2008)

  3. #2
    ChrisSanderson is offline New Member
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    well established culture of luck and fate, and betting is a part of the culture, although not the traditional casino games most common in the American and European marketplaces.
    Several things we've seen that is very predominant at Asian casinos, especially in Macau

    - Most of the games are games of luck, very few skill based games
    - Slots are a tiny part of the floor space and even then barely used
    - Older folks don't like to use the electronic versions of the games they play, they want to play with a dealer, even in games such as Casino Wars. It is very much the "Fate" of them versus the dealer...machines don't have fate/luck.

    Cheers

    chris

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    Spearmaster is offline In Memoriam, 1964-2010
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    Welcome to GPWA, Chris!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisSanderson
    - Older folks don't like to use the electronic versions of the games they play, they want to play with a dealer, even in games such as Casino Wars. It is very much the "Fate" of them versus the dealer...machines don't have fate/luck.
    Believe it or not, this is finally beginning to change. On my trip in December, I stayed at the StarWorld - and there were a few older people who had preferred roulette machines (mind you, these were live roulette terminals) - they didn't want to fight to spread chips all over the table, they preferred the comfort of their own space, and always had a dirty look on their face when someone either sat down at their machine, or even NEXT to them, almost if that person were intruding on their personal space.

    Must do dinner one day, let me know when you're in this part of town

    Michael - the Venetian Macau will easily be the largest in the world when they finish constructing the rest of the facilities and rooms. You wouldn't happen to have those details, would you? Otherwise I will try to dig them up...

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    ChrisSanderson is offline New Member
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    Hi,

    It's a very slow and gradual change, very small minority from what I experienced from my last trip to Macau. The electronic roulette tables do seem to get more people than anything else that is automated/electronic at present

    Cheers

    chris

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    Spearmaster is offline In Memoriam, 1964-2010
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    It's happening faster than you think... the StarWorld had two roulette tables in late November, and had just installed the electronic terminals in a different location.

    In December - the two tables were gone in favor of the electronic terminals.

    StarWorld is the largest of the local operations and attracts a pretty big crowd. Well ok, perhaps the deformed pineapple... er... Grand Lisboa... has more. But maybe StarWorld is just being innovative - they were also the only casino that I know of that installed the Pokertek tables.

    Last month - at the Venetian, there are a number of roulette tables, but not overly busy. They don't have any with electronic terminals, but they have the standalone automated roulette wheels as well, and they weren't doing that well either.

    Slots are picking up. Still slow, but more and more locals are starting to try the slots. The worst thing, however, is that many people still play one line Drives me batty... in most casinos they are stuck in the worst locations and as you pointed out, take very little of the total space. In the Venetian, however, the slots take up a lot more space, but I think tables still occupy roughly 80% of the space.

    Nevertheless, as long as the slots are set as tight as they are in Macau, they will never be a major source of income. I could walk into the worst/tightest ripoff joint on the Strip (the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood) and still do way better than any casino in Macau.

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    vinism's Avatar
    vinism is offline Editor Emeritus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spearmaster View Post
    Michael - the Venetian Macau will easily be the largest in the world when they finish constructing the rest of the facilities and rooms. You wouldn't happen to have those details, would you? Otherwise I will try to dig them up...

    Consider this a proxy for Michael

    When it's all said and done, the Venetian Macao will have 1,000,000 square feet in convention space, 546,000 square feet of gambling space, 3,000 hotel rooms and 18 restaurants. It's also the second-largest building in the world.

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