Lucky Dragon in Vegas tables mostly baccarat: report

GGR ASIA

Approximately three quarters of the 37 table games planned for the under-construction Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, in the United States, will be for baccarat.

That is according to information from its management, cited by the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper in a story published on Thursday reporting a site visit arranged for the media.

According to the homepage of the venue’s official website, the property is due to open in the fourth quarter this year.

The venture (pictured in an artist’s rendering) is targeted at Chinese and other Asian gamblers: locals as well as travellers. Baccarat is the casino game of choice for many Chinese and other East Asian gamblers.

Lucky Dragon is said by its promoters to be Las Vegas’s “first resort delivering an authentic Asian cultural and gaming experience,” and as “a community gathering hotspot for Asian visitors, locals and anyone looking for the best pan-Asian food and excitement in town”.

The property will feature what are described as “bilingual staff”; a 1.25-ton glass sculpture of a dragon; and input from ‘feng shui’ consultants. Casino operators in Asia typically seek advice on what elements of building design and layout will be regarded as most auspicious by Chinese and other Asian gamblers.

The venue’s website adds it will have a nine-storey hotel with about 200 rooms and suites; and 27,500 square feet (2,555 sq metres) of casino space “with an emphasis on table games including baccarat and pai gow as well as slots, a high limit gaming area known as the Emerald Room and a luxurious VIP gaming parlour”.

The Review-Journal reports the property will have 300 slot machines as well as 37 table games.

An organisation called the Las Vegas Economic Impact Regional Center (LVEIRC) is presented as the promoter of the Lucky Dragon project. According to the latter’s website, William Weidner, a former president and chief operating officer of casino group Las Vegas Sands Corp, is a senior advisor to the LVEIRC, while the Center’s chief executive is said to be Andrew Fonfa, developer of a US$240-million condominium project called Allure Las Vegas, located next to the Lucky Dragon site.

“Financial commitments provided by the Fonfa and Weidner families have guaranteed the [Lucky Dragon] project will be completed on schedule in late 2016,” said a statement on the Lucky Dragon website. It didn’t mention the budget for the scheme.

There were a total of 434 baccarat and mini-baccarat games and tables in gaming venues in Clark County – an area including the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas – as of May 31, according to data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Baccarat gaming win (excluding mini-baccarat) in gaming venues in Clark County for the 12 months to May 31 stood at US$1.24 billion, a year-on-year decline of 12.7 percent.

The Nevada regulator defines statistical win as table games gross revenue plus what are known in the Las Vegas market as “marker credits”, i.e., money advanced to VIP gamblers by the casino management.

A number of gaming investment analysts have suggested that the recent decline in Las Vegas baccarat revenue mirrors the decline seen in Macau and other Asian markets following China’s anti-corruption crackdown and economic slowdown.

But in June, banking group Morgan Stanley issued a report saying that in the first quarter of 2016, global casino VIP revenue – much of it related with Chinese high-rollers betting on baccarat tables – stopped its sequence of sequential decline, after eight quarters of such contraction.

Source: GGR ASIA

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