Welcome to the all-new WGM!
It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the launch party of World Gaming magazine at The View at Sands Macao – but it was actually back in December 2009. It was another Sands venue, the Bellini lounge at Venetian Macau, where we recently held our fifth anniversary celebrations on December 3. The event was held in conjunction with the final of our Model Search II competition and our good friends at Bellini helped us do it in style as did our Model Search partner Annie Siara of AsBella Models. The beautiful winner was Macau’s own Miss Kooky Dela Cruz and you can see some great pics from the night by turning to page 40.
I clearly remember being told when we first came to Macau that it would take at least five years before we became part of the scene. Well we’ve stuck out those five years and while in some ways we’re still newbies in town, our humble magazine has grown from 60-something pages to over 130 and we’ve gone from a grand total of just three advertising clients in our first issue to having well over 30. We love every minute of being in Macau and plan to be here for many more years to come.
As we embark on our sixth year, it’s time to make some changes. Whilst our official name has been World Gaming, every man and his dog has referred to us as WGM for years and this seemed the right time to make the change official. We’ve also increased the quality of our cover by adding a matt finish and gold foil.
When we arrived on the scene Macau was all about gaming. And while gaming remains the cornerstone of the Macau scene, we’re seeing the government’s and the concessionaire’s efforts to diversify the economy to non-gaming industries starting to pay off. The House of Dancing Water is well established, fighting culture has taken off at the Venetian in the form of boxing and MMA, we seem to have new high-end restaurant offerings opening every month and the world’s biggest stars are adding Macau to their tours. When I tell people around the world I live in Macau, I don’t ever hear, “Where’s that?” anymore.
The non-gaming trend will be accelerated by all the “Cotai 2.0” openings starting this year. The combined effect of Galaxy II, Grand Waldo, Studio City, Wynn Palace, the Parisian, MGM Cotai, Lisboa Palace and Louis XIII will be an exponential increase in non-gaming offerings. In this vein you’ll see WGM moving in that direction too. While we’ll always be a gaming lifestyle magazine, there’s a lot of non-gaming culture that comes with that – wine, golf, cigars, whisky, restaurants, luxurious hotels and all the things we love to do. You’ll be seeing all of it and more in the pages of WGM in the future.
You’ll also be seeing more “Power People” interviews in WGM. We plan to bring you the movers and shakers of Macau like never before. And we kick off 2015 with an absolute coup for WGM – an exclusive one-on-one long format interview with non-other than the normally media shy Mr Alvin Chau, CEO of Macau’s most influential junket operator, Suncity Group. This is the first time Mr Chau, undeniably one of the biggest names in the Macau gaming industry, has sat down with any media outlet for such a wide-ranging interview. Suncity is responsible for more VIP rolling turnover than any other junket operator in Macau – so as its public face Alvin Chau is right up there with the likes of Sheldon Adelson, Lawrence Ho, Pansy Ho, Angela Leong, Francis Lui and Steve Wynn as Macau’s gaming industry leaders. Some would say with his VIP clubs being hosted by all six Macau concessionaires Mr Chau is in fact more influential than some of those big names. It was indeed a great honor to sit down with him and hear his thoughts on all things gaming and all things Macau, as well as ask him a more personal question or two. Turn to the next page for the interview.
Gazing into my crystal ball I see a big year coming up for WGM – so sit back, relax, grab that tea or coffee – and enjoy the very first issue of WGM for the year of the goat!
Follow the Dragon,
Andrew W Scott