Li Gang, the director of China’s Government Liaison Office in Macau has downplayed the impact of the mainland’s drive to stamp out corruption on gambling revenue, saying “extremely few” corrupt mainland officials had gambled in the city. “The consecutive months of declines in the gross gaming revenues can be put down to several causes such as the slowdown in the growth of the mainland economy, the anti-corruption campaign in the mainland, more casinos opening in neighboring regions…as well as natural adjustment,” Li said bringing some common sense to the ‘diversified’ analysis we’ve been bombarded with lately in a frenzy of “excuses” for the slowdown of our major industry. He also insisted on diversification, saying basically that the gov’t must work 24×7 on it. But in a remark that may have caused some shivers in (targeted?) casino bosses, Mr Li also said the Macau government should collect public opinion on the gaming industry as part of its mid-term review of the casino operators.
Just months before the opening of the Parisian in Cotai, the city heard with surprise on Friday 16 that Edward Tracy is to retire from his executive positions at Sands China, namely as President and CEO, effective March 6. The staff arrived that day to work at the Sands properties and were mostly sad and shocked with the sudden turn of events. Mr Tracy is an engaging personality and, as he did in the past, he lives in the property he manages in order to be, as he puts it, “available 24×7” to both staff and clients. With 28,000 employees and 100,000 visitors a day, together with an array of on-going non-gaming activities to manage, “Tracy’s are tough shoes to fill,” as an observer told the Times last week. More so in times of change toward a less-gambling dependent economy, which has been Tracy’s vision ever since he set foot in Macau. The next card to be dealt by Adelson must be a sound one.
Secretary Raimundo do Rosario was given probably the worst hand to play: from traffic to housing and the light rail… The Audit Report published this week about the LRT project’s total “derailment” in terms of schedule and budget didn’t come exactly as a surprise to the public. But, boy, a “massive” budget deviation from the already inflated MOP14 billion estimate and a “severe delay” in the Taipa section of more than 300 days, are still…news! Mr Rosario will have to be almost a magician to make a u-turn and put the LRT and the whole transport system in the city on the right path. For now, he has put relevant LRT sites working 24×7! Which may buy him some trouble with already stressed residents. PC