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‘We cannot just rely on gaming’. Top industry figure backs calls for diversification

Wilfred Wong, the president and executive director of Sands China, says the gaming concessionaire is already going in the ‘direction that the government wants us to go in’.

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Wilfred Wong, the president and executive director of Sands China, says the gaming concessionaire is already going in the ‘direction that the government wants us to go in’.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:27 am

Macao must diversify for the sake of its future development, the head of one of the territory’s six gaming concessionaires told a business gathering today.

“We cannot just rely on gaming”, said Wilfred Wong, the president and executive director of Sands China, “because this is not healthy”. 

He was speaking at a luncheon organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Macao.

Wong reminded the audience that Macao’s casino operators had pledged to collectively invest 120 billion patacas in the next 10 years, of which the great majority “will be put to develop non-gaming projects to attract more international visitors”.

[See more: Top consultant says Macao’s bid to reinvent itself will be challenging

“The direction that the government wants us to go in has [already] been part of our development” Wong added, pledging that Sands would “help transform Macao into a world tourism and leisure centre”.

Wong identified a relatively low inventory of hotel rooms as being an issue for the growth of the territory’s MICE industry, comparing Macao’s roughly 40,000 rooms to Singapore’s 60,000. “This is our biggest challenge”, he said.

While acknowledging that many hotels were being developed in Hengqin, he said that access to the Deep Cooperation Zone needed to be improved if international events were to be staged there. However, he cited the coming of high speed rail to Zhuhai (with connections to Hengqin) and the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge as spurs to growth in the MICE sector.

In terms of general outlook, “We have strong confidence in Macao”, Wong said. “The worst is over”.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:27 am

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