The Eiffel Tower has been covered more times than “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. There’s one in Mexico, another in Uzbekistan – even Saskatchewan has one. If I look out my window and squint hard enough, I can see the one at Paris Las Vegas, right next to the Arc de Triomphe.
Sheldon Adelson must have been impressed because he went and built his own Paris-themed resort in Macau, complete with an Eiffel Tower. The Parisian finally opened its doors Tuesday on the Cotai Strip, nearly a year after it was supposed to be ready. Adelson was only allowed 100 new gaming tables for Opening Day; 310 more were brought over from his other four Sands China resorts, but Adelson has already been granted 50 new tables, and more will be coming. The Parisian reportedly cost $2.9 billion to build.
I See France
Adelson can afford it. He’s worth 10 times that much, according to last month’s report by Forbes. Adelson is also expanding at just the right time; as you’ve probably heard by now, Macau recently broke a string of 26 straight losing months in gaming revenue (measured year-over-year). Sands China has seen its fortunes rise 30% this year, mostly through the aggressive targeting of recreational players – the kind that both the Macau and Chinese governments want on board. It’s basically the same thing Las Vegas has been doing for years now.
Even before the Parisian opened, Adelson was the leading light in Macau’s pursuit of rec players. According to Bloomberg’s figures from 2015, Sands China accounted for 30% of this market, well above SJM Holdings at 23%. Wynn Macau? A mere 7.6%, although that should rise with last month’s opening of the new Wynn Palace, also on the Cotai Strip.
There will be more where that came from. The MGM Cotai is scheduled to open next April, followed by the Broadway Macau in May. However, all these new resorts could end up looking like cheap motels once “The 13” opens its doors later this year – assuming it does. This was going to be called the Louis XIII Hotel, and it was going to open this summer complete with a casino, but the plans have changed along with the name. Don’t worry: It’s still billed as the “most luxurious” hotel ever built, with lavish Baroque-style rooms costing up to $130,000 per night.