It’s no secret that Las Vegas brick and mortar casinos have been expanding in international markets for years now. Many of the companies have seen slow growth in international markets due to bureaucratic issues. However, it appears that in some regions the bureaucratic issues may be coming to an end in the near future. The Chinese government hasn’t approved many new Macau casino projects in the past few years, but the government appears to be approving new projects again, which is a good sign.
Gaming revenues have been on the rise in Macau and were up 42% last year alone. There seems to be a steady increase of people in China with discretionary income that they can use towards gaming and vacations. Macau is the only region in China where it’s legal to operate a casino and gamble. Right now there is a land rush taking place in the Cotai District of Macau. Las Vegas Sands already operates a casino and resort in the district, but competitors are now getting the green light to move ahead with resorts.
The Chinese government just approved a new project by Wynn that should get underway shortly. Wynn is expected to invest a total of $4B roughly on the new resort casino and it should be finished in roughly 3 years. With Wynn receiving approval to start their new project in the Cotai District MGM expects the Chinese government to approve their project in the region. MGM wants to invest $2.5B in a new casino in the Cotai District, but they haven’t received approval for the project.
A lot of money is being invested into Macau and there is no doubt Macau is the new Vegas in the world. Macau casinos already turnover about 5x as much as Vegas Strip casinos and that number is only increasing by the year. Apart from Macau there are also a few other hotspots where gaming companies are willing to invest billions of dollars right now. With revenues dying in Vegas now is the time to be building future casino resorts in international markets.
Las Vegas Sands Corp wants to invest roughly $35B in Spain to build a mini Las Vegas for Europeans. Sheldon Adelson who is the CEO and Chairman has expressed interest in starting to build his mini Vegas in Spain. He said it would take anywhere from 5 – 10 years to build the entire complex, but once done it would be world class. Adelson appears to be doing his best to takeover the brick and mortar casino industry while other companies focus on online expansion.
MGM has also expressed interest recently in investing up to $6B on a new entertainment complex in Toronto. The new complex would be built down by the Habourfront and feature tons of amenities. MGM would build a world class entertainment complex that includes a casino, shopping mall, resort and much more. Some companies are looking to expand right now while the markets are still down and it could prove to payoff in the long-run for a few of the top companies.