Upcoming Casino Openings in the Asia-Pacific Region

To a very large extent, the evolution of every industry is dependent upon consumers’ demand. And it can be said that the land-based casino industry has reached a point in its evolution where it needs to find a way to attract the attention of a wider and more diverse demographic and to keep the attention of consumers for as long as possible.

For a decade or two now, and particularly over the past several years, casino developers have been opting for the integrated resorts model when developing their new gambling venues. The integrated resorts are multi-purpose, often very large, developments that feature numerous gambling options as well as other non-gambling entertainment facilities. Hotels, dining, retail, and convention facilities are also included in the complexes’ offering.

It can be said that the IR model was introduced in Las Vegas, where casino giant Las Vegas Sands built resorts and convention centers to capture greater attention to its gambling properties. However, it can be said that the Asia-Pacific region is now the largest hub for integrated resorts development activity. Macau’s skyline is graced by multiple such complexes, which have certainly played an important role in the establishment of the administrative region as the world’s most profitable gambling destination.

The success of the integrated resorts model in the city has evoked interest in developers to explore other territories in the region. As a result, a number of such resorts are set to open doors this year and in the years to come. Asian-Pacific countries hope that the general popularity of properties of this type would come as a big boost to their tourism and gambling industries.

What is more, a gambling crackdown in Mainland China has resulted in Chinese VIP casino players looking for more options to gamble beyond Macau. Here it is important that Chinese high rollers are cosidered casinos’ sweethearts due to their tendency to spend big at baccarat, roulette, and other gaming tables.

There will be several integrated resorts slated to be launched in the region in 2017 and here is a quick overview of what their developers will be trying to allure clientele with.

Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel

Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. is the company behind the ambitious Saipan Island project. In 2014, it obtained a 40-year exclusive integrated resort license from the government of the Northern Mariana Islands. The complex is set to be developed in two phases.

The developer first committed to a $3.1-billion investment but then put a $7-billion price tag to the development. The casino portion of the resort was expected to be launched in the end of March. However, it has recently become known that this is likely to happen early in May. Imperial Pacific International has also asked for a deadline extension for the opening of the resort’s Phase One. It was to be completed by August 2017, but the deadline would likely be extended to February 2018. The whole complex, including its Phase Two, is likely to be completed by 2030.

The project’s multiple delays were attributed to powerful Typhoon Soudelor that battered the region in 2015 and damaged severely the resort’s construction site. A shortage of manpower and cement were also cited as reasons for the developer’s failure to keep up with its original schedule.

Here it is a good place to put Imperial Pacific International’s troubles aside for a second and to pay a bit more attention to what the complex is to offer. Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel is set to occupy a 1.5-million-square-foot site at the heart of the Saipan Island. Steelman Partners, the architecture firm behind major casino projects such as City of Dreams Macau, Solaire Resort & Casino, and Resorts World Las Vegas, has also been working on the Saipan Island’s luxury integrated resort.

And luxury is exactly what the developer wants to give its future visitors. Phase One of the project is set to include a 14-story hotel with 340 hotel suites and 15 deluxe villas, numerous gambling facilities with 200 gaming tables and more than 350 slot machines; a variety of dining and entertainment facilities will also be found in the resort.

Imperial Pacific International is set to extend its footprint on the island with Phase Two of its project, which will include up to 20 luxury hotels, a retail boulevard, and other exciting attractions for visitors.

MGM Cotai

Major casino operator MGM Resorts International is set to expand its presence in Macau with a brand new integrated resort. MGM Cotai will be launched as yet another addition to the cluster of integrated resorts on Macau’s Cotai Strip. This will be MGM Resorts’ first property on what has often been referred to as the Asian equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip, the epitome of lavish casino entertainment.

The highly anticipated opening of MGM Cotai was first scheduled for 2016. However, the $3-billion project’s finalization was postponed to February 2017. Early this year, MGM Resorts and its Chinese subsidiary revealed that they would not be able to cut the property’s ribbon before the second half of 2017.

MGM Cotai has been built to really stand out in the Macau skyline. Architecture and design firm Kohn Pedersen Fox had been charged with the responsible task to create what is aimed to be the Cotai Strip’s “jewelry box”. And as seen on pictures, it has done more than excellent job. Inspired by Chinese jewelry boxes, the resort’s facade represents a successful combination of modern and traditional elements.

Although there is still uncertainty over the number of gaming tables and slot machines MGM Cotai will be allowed to operate, it has been announced that its gaming floor would occupy 500,000 square feet. It has been estimated that the venue might open with around 200 tables.

As many as 1,400 guestrooms and suites, large meeting and convention facilities, dining and retail options will also be part of the large resort. Here it is important to note that the larger portion of MGM Cotai will be dedicated to non-gambling facilities. And The Spectacle, widely promoted as Asia’s first dynamic theater, will be one of the resort’s highlight facilities.

Paradise City

South Korea has also become among the Asian countries to embrace the integrated resorts model in a bid to attract big spending customers and boost tourism and overall economic statistics. Paradise City, the country’s first integrated casino complex, is set to be launched in April 2017.

The resort is located in the city of Incheon, not far from the Incheon International Airport, known to be the country’s largest and primary airport.

The ambitious project is the product of the joint venture between local casino operator Paradise Co. Ltd. and Japanese arcade game and pachinko developer Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. Occupying a 3.5-million-square-foot site, the resort is set to offer everything a property of this type does.

It will feature a hotel with over 700 guestrooms, a boutique hotel with over 100 rooms, a convention center, a spa, and numerous entertainment facilities. A premium buffet restaurant with five sections offering cuisine from China all the way to Europe and New York will also be one of the many highlights of the resort.

Its casino floor will spread over 140,000 square feet to offer 159 table games, 74 electronic table games, and 291 slot machines. This makes it the largest casino in South Korea. Here it is also important to note that the gambling venue at Paradise City will be intended for foreigners only.

Jeju Shinhwa World

Owned by Landing International Development, Jeju Shinhwa World will be South Korea’s second integrated resort. The almost 27-million-square-foot complex will be rolled out in phases. Its first phase is expected to be launched in October 2017. The whole resort is slated for a 2020 completion.

Located on the Jeju Island, the $2-billion Jeju Shinhwa World will attract visitors with numerous recreational facilities and a large theme park with more than 20 rides, among different other family-friendly offerings.

The resort will also include a number of premium hotels with over 2,000 rooms for guests. Convention and meeting facilities will, too, come as part of the whole complex. This means that Jeju Shinhwa World will also look to cater to visitors that have arrived at its premises for business purposes.

Last but not least, the complex will attract both recreational and VIP casino customers. Its 108,000-square-foot foreigners-only casino will feature both slot machines and popular table games, including baccarat, blackjack, and roulette.

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