MGM China Emphasizes Wellness and Hotel Expansion in Macau

MGM China emphasizing wellness
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MGM China Holdings Ltd., majority-owned by MGM Resorts International, is set to invest $1.9 billion in nongaming projects at its two Macau casino resorts by 2032. This investment is part of the agreement for a 10-year gaming license extension with the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government, reached in December 2022. The investment will be directed towards wellness offerings and additional hotel rooms at MGM Macau and MGM Cotai.

New Wellness Offerings

MGM China has already announced plans to construct and open an art museum and wellness center at MGM Macau, located in the historic downtown area on the peninsula. Additionally, the company is rumored to be planning a similar wellness retreat at MGM Cotai, which will include spas and health treatment services. The Cotai Strip, often referred to as Asia’s version of Las Vegas, is home to most of Macau’s luxurious casino resorts.

Bloomberg first reported these developments regarding MGM China’s focus on nongaming investments.

Hotel Room Expansion

In addition to wellness amenities, MGM China is focusing on expanding its number of hotel rooms at both properties. MGM Macau currently has about 600 guestrooms, while MGM Cotai offers roughly 1,400. With a total of 2,000 rooms, MGM is currently the smallest hotel operator among Macau’s six licensed casino operators. In comparison, Sands China Ltd., a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands, offers approximately 12,400 casino hotel rooms.

Increasing the number of hotel rooms is a strategic move for MGM, as Macau’s tourism industry shifts from VIP high rollers to general leisure travelers. This pivot comes after the Macau government, under the direction of Beijing, pushed out most junket operators amid the pandemic. Junkets previously played a significant role in attracting high-roller gamblers to Macau’s casinos.

Shift in Market Strategy

With fewer VIP high rollers, Macau’s casinos are now targeting the premium mass market. This market consists of general public consumers who are willing and able to spend substantial amounts on both gaming and other resort amenities. This strategic shift aligns with Beijing’s broader economic policies, which have targeted the outflow of money from mainland China through Macau.

Integrated Resorts and Wellness

The concept of integrated resorts, which includes a combination of casino, hotel, convention facilities, entertainment venues, luxury retail shopping, and fine dining, was popularized by the late Sheldon Adelson, founder of Sands. The term originated in Singapore after the opening of Marina Bay Sands in 2010.

While spa services have long been a part of integrated resorts, the focus on wellness is becoming increasingly popular in the industry. For instance, Sands has announced plans to bring a Canyon Ranch wellness retreat to its proposed Long Island destination in New York, should it secure one of the three gaming licenses available. Canyon Ranch is renowned for its holistic wellness services, which include spa and beauty treatments, fitness, nutrition, health, and mind-body therapies.

Conclusion

MGM China’s $1.9 billion investment in wellness offerings and hotel expansion at its Macau resorts marks a significant shift towards diversifying the region’s tourism appeal. By enhancing nongaming amenities and increasing hotel capacity, MGM aims to attract a broader range of visitors, aligning with Macau’s evolving market dynamics. This strategic focus on wellness and integrated resort experiences reflects the industry’s broader trend towards offering comprehensive leisure and lifestyle services, positioning Macau as a premier global destination.