As Resorts World on the Las Vegas strip opens its doors, concerns have been raised about the ongoing impact of travel restrictions, which have prevented ‘high-roller’ Chinese tourists from visiting global gambling hotspots.

What is it?

Interviewing Genting Group Chairman and CEO, Lim Kok Thay, Contessa Brewer of CNBC International TV discussed the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas as well as the ongoing hurdles posed by the global pandemic.

What is being said?

Brewer began: “Though Resorts World provides new competition for of course MGM, Caesars Wynn Las Vegas and the Sands – that’s Venetian and Palazzo here – analysts tell me that everybody should get a boost in visitation because this property will be an added draw. People just want to come to Las Vegas and check it out, even if they stay somewhere else.”

“It’s a real problem here because remember, when Chinese tourists come to Las Vegas, they spend more on gambling, they spend more on the amenities, they spend more at the restaurant, and they’re not here. That part of the bottom line for the Las Vegas resort is missing, and by the way, it’s not just missing in Las Vegas – we know that it’s hurting the bottom line for these other companies in Singapore. 

“If you’re looking at Las Vegas Sands, they need those Chinese visitors to be travelling more broadly, be back spending money, and certainly the Macau dependence revenues, they just have not ramped the way that we’re seeing the domestic gamblers and visitors ramp back in Las Vegas. They’re looking forward to those restrictions easing vaccinations, improving infection rates going down, and Chinese tourists starting to travel the world again.”

Speaking to Lim Kok Thay, Brewer asked the Chairman and CEO about the opening of the Resorts World venue on the Las Vegas strip, and about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has been having on the firm’s operations.

“Timing, as they say, is everything,” he began. “In this case it is working perfectly well for us, I must say due to luck more than anything else, and the great effort of the people and the government in the US to slow down the spread of COVID. As we all know, including in other parts of the world, that is at the top of the agenda and is of most concern to the travel and hospitality industry.”

When asked about his future predictions with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, he added: “I think governments need to formulate a longer term policy, and in our part of the world – Malaysia and Singapore – we had well under control because of the quick reactions the government were prepared to take, such as locking down the country, but unfortunately this pandemic lasted longer and travelled all around the world, and is now back for a second time in Asia.”

Why should I watch it?

To hear about new developments in the US land-based casino space, as Las Vegas venues return to some sense of normality.

Where can I see more?

Source – CNBC International TV YouTube Channel

CNBC: Resorts World grand opening and the absence of the ‘high-rollers’