Macau operators head back to China

Written by Ben Blaschke

Macau’s concessionaires have begun moving staff back into China following the arrest of 18 Crown Resorts employees six weeks ago. But Crown’s main competitor in Australia, Star Entertainment Group, is holding off on joining them.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review (AFR), Sands China, MGM and Galaxy are among a group of operators to have re-started marketing activity in China recently after earlier concerns that the Crown arrests may have been part of a wider crackdown by the Chinese government.

“The risks doing business in China are high but the financial rewards are even higher and it was only a matter of time before casino operators decided it was safe to go back into the water,” the AFR said.

“Sources say large operators such as Las Vegas Sands Corp, MGM Grand and Galaxy Entertainment have quietly relaxed an earlier decision to cease marketing activity in China.”

However, Star Entertainment – operator of Sydney’s The Star as well as integrated resorts in Brisbane and the Gold Coast – aren’t ready to follow suit just yet. The AFR said the company was, “closely monitoring what the Macau operators are doing. However, it could be months before the company decides to put people back on the ground in mainland China even though it believes its staff were operating firmly within the law there.”