New casino for Ho

Stanley Ho opened his new Grand Lisboa casino yesterday as he attempts to regain the dominance he once held in Macau.

The new 52-story Grand Lisboa will have a 430-room hotel and host 240 gaming tables and 484 slot machines. Its opening also coincides nicely with the Chinese Lunar New Year break next weekend, with many gamblers from the mainland expected to flock to Macau.

Ho lost his monopoly in Macau after decades of dominance in 2002 and has seen an influx of strong competition from Las Vegas powerhouses such as MGM Mirage and Wynn Las Vegas.

Even though Ho owns 17 of the city’s 24 casinos, it is predicted by JPMorgan that Ho’s current 63 per cent market share will decline to 25 per cent by 2009.

Ho’s new $384 million casino, which will be his biggest project for 30 years, is also answering criticism that Ho’s casinos are smoky and outdated compared to the glitzy and glamorous ones associated with the Las Vegas developers. Experts also believe that Ho’s empire will need to restructure in order to keep up with changing trends in the gambling industry.

It is also thought that Ho will also have to accommodate more for the casual gambler with the mass market expected to become more valuable than that of highrollers.

Editor, - 2007-02-12 11:06:37

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